Escort quests can take awhile to do. I have thoroughly tested all the escort quests in the game for time/xp. Most are worth doing, but as long as you are able to actually do them without failing. Most require you to pay special attention to the escortee as most are fragile and will die easily, so do your best to keep mobs off of the escortee during escort quests. The longest one in the game is the Tanaris chicken escort. The chicken escorts are only worth doing if you were able to do all 3 of them, as if you do, you will be able to turn in an additional easy quick XP turn in quest at BB, which makes them worth it.
With the Classic beta now out it seems every related article somehow manages to spark the eternal war of "Vanilla was the best WoW sucks now" and "lol nostalgia goggles, Vanilla sucked, enjoy your two weeks of Classic". I have to say, even though I understand the principles behind the battle and the reasons people behave and talk this way... I actually REALLY don't get it on a deeper level.
Each battle that you win will yield experience for each pet that participated. However, deceased companions will not receive any experience (so make an effort to keep them alive by swaping in a different pet). Experience gains are based on your pet's level compared to the wild pet. Defeating a higher level opponent will grant more experience than a much lower level one, but be ready for a tough fight!