Top 5 airlines to travel with this holiday season


Jake Wilsted

This travel season, some airlines are better to travel with than others.

Jake Wilsted, News Editor

As 2022 comes to a close and enters the final months, people across the country make travel plans to visit family and vacation. Pre-pandemic, nearly one million people flew on Christmas Eve alone. These are the top five airlines to fly from Moline (MLI) or Chicago (ORD or MDW).

1. Southwest Airlines

Known for its service and low prices, Southwest Airlines is an ample option for holiday flying. Although Southwest does not fly into Moline, the airline has a hub located in Chicago’s Midway airport, providing direct travel routes across the country. Although considered a budget airline, they provide many perks that other budget airlines do not offer. Southwest does not have change or cancellation fees, allows two becks and a carry-on for free, and has no assigned seating. All these factors make Southwest Airlines the go-to choice for your holiday travels.

2. Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines is known for its comfort and reliability. Delta is ranked second for on-time flights at 80.7% and has considerable seat dimensions. Delta provides a seat pitch (distance between the seats) of 30 to 32 inches. Delta does fly out of Quad Cities International Airport, but unless your destination is Atlanta, a quick layover will get you to your final destination. 

3. United Airlines

The accessibility of the world through United Airlines is perhaps its most significant factor. United Airlines’ biggest hub is Chicago O’Hare, providing destinations globally accessible just two and a half hours away. United also flies out of Quad Cities International Airport to Denver or Chicago. Departures from Moline most likely result in a single layover to your final destination. 

4. Allegiant 

Allegiant Airlines is the second budget airline on this list. Unlike Southwest, Allegiant charges extra fees for checked luggage and onboard beverages and snacks. However, Allegiant is the cheapest option on this list. On average, flyers pay an average of $0.322 per mile flown. From Moline, Allegiant flies to Las Vegas, Orlando-Sanford, Phoenix-Mesa, Punta Gorda-Ft, Myers, and St. Pete-Clearwater.

5. American Airlines

American Airlines is also known for its diverse routes, sitting in second place for the most offered destinations behind United. American Airlines provides 364 destinations worldwide. American also flies to Dallas-Ft. Worth and Chicago O’Hare from Moline. American considers both destinations hubs, meaning your final destination is one layover away.