Part of the problem with low cost carriers is the lack of training in basic customer care and ensuring that a good level is maintained. Airport handlers can also fall into this category as the “wannabe cabin crew” take these jobs but are unable for whatever reason to be cabin crew, sort of second best.
I only have experience of using Flybe as a low cost carrier who I am told are better than EZY and FR, but you do get the feeling that you are treated as though you are going on holiday and this is your once a year flying experience.
VK is right that most people are not prepared to pay for quality but expect it even with the low cost. I think its a circle which just goes around. I suppose that I am lucky to be able to use either LGW or LHR or SOU so have a choice of airline and airport, clearly Tom you are not.
Interesting debate indeed.