Southwest Airlines (LUV - Get Report) is a stock that Jim Cramer favors. The Dallas-based airline company's first-quarter earnings results  -- which tops expectations -- only fuels his conviction.

"I like what Southwest is doing," Cramer says Thursday. "This is a company that never lost money during the down cycle and Southwest, compared to say United Continental (UAL - Get Report) ," is doing much better.

Southwest Airlines said early Thursday that quarterly profit jumped 13% on cheaper fuel costs. Fuel and oil expenses fell during the quarter, with the average cost of fuel falling to $1.78 a gallon from $2 a year earlier.

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly told CNBC this morning that the company is off to a "fabulous start" to the year.

"The first quarter is oftentimes the worst quarter of the year so we're off to a fabulous start," he said. "This is probably the best start to a year we've had in 20 years."

He attributed the lack of excess fees for customers as well as developing markets that are "maturing very rapidly" as two keys to its success, in the CNBC interview.

"We don't nickel and dime our customers," Kelly said. "That's really struck a chord."

Southwest Airlines is one of the few airlines that does not charge all customers baggage fees. (It will charge customers who want priority access a fee.) Kelly told CNBC the company does not plan to add baggage fees directed at all customers at this time. "It would be bad for customers to make that change," he said.

United Continental shares were tumbling nearly 12% Thursday. The company reported first-quarter earnings that beat estimates after the bell on Wednesday, but its revenue projections for the second quarter apparently spooked investors.

"Southwest says all the right things and is doing much better," Cramer added. "In the end, I think you got to stick with one that's doing much better, that's best of breed. Southwest is doing so much better than literally everybody else."

Southwest Airlines is one of five stocks in the Action Alerts Plus Bullpen.

Shares of Southwest were falling 0.32% to $46.90 at a recent check. The stock is up 9% this year.