I've also been pleasantly surprised by some airlines: Virgin Atlantic offers a vast entertainment selection; when I flew the carrier to Africa and back I never ran out of things to watch (okay, they neglected to load my luggage onto the plane, but I did receive it intact 48 hours later).
Then there's Jet Airways, which serves passengers in all classes a flying feast conceived by a Michelin-starred chef. Little things -- cloth napkins, real china and silverware, a smile from a flight attendant, and that great food -- can go a long way toward earning customer loyalty.
Now before I book a flight, I check the airline ratings around the Web and at the Airline Quality site. And that's one reason I'm not going to be boarding an Alitalia flight any time soon....
Are there airlines that you love -- or avoid at all costs? Add your comments or ratings below.
Image © Susan Breslow Sardone.