Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

Think about the best airline flights you've ever had.

How many of them were American?

No, I don't mean how many of them were on American Airlines. I mean, how many of them were on American airlines?

I've lived in various parts of the world and it's always seemed as if most American carriers are further behind than Atlanta Braves fans who race the Freeze.

They're often dowdier than a Dollar Store. They're possessed of as much imagination as a bird pecking at a pane of glass.

So when the Skytrax World Airline Awards came out, I wasn't expecting American airlines to dominate.

But, should you be a patriot, a loyalist or a just a committed frequent flyer, you might need to reach for your most favored calming agent after hearing this.

The highest-placed US airline roared in at number 32.

All hail, then, Delta. There are only 31 airlines better than you, even though your computer systems don't appear to have been engineered by Steve Wozniak.

For perspective, this 32nd place represented a rise of three places.

For more perspective, controversial budget airline Norwegian came four places higher.

For even more perspective, Aeroflot came two places higher.

Yes, Russia's favorite airline is better than any American airline.

No, there's no evidence that Russia hacked these results. How could you even suggest such a thing?

The eyes slip down the top 100 and find Alaska Airlines at 36 (up from 60) and JetBlue at 39. The almost-defunct Virgin America dipped to 43 (from 25) and Southwest wafts in at number 54.

But what of our great two stalwarts -- with the emphasis on the last syllable?

American Airlines is the 74th best airline in the world. Yes, up from 77th. What did it do right? I will leave that to your exploration. Or, perhaps, imagination.

What about United? I know you want to know about slightly embattled United. Did it even make the top 100?

Indeed, it did. There does seem, however, to have been a loss of cabin pressure, as the airline dipped from last year's 68th places to this year's, oh, 78th.

Let's look on the optimistic side. This puts United ahead of Air Malta. Those who prefer shade might muse that it also puts United 14 places below Eurowings and two below, oh, Ryanair.

Neither American nor United responded when I asked for their feelings on this ranking.

You, though, will be wondering who came in first. For the fourth time, it was Qatar Airways.

In entirely unrelated news, Qatar Airways just declared it wants to buy 10 percent of American Airlines.

American Airlines' CEO Doug Parker offered this response: "While anyone can purchase our shares in the open market, we aren't particularly excited about Qatar's outreach, and we find it puzzling given our extremely public stance on the illegal subsidies that Qatar, Emirates and Etihad have all received over the years from their governments."

It seems that the idea of being invested in by the best airline in the world is around the 74th best idea Parker has heard today.