While there are plenty of airline ranking surveys to go around, software company Luminoso unveiled a new way to determine which airlines soar above the rest: how they are mentioned on Twitter. As more travelers take to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook to air their gripes about airlines and hotels, the cumulative effect of those tweets and posts can tell you a lot about which companies seem to satisfy their customers the most.

"Luminoso analyzed over 150,000 tweets in which users directly mentioned American Airlines, Delta, United, Jet Blue and Virgin America," company spokeswoman Chrysta Olson said in an email. Luminoso says it ranked airlines across categories like "customer service," "seating" and "in-flight entertainment," thanks to "conceptual text analytics software."

In other words, the company studied the language used in the social media mentions for these five airlines.

airlinetwitter The best airlines, according to Twitter: 1. Virgin America 2. JetBlue 3. Delta 4. American 5. United Photo: Luminoso

After analyzing 157,330 tweets during the month of August, Luminoso found Virgin America was No. 1, often tweeted about lovingly by its customers. United Airlines, which drew plenty of ire over social media, took last place. The top subjects about which customers tweeted were cancelations and delays, luggage, customer service and seating.

Below are the types of tweets Luminoso analyzed: 

tweet1 Virgin America gets a lot of love on Twitter. Photo: Twitter

tweet2 Frustrated United flyers took to Twitter to complain. Photo: Twitter

tweet3 One Delta customer didn't like the speed of Delta's in-flight wifi. Photo: Twitter

tweet4 JetBlue customers lavished praise via social media. Photo: Twitter