Are airlines doing a better job at handling luggage, taking off on time?

Posted at 5:26 PM, Feb 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-14 18:26:58-05

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Last year was a pretty good year for air travel. Airlines canceled fewer flights and didn't lose as many bags.

Just 1.17% of domestic flights were canceled last year, down from 1.5% in 2015 and the lowest level in 22 years, according to the Department of Transportation's Air Travel Consumer Report.

Mishandled bag rates also dropped, which means fewer passengers were left stranded at baggage claim without their luggage.

Carriers had a mishandled baggage rate of 2.70 per 1,000 passengers last year, the lowest annual rate since the government started tracking the data in 1987.

When it comes to customer satisfaction, airlines have a weak track record. The industry tends to be one of the lowest-scoring industries in the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

However, carriers have been taking steps to improve the flying experience. It's been a good couple of years for the industry thanks to lower oil prices and consolidation.

Many airlines have expanded their routes and upped their in-flight amenities, with some bringing back perks like free in-flight snacks and free entertainment.

Passenger complaints to the Transportation Department dropped 11.3% last year compared to 2015.

Flights were also more punctual last year. The on-time arrival rate increased to 81.4%, up from 79.9% in 2015, according to the report.

In December, Hawaiian, Delta and American Airlines had the highest on-time arrival rates. Frontier, Virgin America and SkyWest Airlines had the lowest on-time arrival rates for the month.

Frontier Airlines also had the longest tarmac delays for domestic flights in December, according to the government. A Frontier flight from Denver to Atlanta was delayed 265 minutes on December 17.

Overbooked flights were less of a problem last year for ticketed passengers, as airlines bumped fewer fliers. The bumping rate dropped to a historic low of 0.62 per 10,000 passengers.