Rank in Airlines: 4
(Previous rank: 3)
Overall score: 6.26
Why it's admiredDespite facing the most difficult economy ever for the airline industry, the leading low-cost U.S. carrier gained market share and extended its flight map. Southwest added new routes, including gates at New York's LaGuardia, and made an unsuccessful bid in August to acquire bankrupt rival Frontier Airlines for $170 million. And while other cash-strapped carriers have started adding fees for checking a bag, Southwest will still carry two for free, earning from consumers and business the respect it touts with its stock ticker symbol: LUV. --C.T.
Should Southwest Airlines be admired, or what?
Southwest Airlines stats