Can me a weary traveler. I've flown on a whole lot of airlines, but I always seem to come back to Alaska Air. The reason why is because of service.
I've never had a bag lost with Alaska, I've never had a rough experience or snotty attendant. I always seem to find that I am treated as a customer, not as cattle.
Alaska's main hub that I fly into is Sea-Tac (Seattle) and it seems to do fine. In the west, they also seem to utilize the San Franscisco airport and Salt Lake airport a lot. None of this LAX stuff.
What's to appreciate with Alaska Airlines? I always liked the fact they have turboprop planes and regional jets, as the comfort levels skyrocket. The seats are bigger and usually more comfortable. Their fleet of 737s and MD-80s also seem to be clean and appropriate for flying.
I usually feel safe with Alaska, and also sometimes get an okay snack from them. They also seem to treat their customers with respect from calling to make reservations through to landing at the destination. When problems arise, they sometimes offer freebies or give out food that otherwise would cost money.
Alaska is slightly pricier than competitors, but is a lot less hassle. It feels like genuine service, and to me that counts for something.