I went through Kayak.com to make my flight reservations. It was AirTran on the way to Seattle, United on the way back. The difference was night and day.
I use a walking cane to go any great distance, or when taking public transportation, due to a minor back injury a year ago. Upon seeing my cane, AirTran was forced to remove me from a window seat that had extra room, because it was near an exit. All well and good, as I made an error in seat choices, don't ask me how. I just thought I needed the room, and was sure I had reserved an aisle seat. But they put me in a cramped window seat elsewhere (NOT an aisle seat), such that I could barely move. The second leg of the trip was a mild improvement. I had to pay a fee for wireless as before, but no meal was served.
United served meals. United let me board first for even a mild disability. United didn't pressure me to check my luggage at the gate because they were fully booked, while letting other passengers who did NOT meet the carry-on requirements get off easily. United also sold meals on the plane.
Next time I'm trying to avoid small carriers,especially for trips of more than two hours, and/or which are not non-stop. I don't know about anyone else's experience, but there was little difference in the price between the two airlines. I'm going to keep that in mind.
I may also start taking my traveling guitar again. One person took theirs on the plane with United, without a case. They actually tried to accommodate them. Maybe they remember what happened when they didn't.
So now I'm home, one hour after touching down, which was fifteen minutes ahead of schedule. More thoughts on savvy traveling later ...