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Highest Honors

Published: 02/12/2014 - Filed under: Home » Archive » 2014 » Dec 2014 / Jan 2015 » Special Reports » Home » Features »

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The readers of Business Traveler are world-class experts in the business of business travel.  You understand when you’re on the road, you’re there because your business thrives on travel – and so you constantly stay on the lookout for hottest spots, the coolest trends, the very best ways to make that travel experience more efficient, more productive and, of course, more pleasurable.

That’s the fundamental premise of our Best in Business Travel Awards. We give you, our readers, the opportunity to choose the top providers of those travel products and services that you come to depend on every day. Many of you have seen the rest; now’s your chance to recognize the best.  

As the Best in Business Travel Awards launches into its second quarter-century, the 26th annual incarnation of this stellar event finds new stars shining in the firmament of award winners. This year Business Traveler magazine is proud to announce the first-ever Business Traveler of the Year Awards.  

The winners of these awards are individuals who been nominated because they represent all of you whose travels make this business possible. For more on this year’s winner, see their profiles on page 23.

Readers Voice Their Choice

These Business Travelers of the Year join a constellation of luminaries from across the industry – airlines and airports, hotels and meetings destinations, car rental companies and aircraft manufacturers, and more – who have proven themselves to be the best of the best for business travelers the world over.

Every nominee came from the choices you, our readers, have made – no company was pre-selected, and our staff took no part determining who the winners are.  So this truly is a readers’ choice award, voted by you and presented to honor those companies who have consistently delivered excellence and innovation in the field of business travel.

The 2014 Best in Business Travel Awards recognizes 47 different travel service companies in 62 separate categories. Since 1988, the first year we asked readers to vote for the best in business travel, the industry has undergone tremendous change – in its technology, its service levels, and in the sheer volume of travelers.  

But whatever the changes or the challenges over the past 26 years, there’s no doubt that the select group of companies who receive these coveted awards claim the top spots because readers know quality when they experience it.  

Some of the newcomers to the list this year may be considered disrupters in the travel space; others are longstanding members of the winner’s circle. However, the reality is that anyone who stays at the top of this rapidly evolving industry must be an innovator, constantly ‘disrupting’ even in their own space, while at the same time striving to deliver consistency of service and clarity of mission.

Once again this year, our Best in Business Travel gala awards presentation is held at the luxurious Loews Hollywood Hotel.  This gem of hospitality in the heart of Hollywood, CA, brings contemporary design and a fresh approach to quality service in every aspect, from its welcoming lobby to all of its 632 guestrooms and suites.  The grand celebration dinner and awards presentation on Jan. 8, 2015, honors the best in the industry with a truly memorable occasion in a remarkable setting. 

You’re the Tops

Readers of Business Traveler have made their choices, voting for the best products and services in travel. The picks are based on different regions of the world, different segments of the industry, different classes of service. This year, our awards are broken out into nine divisions: Best Airlines by Region, Best Air Travel Experience, Best Global Hotel Experience, Best Hotel by Region, Best Marketing and Customer Connection, Best Loyalty Programs, Best Connections on the Ground, Best Traveler Tools and Productivity Boosters and the Best in Global Travel.   

Best in Global Travel

The Best in Global Travel are the international rockstars of business travel services providers. These are the global names whom readers have voted as the best in the world in their respective categories – favorite airline, airline alliance, business hotel chain, rental car company and airplane, along with eight other categories that include best-in-class service, lounges and cuisine. 

For the business traveler, everything matters – from the big questions of service levels, route structures, location and convenience, down to the mints on the pillows and the gleam of the shoeshine. Voters selected these award recipients for delivering best-in-class service at all stages of the travel value chain. 

Best Overall Airline In the World  Singapore Airlines 

Best Airline In The World for International Travel Qatar Airways 

Best Airline Alliance Star Alliance 

Best First Class Service In the World Singapore Airlines 

Best Business Class Service In the World Qatar Airways 

Best Premium Economy Class Service In the World Virgin Atlantic  

Best Economy Class Service In the World Singapore Airlines 

Best Airline Cuisine in Business Class Turkish Airlines 

Best Overall Inflight Experience in the World Asiana Airlines 

Best Airport Clubs/Lounges Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse  

Best Business Hotel Chain in the World Hilton Hotels & Resorts 

Best Aircraft Type Boeing 777  

Best Overall Inflight Entertainment in the World Etihad Airways 

Best Airlines by Region

These airlines are dedicated to offering best value and best service in their particular geographic area.  These awards represent six major global regions: South America/Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Also included are the top North American carriers for travel within the continent and internationally, as well as the favorite North American low-cost carrier. 

Best North American Airline for International Travel Air Canada 

Best Airline for North American Travel Virgin America 

Best Low-Cost Airline in North America Southwest Airlines  

Best Airline in South/Latin America Avianca 

Best Airline in Western Europe British Airways 

Best Airline in Africa South African Airways 

Best Airline in Eastern Europe Turkish Airlines 

Best Airline in the Middle East Emirates  

Best Airline in Asia Korean Air 

Best Air Travel Experience

The airlines that offer the best overall air travel experience are represented in this group. From the first contact with airline personnel to arrival at the destination, readers measure the quality of the entire trip from end-to-end. Factors include groundside support, in-flight service, cuisine, amenities, and comfort factors such as seating and space. The group includes the best in business class broken out by regions or routes, plus North American first class travel. 

Best North American Airline for First Class Service Delta Air Lines  

Best North American Airline for Business Class Service Delta Air Lines  

Best North American Airline for Inflight Experience Air Canada 

Best Trans-Atlantic Business Class Virgin Atlantic 

Best Trans-Pacific Business Class Singapore Airlines 

Best Business Class to Latin America/South America LAN Airlines  

Best Business Class to the Middle East Etihad Airways 

Best Business Class to Africa South African Airways 

Best Business Class to Asia Singapore Airlines 

Best Business Class to Australia/New Zealand/South Pacific  Air New Zealand 

Best Global Hotel Experience

Competition is heating up in the hotel business, with new entrants, new brands and new service concepts vying for the loyalty of the all-important business traveler.  While these hotel categories recognize the growing variety in hospitality, what it takes to be a winner in this group goes back to the basics of service, comfort and attention to detail that business travelers demand anywhere in the world they lay their weary heads. 

Hotel Chain with Best Overall Customer Service Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts 

Best Airport Hotel in the World Regal Hong Kong Airport Hotel 

Best Budget Hotel Chain Holiday Inn  

Best Extended Stay Hotel Chain Homewood Suites by Hilton 

Best Luxury Hotel Chain Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts 

Best Boutique Hotel Chain Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants 

Best Hotels by Region

The best hospitality chains for business travelers in five regions – North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America – are honored in this group, plus the best individual property for business travelers in North America. To win in this group takes consistent attention to the needs of business travelers spiced with the special flavor of these global regions.  

Best Business Hotel Chain in North America Marriott  

Best Business Hotel Chain in South/Latin America Starwood Hotels & Resorts 

Best Business Hotel Chain in Europe Hilton Hotels & Resorts 

Best Business Hotel Chain in the Middle East Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts 

Best Business Hotel Chain in Asia Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts 

Best Business Hotel in North America Four Seasons New York 


Best Marketing & Customer Connection

Engaging business travel customers begins long before the actual day of travel, and it sets the tone for the success of the entire journey. In this group, readers selected the companies that add value to their travels with superior technology and a memorable message. Communications that work well are the very first step in elevating the travel experience. 

Best Airline Advertising Campaign Air New Zealand  

Best Airline Website JetBlue 

Best Hotel Website 

Best Overall Customer Service – Airline – Ground/Call Center Asiana Airlines 

Best Loyalty Programs

More than anything else, business travelers look for rewards programs that are easy to use and really enhance the journey. What the winners in this category offer are programs with the most meaningful rewards and the greatest reach.  That’s why our readers have consistently ranked these programs the best in the industry year after year.  

Best Frequent Flyer Program United Mileage Plus 

Best Hotel Loyalty Program Marriott Rewards 

Best Credit Card Rewards Program American Express Membership Rewards 

Best Connections on the Ground

Getting to where you’re going is the ultimate goal of any business travel. Eventually you have to get off the plane, whether it’s to make your connection or make your way to your final destination. So it’s nice to know these award winners – airports, rental car companies, meetings venues – are on the ground, ready to enable the next step on your travels. 

Best Airport in North America Los Angeles International Airport   

Best Airport in the World Singapore Changi Airport 

Airport with Best Duty Free Shopping Incheon International Airport 

Best Car Rental Company in North America National  

Best Car Rental Company in the World Hertz 

Best North America Business Meetings Destination Las Vegas  

Best International Business Meetings Destination Seoul, Korea 


Best Traveler Tools & Productivity Boosters

Business travelers need to take the right tools of the travel trade with them for connectivity and productivity. These award winning products are designed to make travel more productive, and on-the-road downtime more relaxing.   

Best Global Phone/ Data Provider AT&T 

Best Mobile Travel App Uber 

Best Luggage Brand Tumi 

Best Travel Gadget Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 

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