As United Airlines tries to contain the brand damage it sustained from forcibly ejecting a passenger several days ago, airlines overall have scored record high quality ratings.
A recent Airline Quality Rating study found that the industry is losing fewer bags—and bumping fewer passengers—while arriving on time more frequently.
Overall, the airline quality ranking also found on-time performance was 81.4 percent, up from 79.9 percent from last year. The report, from Embry-Riddle and Wichita State Universities, was released just this week, and has rated the largest U.S. airlines annually for the past 27 years.
Alaska Airlines topped the list of 12 best air carriers, while Delta came in second and Virgin America landed third; JetBlue, Hawaiian and Southwest came in 4th, 5th and 6th respectively. Meanwhile, the embattled United touched down in eighth place, the same spot it held last year.
"It's not exactly at the top of the heap," Seth Kaplan, managing partner of Airline Weekly, told CNBC's "On The Money" in an interview. "Even in more mundane ways as an airline in terms of being punctual and not losing bags," United scores comparatively low, he added.
United's viral video notwithstanding, the annual survey showed the chance of being bumped actually dropped by 18 percent. However, the study says that does not include those who traded their seat for a travel voucher or cash.