- Virgin America came out on top, while United Airlines ranked the worst
- Top US airlines rated in eight categories including cost, luggage and crew
- US company analysed data from almost 160,000 tweets
Virgin America is Twitter's 'hash-tag favourite' airline.
At least according to a new study, measuring the popularity of - and distaste for - the major US airlines on social media.
American Airlines, Delta, jetBlue, United and Virgin America were rated in eight categories including cost, luggage and crew.
Overall, Virgin America had the most positive tweets, ranking highest for customer service, delays/cancellations, luggage, security, and charges/fees.
JetBlue was in second place overall, followed by Delta.
And while United Airline was praised for its crew, the same could not be said of customer feedback about delays and cancellations, luggage restrictions and charges and fees.
American Airlines were not too popular either, scoring badly on crew, entertainment, seating and security.
Many people find complaining on Twitter can be productive, especially now that airlines and travel companies have social networking teams to respond.
But some online complaints - even those directed at a specific company - will go unnoticed.
The new technology, created by a company called Luminoso, allows companies to analyse data from large amounts of tweets, so they can easily see feedback from customers.
Its website explains: 'Luminoso is based on a learning algorithm that understands words contextually, rather than relying solely on their dictionary definitions, and sorts them by their meaning.
'So instead of just finding the key words, Luminoso can find the key concepts, ideas, thoughts, and feelings that drive your consumers' choices.
Code experts at the company used language processing technology to analyze more than 157,000 tweets directly mentioning five airline handles.
Words such as 'hate' would drive down an airline's raking in the luggage category while 'love' in conjunction with 'wifi' or another aspect of their service, would increase its popularity.