BY JOAN LOWY
---- — WASHINGTON — Virgin America did the best job for its customers among leading U.S. airlines last year, a report said Monday, as carriers overall had their second best performance in the more than the two decades since researchers began measuring quality of service.
The report ranked the 14 largest U.S. airlines based on on-time arrivals, mishandled bags, consumer complaints and passengers who bought tickets but were turned away because flights were over booked.
Airline performance in 2012 was the second highest in the 23 years that Wichita State University in Kansas and the University of Nebraska at Omaha have tracked the performance of airlines. The airline’s best year was 2011.
Besides being the overall leader, Virgin America, headquartered in Burlingame, Calif., also did the best job on baggage handling and had the second-lowest rate of passengers denied seats due to overbookings.