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TripAdvisor ranks Southwest Airlines as one of the world's best

Southwest Airlines is planning to launch service from Tampa to San Diego.Southwest Airlines was ranked as the best airline in North America, according to Tripadvisor [Times file photo]
Southwest Airlines is planning to launch service from Tampa to San Diego.Southwest Airlines was ranked as the best airline in North America, according to Tripadvisor [Times file photo]
Published Apr. 9, 2018

TAMPA — Chances are, if you regularly fly Southwest Airlines, you're a pretty happy customer.

At least that's the logical conclusion based on a recent poll that shows the carrier is among the best in the world.

Southwest Airlines ranks as the best airline in North American, and sixth best in the world, according to TripAdvisor's 2018 Travelers' Choice Awards.

Each year, the travel website ranks everything from beaches, museums, vacation destinations and, of course, airlines.

The airline ranking was based on travelers' reviews submitted to the website from February 2017 to February 2018 on topics including customer service, cleanliness and seat comfort.

Southwest Airlines was the only U.S. carrier to rank in the top 10.

"Awards such as these fuel our passion to connect People to what's important in their lives with low fares, world-renowned Hospitality, and Customer-friendly policies that make us a maverick of the airline industry worldwide," Ryan Green, Southwest Airlines' vice president and chief marketing officer, said in a statement.

Singapore Airlines ranked No. 1 worldwide, followed by Air New Zealand.

According to the website, one review said of Southwest:

"We choose to fly Southwest whenever we can. Their flights are on time and the service is friendly and efficient. We don't mind not having assigned seats. Bags fly free, and we always check ours. Frequent Flier miles are easy to accumulate with their membership program."

TOP 10 WORLDWIDE

1. Singapore Airlines, Singapore

2. Air New Zealand, New Zealand,

3. Emirates, United Arab Emirates

4. Japan Airlines, Japan

5. EVA Air, Taiwan

6. Soutwest Airlines, United States

7. Jet2.com, United Kingdom

8. Qatar Airlines, Qatar

9. Azul, Brazil

10. Korean Air, South Korea

Best First Class: Singapore Airlines, Singapore

Best Business Class: Qatar Airways, Qatar

Best Premium Economy: Air New Zealand, New Zealand

Best Economy: Singapore Airlines, Singapore

TOP AIRLINES IN NORTH AMERICA

Southwest Airlines, United States – Best

Alaska Airlines, United States – Winner

Delta Air Lines, United States – Winner

Hawaiian Airlines, United States – Winner

JetBlue, United States – Winner

WestJet, Canada – Winner

Best Business Class: JetBlue, United States

Best Economy: Southwest Airlines, United States

Meanwhile, another set of rankings weren't quite as flattering.

Researchers at Wichita State University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University had Southwest at No. 5 in the country. Those rankings were based on government figures for on-time arrivals, mishandled bags, bumping passengers off oversold flights, and complaint rates during 2017.

Alaska Airlines and Delta remained in the top two spots.

Here are the top 10 (with 2016 ranking in parentheses).

1. Alaska Airlines (1)

2. Delta Air Lines (2)

3. JetBlue Airways (4)

4. Hawaiian Airlines (5)

5. Southwest Airlines (6)

6. SkyWest (7)

7. Virgin America (3)

8. United Airlines (8)

9. American (9)

10. ExpressJet (10)

11. Frontier Airlines (12)

12. Spirit Airlines (11)

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.