WASHINGTON -- A report on airline quality says U.S. airlines scored their second best performance last year, with Virgin America the leader.
The annual report released Monday ranked the 14 largest U.S. airlines based on on-time arrivals, mishandled bags, consumer complaints and passengers who were bought tickets, but were turned away because flights were over booked.
Airline performance in 2012 was the second highest in the 23 years that researchers at Wichita State University at Omaha in Nebraska and Purdue University in Indiana have tracked the performance of airlines.
Virgin America, headquartered in Burlingame, Calif., did the best job on baggage handling and had the second-lowest rate of passengers denied seats due to overbookings.
United Airlines, whose consumer complaint rate nearly doubled last year, had the worst performance.