The results of Global Traveler's annual reader survey, published in the magazine's January 2006 issue, cover the best products the industry has to offer. The survey reveals readers' picks for the best in business and luxury travel in categories ranging from Best Airport in the World, Best Airline in the World and Best Frequent Flyer Program.
"Global Traveler readers are unparalleled when it comes to their frequency of travel and their broad range of travel products they utilize," said GT Publisher and CEO Francis X. Gallagher. "No magazine's readership is more qualified to vote in these categories. Our readers are eclectic and diverse and travel on more airlines and rack up more hotel nights than any other magazine."
Among the winners, InterContinental Hotels - Priority Club Rewards took top prize for Best Hotel Rewards Program in the World beating out Marriott Rewards who won last year and United Mileage Plus earned Best Frequent Flyer Program for the second year in a row.
"People who fly a lot for business and pleasure rack up an enormous number of points and miles," said Gallagher. "Points for this segment of the population are not a novelty; they're a commodity."
Looking skyward, Thai Airways took Best Trans-Pacific Airline while Asiana earned top kudos for Best In-flight Service and Cabin Staff. Singapore Airlines earned top honors as Best Airline in the World and British Airways beat out Virgin Atlantic as Best Business Class. Emirates Airlines, new to the North American market, took Best First Class away from British Airways, and in the regional category Czech Airlines was named Best Airline in Eastern Europe for the second year in a row.
"As a frequent flyer to Asia, I know that Singapore Airlines and Asiana have top service," said Alexandra Young, Global Traveler vice president. "As business travelers, we want to feel welcome and these carriers understand that."
United Airlines was the big winner in this year's survey taking three major awards as Best Domestic First Class, Best Frequent Flyer Program and Best Premium Economy Class. United Airlines also took Best Business Class Wines and Best White Wine served in the GT annual Wines on the Wing awards earlier this year.
In the airport category, Chicago O'Hare International Airport was named Best Airport in North America for the second year in a row while Changi Airport Singapore climbed ahead of the incumbent Incheon International Airport to be named Best Airport in the World.
"Chicago O'Hare operates like a well-oiled machine," said Richard Evans, Global Traveler VP. "Passengers are transported efficiently. Changi Airport Singapore is a destination in itself with everything a passenger could want."
Readers also gave high marks to Westin Hotels & Resorts, with its attention to detail and much-loved signature "Heavenly Beds," naming it the Best Domestic Hotel Chain for the second year in a row.
Global Traveler Magazine conducted a survey of its readers from February 1, 2005 to August 31, 2005 with open-ended questions for the best in many categories of business and luxury travel. This survey was conducted in the magazine, as an insert to subscriber copies, as a direct mail questionnaire and emailed during the period in question. Only those questionnaires where more than 50% of the questions were completed were counted. Those under 50% were discarded. The 2005 survey contained results generated from 4,839 completed questionnaires under this criteria. Circulated nationally, Global Traveler has an ABC paid circulation of 54,903.
A complete list of winners is as follows (* signifies consecutive year winner):
Best Airline in the World
Singapore Airlines *
Best Airline for Business Class
Best Airline for New Business Class (new)
Best Airline for Domestic First Class (new)
United PS Service
Best Airline for First Class
Best Airline for Premium Economy Class (new)
United Airlines-Economy Plus
Best Airline for Economy Class
Best Low-Cost Carrier
JetBlue Airways *
Best Airline for Onboard Service and Flight Attendants
Asiana Airlines *
Best Airline in Mexico
Best Airline in Central/South America
Varig Brazilian Airlines
Best Airline in Canada
Air Canada *
Best Trans-Atlantic Airline (new)
Best Trans-Pacific Airline
Thai Airways International PCL *
Best Airline in the Nordic Countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway
Scandinavian Airlines *
Best Airline in the South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand
Qantas Airways *
Best Airline in Eastern Europe
Czech Airlines *
Best Airline to Russia, The CIS and Baltic States
Best Airline in Africa
South African Airways *
Best Airline in the Middle East
Best Airport Lounges
United Airlines-Red Carpet
Best Airport in the World
Changi Airport Singapore
Best Airport in North America
Chicago O'Hare International Airport *
Best Frequent Flyer Program
United Mileage Plus *
Best Airline Alliance
Best International Hotel Chain
Park Hyatt *
Best Domestic Hotel Chain
Westin Hotels & Resorts *
Best Hotel in the United States
The Bel-Air, Los Angeles
Best Individual Hotel in Asia (new)
The InterContinental, Hong Kong
Best Individual Hotel in Europe (new)
The Ciragon Palace Kempinski, Istanbul
Best Individual Hotel in Canada (new)
Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City
Best Asian Hotel Chain (new)
Best European Hotel Chain (new)
Best Canadian Hotel Chain (new)
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Best Latin American Hotel Chain
Sheraton Hotels & Resorts *
Best Hotel Rewards Program in the World
InterContinental Hotels Group - Priority Club Rewards
Best Car Rental Company
Best Luggage Brand
Best International Cellular Phone Service
Best Credit Card Rewards Program
American Express Membership Rewards *
Best Technological Gadget
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