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We all have our favorites.  Flight booking thought process…

British Airways is backpacking for the value, but that’s really just to sleep, during the day British Airways is eating nice food and not afraid of top shelf cocktails.  British Airways would pull a casual but smart polo over the whole plane body, if they could find the right size.  

Virgin Airways starts the drinking game people actually want to play and then introduces everyone to some obscure but cool World Music band.  Virgin prefers big flashy cities or well-worn mid-range backpacker trails, not budget holidays; they surf.

Quantas references both Lonely Planet and Let’s Go before booking.  Everything Quantas does makes sense.  Quantas will add you on Facebook later, and you will accept, but you’ll only have a vague recollection about whether you liked hanging out with them or not. 

United Airlines is always annoyed that no one can keep them and Delta straight, because not all Americans are the same, okay!  United Airlines is mid-western and polite, they mix with everyone.  They always have snacks and they are the best snacks (ahem, Tapas Box guys!).

Air Canada is perpetually hungover, resulting in being consistently late or having busted up gear.  Air Canada is always complaining about running out of money.  For three hours per day when everything goes well, you think you could maybe like Air Canada again, because Air Canada is acceptably human, and then they give up and throw someone’s luggage down the stairs or let a dog out and lose it permanently.

Westjet ended up backpacking by accident.  From high school, Westjet liked all-inclusives that result in everybody posting group pictures from pools in Mexican resorts.  Westjet is really nice, all the time, because Westjet doesn’t have a lot of problems, and likes everyone.

Etihad has logistics worked out and a plan, tagging along on whatever thing they’re doing will probably go ok, although you will have no idea when you are signing up where you are going or what it might involve.  It’s unclear if even Etihad knows what is going to be involved, as they often seem surprised by developments.

Emirates is scheduled to climb a mountain tomorrow, no big deal.  Emirates wants the backpacker experience, but secretly has a trust fund or designed an unusually successful app, or is actually Royalty in a tiny country.  Emirates is selective about destinations and knows Africa well.

KLM doesn’t say much but has all kinds of odd skills and surprises.  KLM whips a dinner out of nowhere from things they bought at a wilting market up the street that you are quietly impressed with, and has way more movies than everyone else that they are willing to share.  KLM is better at this than you.

Jetstar is broke and should probably go home.  Jetstar is in the communal kitchen eating spaghetti with butter for the eighth day in a row.  Jetstar will take an eight hour bus to save fifty cents.  It hangs out with Mango, sometimes they talk about the time six months ago when someone taught them how to fire dance.

South African Airways is really relaxed about this whole travel thing… maybe a little too relaxed.  SAA has been sitting on the common area couch watching Family Guy on repeat for an unexplained amount of time.  SAA does not care when the bus leaves, perhaps does not know there is a schedule, they just go down to the station and patiently wait.

Kulula is down for dollar bucket beers.  It’s on a budget, but it’s not broke. Kulula is charming enough to get along in the world.  You are generally going to have a good day with Kulula.

Korean Air is polite and quietly friendly.  They just want to get on with things, really, they check out on time and have probably booked a tour tomorrow.  They travel with a sleep mask, they have spare earplugs for you too.

All of the above is horribly biased, based purely on subjective personal experience, tainted by jet lag and anhedonia.