Airline travel seems to have become less and less user-friendly in the past ten years are so. The costs have dramatically jumped; and many airlines have tacked on fees for baggage, changing flights, and other things. Airline food, once passable, has become dreadful. My wife and I have fallen back on the strategy of purchasing cold sandwiches at airports for in-flight meals if the flight is long or during meal hours.
On our last trip, from Knoxville to Seattle with a stopover in Chicago, American Airlines went 0 for 4, Every flight was delayed! The last one for an hour due to a taillight problem and the pilot having to do the paperwork. The seats were incredibly uncomfortable. I would dread a trans-Pacific flight in one of theirs.
My limited take on airlines:
Southwest Airlines is without a doubt the best, even though we have to drive to Nashville and often spend the night there. It's easier to schedule, less costly, the cabin personnel are friendly and helpful, and it's a better ride.
Delta is okay; but stops in Atlanta can be a problem. Frankly, I find ATL to be a crappy airport! And if you have a short time between flights, you might miss your connections if your incoming flight is late. As a rule, give yourself at least 75 minutes to get from one gate to another.
Air France is pretty good.
Northwest is okay, but we once flew across the Atlantic in a geriatric airframe on one of theirs.
O'Hare in Chicago is very crowded.
Good airports -- Ft. Lauderdale, Nashville, Charles De Gaulle Paris, Seattle-Tacoma, Monterey, New Orleans, Montreal, Anchorage, Houston
So-so ones -- Las Vegas, Detroit, Oakland, Knoxville, Memphis, Dallas-Fort Worth, Oklahoma City, Huntsville, Nome
Not too awful -- Los Angeles, Logan (Boston)
The Pits -- Burbank
American Airlines gave poor service. It reminded me of riding a bus in the Bolivian mountains. Riding the Dog, as I did in the 1960's was more comfortable.
Here's something. Those add-on luggage check fees has prompted many passengers to put somewhat oversized bags in the carry-on luggage containers. That makes the boarding process take long, as them try to jam those suitcases in spaces meant for carry-on bags. And latecomers may not have any room for their carry-ons.
Thebest flight I had on the last trip was on a float plane from Ketchikan to Misty Fjord. Michelle is a surperb pilot, and gave us a great flight!