6. Free entertainment
Free TV. This should warm the hearts of anyone who can still remember pre-cable days (sure, you only got three channels but you didn't spend hours waiting for the cable or dish guy). There's always something to watch on JetBlue and Virgin America seatback screens even if you don't want to pay for the football game, and other airlines like Frontier are adding more TV and movies. The legacy carriers have some catching up to do in economy but there's movement there, too.
Maybe the latter should follow Southwest's lead and start streaming free live TV. The only drawback is Southwest has no screens so if you don't bring your own electronic device you don't get to watch.
7. Roomier seats
Many airlines today make you pay more for a measly extra inch or even aisle and exit rows seats (unless it's getting real close to departure time and they've had no takers). The good news is on some airlines, all seats are a little roomier than the usual and this includes JetBlue and Virgin America. One reason these two always seem to have more of the good stuff is because both are relatively young airlines, with youthful planes.
Check out an airline seat guide before you fly and you might discover you too can be sitting pretty for free.
8. Freedom to fly
Not so long ago, flying was only for the rich. That is no longer true. A great example is the cost of a flight from Baltimore to San Juan, Puerto Rico. This Caribbean jaunt costs less than $280 round-trip today but back in 1965 Pan Am charged a hefty airfare (adjusted to today's dollars) of $906.
See? There is something to smile about.