For some reason the link to the domestic airline ratings at Travel and Leisure doesn't work. I'll look at the magazine rack next time. You said they were rated the best domestic airline---I assume Midwest Express won top honors overall?
I just returned from Seattle and Vancouver. I had a great vacation. The flights worked out fine. I flew Alaska Airlines 367 from SJC-SEA and then on to YVR on the 12th of August. The plane was full, my wife and I sat in the second to last row in a middle and window seat. It was right by the "magazine rack" which occupied the top portion of the aft left closet, which was nice, because the flight took forever. We were ready to leave on on-time, but ATC delayed us at SJC 30 minutes. The wait at SJC was supposedly so that we wouldn't have to wait too long in the air (and raise operating costs) on approach to SEA, but we still circled for 30 more minutes. By the time we got out of Seattle and got to Vancouver we were nearly 90 minutes late. The service however was nice. The plane (N708) was spotless and new. For some reason, there were no phones on-board (yet?). The crew was very nice. The in-flight snack was very tasty, they gave everybody two cinnamon rolls or two slices of cranberry orange pecan bread. The flight coming back (8/22) was LATE again, only this time over 2 hours, the details of which were very vague (apparently some sort of leak in the airplane). Fortunately I had called ahead. I was flying out of SEA, since my wife and I had the mobility of a rent-a-car. The flight was on N974AS, and was again very full. We had great seats on the two seat side. The snack was very good, if small. It was a roast beef sandwhich with sun-dried tomato pesto dressing, on Italian herb bread. There was a great chocolate chip cookie and some strange fruit which I am guessing was a plucot [cross between a plum and an apricot (sp?)]. San Jose airport is close to the worst amateur hour operation I've ever seen. Alaska has a very nice boarding area there, but the terminal itself is very dated. Baggage shows up on any carrousel in terminal C, and the carrousel never fails to break down halfway through. They couldn't restart it this time and they had to manually unload bags. Nobody knows what's going on. I was just glad to get my bags, but it took 45 minutes. Anyway, the service was good on both flights, but this will probably turn out to be the worst summer in years for delays across all the airlines. I used the IT Machines both ways. Alaska's system really works. I agree that Alaska is the best major domestic carrier. More legroom, nice employees, good food, rarely overbooked, good mileage program etc...I think baggage handling is the only area where they need some work. They may be addressing this problem.