2016 GT Tested Reader Survey awards

by Kimberly Krol

Dec 1, 2016
December 2016

Listen up! Class is in session and grades are in: This year’s class of 2016 GT Tested Reader Survey award winners scored all A’s this semester. This year, 2016, marks the 13th consecutive year (sans the typical middle-school angst) of our reader-voted GT Tested Reader Survey awards and our sixth year celebrating them with an end-of-the-year bash at The Peninsula Beverly Hills.

Our readers took part in the election process by once again voting for their favorites when it comes to airlines, hotels, destinations and travel goods and services around the globe. Let’s line up for recess as we proudly present the honor roll pupils of the 2016 class of GT Tested Reader Survey award winners.

Top of the class this year we have Singapore Airlines, earning its second consecutive nod as Best Overall Airline in the World. Consider the airline among the popular students, as it also won Best Airline for Business Class (third consecutive year). Singapore Airlines’ hub airport, Singapore Changi Airport, found its place at the front of the line in 2016, winning high marks as Best Overall Airport in the World, topping perennial teacher’s pet Incheon Airport.

The writing is on the blackboard: oneworld, Airbus and JetBlue are favorites of our readers, receiving acclaim for multiple years as Best Airline Alliance (seven years), Best Aircraft Type for A380 (two years) and Best Airline Website (three years).

American Airlines, winner of Best Airline for Domestic First Class, and Qatar Airways, Best Airline for International First Class, are new to the school this year. Qatar Airways also won Best First-Class Seat Design and Best Airline in the Middle East in 2016.

© ASIANA AIRLINES

© ASIANA AIRLINES

It’s easy to see Asiana Airlines is (way) above average with its 13th consecutive wins as Best Airline for Onboard Service and Best Airline for Flight Attendants. High marks all around for the South Korean carrier.

China Airlines makes exceptional service look as easy as A-B-C and 1-2-3, so it’s no wonder it racked up the trophies this year, receiving accolades for Best Business-Class Seat Design and Best Airline in North Asia.

Making the grade once again in 2016, Alitalia delights the taste buds of its fellow classmates with its seventh win for Best Airline Cuisine. Also flying high at the top of the class: EL AL Israel Airlines, securing its 10th win as Best Airline for Security. TAP Portugal earns high marks for its new service from Boston (BOS) to Lisbon (LIS), taking highest honors for Best Airline for New Service Launch. Portugal’s flag carrier also won Best Airline in Europe for the sixth consecutive time.

When it comes to our readers’ school of thought, frequent-flyer and hotel loyalty programs are magna cum laude. For 2016 the favorites are United MileagePlus, a 13-time winner for Best Overall Frequent-Flyer Program and four-time titleholder for Best Frequent-Flyer Bonus Program; two-time winner Hawaiian Airlines for its HawaiianMiles Pualani Platinum Membership as Best Frequent-Flyer Elite-Level Program; LifeMiles from Avianca TACA for Best Frequent-Flyer Award Redemption (fourth consecutive win) and Best Frequent-Flyer Customer Service, Americas; 12-time IHG Rewards Club from InterContinental Hotels Group for Best Hotel Rewards Program in the World; Hilton HHonors Diamond for Best Frequent-Stay Elite-Level Program; Omni Select Guest, Best Frequent-Stay Bonus Program; Marriott Rewards for Best Frequent-Stay Award Redemption; and Hyatt Gold Passport, Best Frequent-Stay Customer Service, Americas.

© AEROMEXICO

© AEROMEXICO

Select airlines qualify as the Ivy Leagues of their specific regions. This elite bunch includes Air Canada (Best Airline in North America); LATAM Airlines Group (three-time Best Airline to South America); Aeromexico (Best Airline in Mexico for the seventh consecutive time); Qantas Airways (Best Airline to Australia and New Zealand); Air Tahiti Nui (Best Airline in the South Pacific); Aeroflot (two-time Best Airline in Eastern Europe); South African Airways (Best Airline in Africa for the 13th time); Air India (three-time Best Airline in Central/South Asia & India); All Nippon Airways (Best Airline to Japan); and Hainan Airlines (Best Airline in China five years running). Hainan’s accolades continue with the Fastest-Growing Airline in Asia title.

Two airlines make the grade when it comes to crossing the oceans: Lufthansa wins Best Trans-Atlantic Airline, and United Airlines, for the third consecutive year, is Best Trans-Pacific Airline.

By a large show of hands readers voted Chicago O’Hare International Airport the Best Airport in North America for the 13th year in a row. When it comes to lunchtime, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport rules as Best Airport Dining. For recess and other kicking-back activities, Delta Sky Club reigns supreme as Best Airport Lounges. When it comes to style in the school yard with friends, you can’t go wrong with selected winners Dubai Duty Free (Best Duty-Free Shops for 10 consecutive years) and EVA Air (Best Airport Staff/Gate Agents for two straight years).

© JUMEIRAH HOTELS

© JUMEIRAH HOTELS

Looking to hospitality, the following winners could school us all in the art of service. The valedictorian would be Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Best Individual Hotel in the World with seven gold stars after its name. The Ritz-Carlton certainly passes with flying colors, as our readers bestowed four titles on the company this year: Best International Hotel Chain, Best Domestic Hotel Chain, Best Hotel Club Floor and Best Hotel Website. Domestically, The Peninsula Beverly Hills meets all the requirements of its discerning schoolmates, once again voted Best Hotel in the United States for the sixth time.

These hotels don’t need to hit the books too hard to earn straight A’s: Andaz (seven-time Best Lifestyle Hotel winner); Grand Hyatt Incheon (Best Airport Hotel); and Lotte Hotel, Seoul (Best MICE Hotel for the second consecutive year). Lotte Hotel, Seoul also won Best Hotel in South Korea for the fifth straight year.

We’re almost positive our readers’ thinking caps were on when they named their worldwide hotel favorites, as these winners are certainly among the best in class. St. Regis was named Best European Hotel Chain, while Conrad Hotels was tops for Best Hotel Chain in Asia. The Four Seasons Seoul is No. 1 for Best New Luxury Hotel in Asia. Marking its 13th consecutive win is Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Best Hotel Chain in Latin America. Fiesta Americana remains a favorite, earning a nod as Best Hotel Chain in Mexico for the sixth time. Jumeirah International regained its top spot as Best Hotel Chain in the Middle East.

Much like your elementary and high school coursework, the GT Tested Reader Survey awards cover a lot of ground. We don’t just pick the champions in airlines and hotels; our readers fill in the blanks for those travel providers acing the test as well. The lucky bunch includes Volvo (Best Overseas Delivery Program), Verizon Wireless (Best Wireless Service in the World) and Tamron (Best Photographic Equipment). The winning roll call also lists three-time winner Hertz, Best Rental Car Company; five-time winner Ireland, Best Tourism Destination; two-time winner Seoul, Best MICE City; Briggs & Riley, Best Luggage Brand for the seventh consecutive year; Boingo Wireless, Best WiFi Service for the sixth consecutive year; and Sony, Best Noise-Canceling Headset for the third straight year.

Credit card reward programs can be the building blocks of any great trip. Here’s a show and tell of our readers’ favorites in affinity programs. Crack open a book and take some notes so you can start earning in 2017 with United MileagePlus Club Card from Chase, named Best Credit Card and Best Credit Card Rewards Program five years running. Also a five-time favorite: Marriott Rewards Visa Signature Card from Chase, Best Frequent-Stay Affinity Credit Card. Our readers’ multiple choices included The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card from JPMorgan as Best Frequent-Stay Affinity Credit Card Redemptions and Best Small-Business Credit Card. Chase rounded out its 2016 accolades with a win for Best Credit Card Special Events for Inside Access from Chase, and for Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card Redemptions for United MileagePlus Explorer Card from Chase for the fourth consecutive year.

Lining up in single file are the remainder of this year’s esteemed honorees: Hilton HHonors Card from American Express (Best Frequent-Stay Affinity Credit Card Promotions, Best Frequent-Stay Affinity Credit Card Benefits); Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card from Bank of America (five-time Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card); Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard (Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card Promotions for the third straight year); Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express (Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card Benefits for the second consecutive year); and Celebrity Cruises Visa Signature (Best Cruise Line Affinity Credit Card, also for the second straight year).

Each of 2016’s winners boasts a report card full of stellar grades and earns a gold star for its commitment to service and to the travel industry. We tip our hats to the winners and pull out our marble notebooks and No. 2 pencils to start voting for our 2017 favorites. Cheers!

THE VOTING PROCESS

Open-ended ballots ran in subscriber copies of Global Traveler and online at globaltravelerusa.com/survey from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31, 2016. Ballots were distributed via direct mail and email during the same period. Ballots returned with less than 50 percent of the fields completed were disqualified. More than 22,000 qualified ballots were returned during the voting period. Employees of FX Express Publications, Inc. and affiliated members of the travel industry were not allowed to participate.

BEST OVERALL AIRLINE IN THE WORLD
1. Singapore Airlines
2. United Airlines
3. Asiana Airlines
4. British Airways
5. Emirates
6. Delta Air Lines
7. Etihad Airways
8. Swiss International Air Lines
9. Lufthansa
10. Qatar Airways

BEST AIRLINE ALLIANCE
1. oneworld
2. Star Alliance
3. SkyTeam
4. Etihad Airways/airberlin/Aer Lingus/Air Seychelles
5. Emirates/Qantas Airways

BEST AIRCRAFT TYPE
1. Airbus A380
2. Airbus A350
3. Boeing 777
4. Boeing 787
5. Boeing 747
6. Boeing 737
7. Airbus A340
8. Boeing 767
9. Airbus A330

BEST AIRLINE WEBSITE
1. jetblue.com
2. delta.com
3. united.com
4. aa.com
5. southwest.com
6. britishairways.com
7. lufthansa.com
8. aircanada.com
9. alaskaair.com
10. airfrance.us

BEST AIRLINE FOR BUSINESS CLASS
1. Singapore Airlines
2. Qatar Airways
3. United Airlines
4. Delta Air Lines
5. Etihad Airways
6. Emirates
7. Asiana Airlines
8. British Airways
9. Lufthansa
10. Air Canada

BEST AIRLINE FOR INTERNATIONAL FIRST CLASS
1. Qatar Airways
2. Etihad Airways
3. Emirates
4. Asiana Airlines
5. Swiss International Air Lines
6. Singapore Airlines
7. Qantas Airways
8. Lufthansa
9. Cathay Pacific Airways
10. Korean Air

BEST AIRLINE FOR DOMESTIC FIRST CLASS
1. American Airlines
2. United Airlines
3. Alaska Airlines/Virgin America
4. Delta Air Lines

BEST AIRLINE FOR ONBOARD SERVICE
1. Asiana Airlines
2. South African Airways
3. Qatar Airways
4. Singapore Airlines
5. Etihad Airways
6. LATAM Airlines Group
7. Swiss International Air Lines
8. Air Canada
9. Emirates

BEST AIRLINE FOR FLIGHT ATTENDANTS
1. Asiana Airlines
2. Qatar Airways
3. Emirates
4. Singapore Airlines
5. airberlin
6. Etihad Airways
7. Cathay Pacific Airways
8. LATAM Airlines Group
9. Air Canada
10. South African Airways

© ALITALIA

© ALITALIA

BEST AIRLINE CUISINE
1. Alitalia
2. Qatar Airways
3. Singapore Airlines
4. Air France
5. TAP Portugal
6. Lufthansa
7. Air New Zealand
8. Brussels Airlines
9. Etihad Airways
10. Asiana Airlines

BEST AIRLINE FOR SECURITY
1. EL AL Israel Airlines
2. Swiss International Air Lines
3. Lufthansa
4. British Airways
5. United Airlines
6. Austrian Airlines

BEST FIRST-CLASS SEAT DESIGN
1. Qatar Airways
2. Lufthansa
3. Emirates
4. Asiana Airlines
5. Singapore Airlines
6. Etihad Airways
7. British Airways
8. Qantas Airways
9. Swiss International Air Lines
10. Air France

BEST BUSINESS-CLASS SEAT DESIGN
1. China Airlines
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Asiana Airlines
4. Etihad Airways
5. Delta Air Lines
6. Virgin Atlantic Airways
7. airberlin
8. Qantas Airways
9. Swiss International Air Lines
10. Aer Lingus

BEST AIRLINE FOR NEW SERVICE LAUNCH
1. TAP Portugal (BOS to LIS)
2. Hainan Airlines (SJC to PEK)
3. Qatar Airways (LAX to DOH)
4. Air France (JFK to ORY)
5. Norwegian Airlines (OAK to LGW)
6. Hawaiian Airlines (HNL to NRT)
7. Southwest Airlines (LAX to LIR)
8. United Airlines (EWR to BRU)
9. Fiji Airways (SFO to NAN)
10. Air Serbia (JFK to BEG)

FASTEST-GROWING AIRLINE IN ASIA
1. Hainan Airlines
2. Air China
3. Xiamen Air
4. China Southern Airlines
5. China Eastern Airlines

BEST OVERALL FREQUENT-FLYER PROGRAM
1. United MileagePlus
2. American Airlines AAdvantage
3. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
4. Delta SkyMiles
5. JetBlue TrueBlue
6. Southwest Rapid Rewards
7. Lufthansa Miles & More
8. British Airways Executive Club
9. Air France Flying Blue

BEST FREQUENT-FLYER ELITE-LEVEL PROGRAM
1. Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles Pualani Platinum
2. American Airlines AAdvantage Executive Platinum
3. United MileagePlus Premier Executive 1K
4. Delta Air Lines SkyMiles Diamond Medallion
5. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan MVP Gold
6. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards A-List Preferred
7. Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns Summit Level
8. JetBlue TrueBlue

BEST FREQUENT-FLYER BONUS PROGRAM
1. United MileagePlus
2. American Airlines AAdvantage
3. LifeMiles (Avianca TACA)
4. Delta SkyMiles
5. Air Canada Aeroplan
6. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
7. Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
8. Virgin America Elevate
9. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
10. LATAM Pass

BEST FREQUENT-FLYER AWARD REDEMPTION
1. LifeMiles (Avianca TACA)
2. United MileagePlus
3. Delta Air Lines SkyMiles
4. LATAM Pass
5. American Airlines AAdvantage
6. Air Canada Aeroplan
7. Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
8. Southwest Airlines Rapid Returns
9. Virgin America Elevate

BEST FREQUENT-FLYER CUSTOMER SERVICE, AMERICAS
1. Avianca
2. Delta SkyMiles
3. American Airlines AAdvantage
4. United MileagePlus
5. Air Canada Aeroplan
6. LATAM Pass
7. Virgin America Elevate
8. Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles

BEST AIRLINE IN NORTH AMERICA
1. Air Canada
2. Alaska Airlines/Virgin America
3. United Airlines
4. American Airlines
5. Delta Air Lines
6. JetBlue
7. Frontier Airlines
8. Porter Airlines
9. Southwest Airlines

BEST AIRLINE TO SOUTH AMERICA
1. LATAM Airlines Group
2. Aerolineas Argentinas
3. Avianca

BEST AIRLINE IN MEXICO
1. Aeromexico
2. Volaris
3. VivaAerobus
4. Interjet

BEST AIRLINE TO AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
1. Qantas Airways
2. Air New Zealand
3. Fiji Airways
4. Air Tahiti Nui
5. Virgin Australia

BEST AIRLINE IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC
1. Air Tahiti Nui
2. Fiji Airways
3. Qantas Airways
4. Virgin Australia
5. Air New Zealand

© TAP PORTUGAL

© TAP PORTUGAL

BEST AIRLINE IN EUROPE
1. TAP Portugal
2. Aer Lingus
3. airberlin
4. Alitalia
5. British Airways
6. Virgin Atlantic Airways
7. Lufthansa
8. Austrian Airlines
9. Swiss International Air Lines
10. Brussels Airlines

BEST AIRLINE IN EASTERN EUROPE
1. Aeroflot
2. LOT Polish Airlines
3. Transaero
4. S7 Airlines
5. Tarom Romanian Airlines
6. Adria Airways
7. Croatia Airlines
8. Wizzair

BEST AIRLINE IN AFRICA
1. South African Airways
2. Royal Air Maroc
3. Air Seychelles
4. Kenya Airways
5. Air Mauritius
6. Mango
7. Kulula
8. TAAG Angola Airlines
9. Air Austral
10. Ethiopian Airlines

BEST AIRLINE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
1. Qatar Airways
2. Emirates
3. Etihad Airways
4. Saudi Arabian Airlines
5. EL AL Israel Airlines
6. Royal Jordanian
7. Middle East Airlines
8. Gulf Air
9. Royal Air Maroc
10. Egyptair

BEST AIRLINE IN NORTH ASIA (EXCLUDING CHINA)
1. China Airlines
2. EVA Air
3. Korean Air
4. All Nippon Airways
5. Cathay Pacific Airways
6. Japan Airlines
7. Dragonair
8. Asiana Airlines

BEST AIRLINE IN CHINA
1. Hainan Airlines
2. China Eastern Airlines
3. Air China
4. China Southern Airlines
5. Shenzhen Airlines
6. Juneyao Airlines
7. Shandong Airlines
8. Spring Airlines
9. Sichuan Airlines
10. Tianjin Airlines

BEST AIRLINE IN CENTRAL/ SOUTH ASIA & INDIA
1. Air India
2. Jet Airways
3. Indigo
4. SriLankan Airlines
5. SpiceJet
6. Mihin Lanka
7. Air Astana
8. Biman Bangladesh Airlines
9. PIA

BEST AIRLINE TO JAPAN
1. All Nippon Airways
2. Japan Airlines
3. United Airlines
4. American Airlines
5. Delta Air Lines

BEST TRANS-ATLANTIC AIRLINE
1. Lufthansa
2. TAP Portugal
3. British Airways
4. United Airlines
5. airberlin
6. Austrian Airlines
7. Brussels Airlines
8. Swiss International Air Lines
9. Delta Air Lines
10. Air France

BEST TRANS-PACIFIC AIRLINE
1. United Airlines
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Asiana Airlines
4. All Nippon Airways
5. China Airlines
6. Japan Airlines
7. China Southern Airlines
8. Air China
9. Korean Air

© SINGAPORE CHANGI AIRPORT

© SINGAPORE CHANGI AIRPORT

BEST OVERALL AIRPORT IN THE WORLD
1. Singapore Changi Airport
2. Munich Airport
3. Incheon Airport
4. Hamad International Airport, Doha
5. Hong Kong International Airport
6. Amsterdam International Airport Schiphol
7. Frankfurt am Main Airport
8. Shanghai International Airport
9. Beijing Capital International Airport
10. Tokyo International Airport/Haneda Airport

BEST AIRPORT IN NORTH AMERICA
1. Chicago O’Hare International Airport
2. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
3. George Bush Intercontinental Airport Houston
4. San Francisco International Airport
5. Pittsburgh International Airport
6. Newark Liberty International Airport
7. Portland International Airport
8. Denver International Airport
9. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
10. Miami International Airport

BEST AIRPORT LOUNGES
1. Delta Sky Club
2. American Airlines Ambassadors Club
3. Etihad Airways
4. United Airlines United Club
5. Asiana Airlines
6. Lufthansa First Class Lounges
7. Emirates
8. Virgin Atlantic Airways Clubhouse
9. South African Airways Cycad Lounge
10. British Airways Executive Club

BEST AIRPORT STAFF/GATE AGENTS
1. EVA Air
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Delta Air Lines
4. Turkish Airlines
5. Qatar Airways
6. Lufthansa
7. Emirates
8. United Airlines
9. Asiana Airlines
10. Etihad Airways

BEST AIRPORT DINING
1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
2. Singapore Changi Airport
3. Hong Kong International Airport
4. Vienna Airport
5. Amsterdam International Airport Schiphol
6. London Heathrow Airport
7. Brussels Airport
8. Los Angeles International Airport
9. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
10. Frankfurt am Main Airport

BEST DUTY-FREE SHOPS
1. Dubai Duty Free
2. Incheon Airport
3. Hong Kong International Airport
4. Amsterdam International Airport Schiphol
5. Hamad International Airport, Doha
6. Singapore Changi Airport
7. Abu Dhabi International Airport
8. Frankfurt am Main Airport
9. Vancouver International Airport
10. London Heathrow Airport

BEST INDIVIDUAL HOTEL IN THE WORLD
1. Burj Al Arab Jumeirah
2. The St. Regis Bora Bora
3. Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
4. Hotel de Crillon, Paris
5. Wentworth Mansion, Charleston, S.C.
6. The Langham, Chicago
7. The Corinthia Hotel London
8. The Peninsula Beverly Hills
9. Montage Laguna Beach
10. Grand Hyatt Hong Kong

BEST INTERNATIONAL HOTEL CHAIN
1. The Ritz-Carlton
2. Westin Hotels & Resorts
3. Waldorf Astoria
4. InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
5. Hilton Hotels & Resorts
6. Marriott Hotels
7. Conrad Hotels & Resorts
8. Four Seasons
9. Park Hyatt
10. The Peninsula Hotels

BEST DOMESTIC HOTEL CHAIN
1. The Ritz-Carlton
2. Westin Hotels & Resorts
3. Hilton Hotels Corp.
4. InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
5. Park Hyatt
6. Marriott Hotels
7. Four Seasons
8. Sheraton Hotels & Resorts
9. W Hotels
10. Waldorf Astoria

© ANDAZ

© ANDAZ

BEST LIFESTYLE HOTEL
1. Andaz
2. Aloft Hotels
3. W Hotels
4. Vida Hotels
5. Element Hotels
6. Kimpton Hotels
7. Affinia Hotels
8. Hotel Indigo
9. Moxy

BEST AIRPORT HOTEL
1. Grand Hyatt Incheon
2. Langham Place, Beijing Airport
3. Regal Airport Hotel, Hong Kong
4. Sofitel London Heathrow
5. Oryx Rotana Doha
6. Kempinski Hotel Airport Munich
7. Crowne Plaza Changi Airport
8. Grand Hyatt DFW
9. Pan Pacific Kuala Lumpur Airport
10. Novotel Suvarnabhumi Bangkok

BEST MICE HOTEL
1. Lotte Hotel, Seoul
2. Regal Airport Hotel, Hong Kong
3. Hyatt Regency Incheon
4. Grand Hyatt Hong Kong
5. China World Hotel, Beijing
6. Hilton Shanghai Hongqiao
7. Grosvenor House, London
8. Kempinski Hotel Wuxi
9. The Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco
10. The Gleneagles

BEST HOTEL CLUB FLOOR
1. The Ritz-Carlton Club Level
2. JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts
3. Grand Hyatt Grand Club
4. The Peninsula Hotels
5. Sheraton Hotels & Resorts
6. Hilton Hotels
7. Marriott Hotels & Resorts
8. Westin Hotels & Resorts
9. Renaissance Hotels

BEST HOTEL WEBSITE
1. ritzcarlton.com
2. marriott.com
3. loews.com
4. intercontinental.com
5. hilton.com
6. peninsula.com
7. starwood.com
8. fairmont.com
9. hyatt.com

© FOUR SEASONS SEOUL

© FOUR SEASONS SEOUL

BEST NEW LUXURY HOTEL IN ASIA
1. Four Seasons Seoul
2. Alila Seminyak, Bali
3. The St. Regis Langkawi, Malaysia
4. The Reverie, Ho Chi Minh City
5. Sunrise Kempinski Hotel, Beijing
6. Aman Tokyo
7. Katamama, Bali
8. Klapsons The River Residences Bangkok
9. Raffles Jakarta

BEST HOTEL REWARDS PROGRAM IN THE WORLD
1. IHG Rewards Club
2. Starwood Preferred Guest
3. Marriott Rewards
4. Hilton HHonors
5. Hyatt Gold Passport
6. Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts Golden Circle
7. Loews Hotel YouFirst
8. Leading Hotels of the World Leaders Club
9. Fairmont President’s Club
10. Omni Select Guest

BEST FREQUENT-STAY ELITE-LEVEL PROGRAM
1. Hilton HHonors Diamond
2. Starwood Preferred Guest Platinum Preferred
3. Marriott Rewards Platinum Elite
4. Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum
5. IHG Rewards Club Platinum Elite
6. Wyndham Rewards ByRequest
7. Fairmont President’s Club Platinum
8. Sol Meliá MAS Rewards
9. Omni Select Guest

BEST FREQUENT-STAY BONUS PROGRAM
1. Omni Select Guest
2. Hilton HHonors
3. IHG Rewards Club
4. Hyatt Gold Passport
5. Marriott Rewards
6. Starwood Preferred Guest
7. Wyndham Rewards
8. Club Carlson
9. Choice Privileges
10. Fairmont President’s Club

BEST FREQUENT-STAY AWARD REDEMPTION
1. Marriott Rewards
2. Hilton HHonors
3. IHG Rewards Club
4. Starwood Preferred Guest
5. Hyatt Gold Passport
6. Club Carlson
7. Choice Privileges
8. Wyndham Rewards
9. Omni Select Guest
10. Fairmont President’s Club

BEST FREQUENT-STAY CUSTOMER SERVICE, AMERICAS
1. Hyatt Gold Passport
2. Marriott Rewards
3. The Ritz-Carlton Rewards
4. IHG Rewards Club
5. Choice Privileges
6. Starwood Preferred Guest
7. Hilton HHonors
8. Club Carlson
9. Omni Select Guest
10. Fairmont President’s Club

BEST HOTEL IN THE UNITED STATES
1. The Peninsula Beverly Hills
2. The Langham, Chicago
3. The Peninsula Chicago
4. Montage Beverly Hills
5. The Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown
6. The Mandarin Oriental, New York
7. Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dallas
8. Four Seasons New York
9. The Waldorf Astoria Chicago
10. Park Hyatt New York

BEST EUROPEAN HOTEL CHAIN
1. St. Regis
2. The Ritz-Carlton
3. W Hotels
4. The Luxury Collection
5. Westin Hotels & Resorts
6. InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
7. Marriott Hotels
8. Kempinski Hotels
9. Hilton Hotels & Resorts
10. Conrad Hotels & Resorts

BEST HOTEL CHAIN IN ASIA
1. Conrad Hotels
2. Grand Hyatt
3. The Peninsula Hotels
4. Park Hyatt
5. Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
6. Oberoi Hotels & Resorts
7. Four Seasons
8. InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
9. Mandarin Oriental
10. Taj Hotels, Resorts & Palaces

BEST HOTEL IN SOUTH KOREA
1. Lotte Hotel, Seoul
2. Park Hyatt Seoul
3. The Plaza Seoul
4. The Shilla, Seoul
5. Grand Hyatt Seoul
6. W Hotel Seoul Walkerhill
7. InterContinental Seoul
8. The Ritz-Carlton Seoul
9. JW Marriot Hotel Seoul
10. Four Seasons Seoul

BEST HOTEL CHAIN IN LATIN AMERICA
1. Sheraton Hotels & Resorts
2. Meliá Hotels
3. Fiesta Americana Hotels & Resorts
4. Westin Hotels & Resorts
5. Four Seasons
6. InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
7. The Luxury Collection
8. Grand Hyatt
9. The Ritz-Carlton
10. Caesar Park Hotels

© FIESTA AMERICANA HOTELS & RESORTS

© FIESTA AMERICANA HOTELS & RESORTS

BEST HOTEL CHAIN IN MEXICO
1. Fiesta Americana Hotels & Resorts
2. InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
3. Sheraton Hotels
4. Westin Hotels
5. W Hotels

BEST HOTEL CHAIN IN THE MIDDLE EAST
1. Jumeirah International
2. The Ritz-Carlton
3. Marriott International
4. InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
5. The Address Hotels + Resorts
6. Four Seasons
7. Kempinski Hotels
8. W Hotels
9. Raffles Hotels
10. Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

BEST OVERSEAS DELIVERY PROGRAM
1. Volvo
2. Mercedes
3. BMW
4. Porsche
5. Audi

Hertz

© LEUNG CHO PAN | DREAMSTIME.COM

BEST CAR RENTAL COMPANY
1. Hertz
2. National Car Rental
3. Avis
4. Budget
5. Enterprise
6. Alamo
7. Sixt

BEST TOURISM DESTINATION
1. Ireland
2. Spain
3. Germany
4. South Africa
5. United Kingdom
6. Australia
7. Israel
8. Hong Kong
9. Brazil
10. India

BEST MICE CITY
1. Seoul
2. Madrid
3. Dubai
4. Singapore
5. Hong Kong
6. Abu Dhabi
7. London
8. Sydney
9. San Francisco
10. Paris

BEST WIFI SERVICE
1. Boingo Wireless
2. AT&T Wireless
3. Verizon Wireless
4. iPass
5. LodgeNet

BEST WIRELESS SERVICE IN THE WORLD
1. Verizon Wireless
2. AT&T Wireless
3. Sprint
4. U.S. Cellular
5. T-Mobile
6. MetroPCS
7. Cricket Wireless
8. Boost Mobile

BEST NOISE-CANCELING HEADSET
1. Sony Digital Noise-Canceling Headphones
2. Sennheiser Urbanite XL
3. Bose QuietComfort
4. Studio Beats Pro
5. JVC
6. Audio-Technica

© BRIGGS & RILEY

© BRIGGS & RILEY

BEST LUGGAGE BRAND
1. Briggs & Riley
2. Hartmann
3. Louis Vuitton
4. Samsonite
5. Delsey
6. Victorinox
7. Swiss Army
8. Rimowa
9. Travelpro
10. Tumi

BEST PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT
1. Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Lens
2. Nikon D750
3. Fuji X-E2
4. Sony A7R II
5. Zeiss FE 16-35mm F4 (Lens)
6. Sony FE 70-200mm F4 (Lens)
7. GoPro Hero4 Black
8. Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens
9. Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA SSM Vario-Sonnar T* Lens
10. Tamron 17-50mmf/2.8 XR Di II Lens

BEST CREDIT CARD
1. United MileagePlus Club Card from Chase
2. American Express Platinum Card
3. Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express
4. Plum Card from American Express Open
5. American Express Blue Card
6. Chase Ink Card
7. United MileagePlus Explorer Card from Chase
8. American Airlines WorldElite MasterCard
9. Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card from Bank of America
10. Escape Card from Discover

BEST SMALL-BUSINESS CREDIT CARD
1. The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card from JPMorgan
2. Chase Ink Cash Business Credit Card
3. American Express Business Platinum Card from Open
4. Capital One Spark Miles for Business
5. Chase Ink Plus Business Credit Card
6. Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business Credit Card from American Express
7. Business Card from Discover
8. Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card from American Express

BEST CREDIT CARD SPECIAL EVENTS
1. Inside Access from Chase
2. Chase Sapphire
3. Citi Private Pass

BEST CREDIT CARD REWARDS PROGRAM
1. United MileagePlus Club Card from Chase
2. Marriott Rewards Visa Signature Card from Chase
3. Membership Rewards Program from American Express
4. Capital One Venture Rewards
5. Delta SkyMiles by American Express
6. United Mileage Plus Visa from Chase
7. Chase Sapphire
8. Miles by Discover
9. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
10. The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card from Chase

BEST FREQUENT-STAY AFFINITY CREDIT CARD
1. Marriott Rewards Visa Signature Card from Chase
2. The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card from JPMorgan
3. CitiBank Hilton HHonors Reserve Card
4. Choice Privileges Visa Signature|
5. Hyatt Gold Passport Card
6. Hilton HHonors American Express
7. US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Card
8. IHG Rewards Club Select Visa

BEST FREQUENT-STAY AFFINITY CREDIT CARD PROMOTIONS
1. Hilton HHonors Card from American Express
2. Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express
3. IHG Rewards Club Select Visa
4. The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card from JPMorgan
5. Marriott Rewards Visa Signature Card from Chase
6. Hyatt Gold Passport Credit Card
7. Choice Privileges Visa Signature

BEST FREQUENT-STAY AFFINITY CREDIT CARD BENEFITS
1. Hilton HHonors Card from American Express
2. Marriott Rewards Visa Signature Card from Chase
3. IHG Rewards Club Select Visa
4. Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express
5. Hyatt Gold Passport Credit Card
6. Choice Privileges Visa Signature

BEST FREQUENT-STAY AFFINITY CREDIT CARD REDEMPTIONS
1. The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card from JPMorgan
2. IHG Rewards Club Select Visa
3. Marriott Rewards Visa Signature Card from Chase
4. Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express
5. Hyatt Gold Passport Card
6. Choice Privileges Visa Signature
7. Hilton HHonors American Express

BEST FREQUENT-FLYER AFFINITY CREDIT CARD
1. Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card from Bank of America
2. Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard
3. Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express
4. United MileagePlus Club Card from Chase
5. British Airways Visa Signature Card
6. United MileagePlus Explorer Card from Chase
7. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Card
8. JetBlue American Express Card
9. Lufthansa Miles & More Card

BEST FREQUENT-FLYER AFFINITY CREDIT CARD PROMOTIONS
1. Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard
2. Delta SkyMiles by American Express
3. Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card from Bank of America
4. United MileagePlus Explorer Card from Chase
5. British Airways Visa Signature Card
6. United MileagePlus Club Card from Chase
7. JetBlue American Express Card
8. Lufthansa Miles & More Card
9. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Card

BEST FREQUENT-FLYER AFFINITY CREDIT CARD BENEFITS
1. Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express
2. Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard
3. Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card from Bank of America
4. United MileagePlus Explorer Card from Chase
5. Aeromexico Club Premier La Tarjeta from American Express
6. British Airways Visa Signature Card
7. United MileagePlus Club Card from Chase
8. Lufthansa Miles & More Card
9. JetBlue American Express Card
10. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Card

BEST FREQUENT-FLYER AFFINITY CREDIT CARD REDEMPTIONS
1. United MileagePlus Explorer Card from Chase
2. Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card from Bank of America
3. Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard
4. United MileagePlus Club Card from Chase
5. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Card
6. British Airways Visa Signature Card
7. JetBlue American Express Card
8. Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

BEST CRUISE LINE AFFINITY CREDIT CARD
1. Celebrity Cruises Visa Signature Credit Card
2. Royal Caribbean Visa Credit Card from Bank of America
3. Norwegian Cruise Line MasterCard from Bank of America
4. Princess Cruises Visa Signature Card

Wines on the Wing 2016

© CHRISTOPHER P. OTTAUNICK

WINES ON THE WING 2016

The results of Global Traveler’s annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Competition were first released in our August 2016 issue. A number of airlines submitted samples of their in-flight wine and sparkling wine selections. Twenty-six professional wine experts presided as judges over the annual competition. Singapore Airlines’ wines are grade A, with the airline awarded a number of accolades: Best International Business Class Wines on the Wing, Best International First Class Wines on the Wing and Best Champagne International Business Class. British Airways and Singapore Airlines tied for Best Champagne International First Class. Other winners included Emirates (Best White Wine International First Class); American Airlines (Best Red Wine International First Class and Best Red Wine International Business Class); and TAP Portugal (Best White Wine International Business Class). In the North American category, American Airlines is the undisputed best of class, sweeping all four categories (Best North American Wines on the Wing, Best North American Sparkling, Best North American White Wine and Best North American Red Wine). For Best Alliance Wines on the Wing, Star Alliance tops the list.

Best International First Class Wines on the Wing
Singapore Airlines

Best Champagne International First Class
British Airways (tie)
Singapore Airlines

Best White Wine International First Class
Emirates

Best Red Wine International First Class
American Airlines

Best International Business Class Wines on the Wing
Singapore Airlines

Best Champagne International Business Class
Singapore Airlines

Best White Wine International Business Class
TAP Portugal

Best Red Wine International Business Class
American Airlines

Best Alliance Wines on the Wing
Star Alliance

Best North American Wines on the Wing
American Airlines

Best North American Sparkling Wine
American Airlines

Best North American White Wine
American Airlines

Best North American Red Wine
American Airlines

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Daily
Sep 20, 2019

Catch Autumn at the Arboretum in Dallas

Attend one of the most acclaimed fall events, Autumn at the Arboretum, in Dallas. In its 14th year, the annual event is known as one of the best pumpkin festivals in the country, with its creative displays featuring more than 90,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash. The event takes place at Dallas Arboretum, Sept. 21 –Oct. 31. Alongside thousands of pumpkins, guests glimpse 150,000 autumn flowers across the 66-acre space.

The Island of the Knights

Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.

Feature
Sep 19, 2019

Wilderness Safaris Reopens Jao Camp

Following a complete renovation, Wilderness Safaris’ Jao Camp reopened in Botswana’s Okavango Delta.

News
Sep 19, 2019

Best U.S. Cities for Oktoberfest Celebrations

WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across 24 key metrics to determine the best destinations for an upcoming Oktoberfest celebration. The brand’s study found the estimated cost for an American to attend Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, is $5,000. Munich boasts a $1.43 billion annual economic impact on Munich. During Oktoberfest, nearly 2 million gallons of beer are consumed and more than 510,000 whole roast chickens eaten.

To New Heights

United Airlines announces a number of new routes.

Feature
Sep 19, 2019

Qantas Will Start Using a Dreamliner on Santiago–Sydney Route

Qantas will start using a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on its Sydney–Santiago route starting in late June 2020.

eFlyer News
Sep 18, 2019

New Luxury Hotel Set to Open in China

A new hotel is slated to open in the capital of China’s Guangxi Province.

TAP Air Portugal Adds 15 Flights Each Week From U.S., Canada

TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020,  a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.

eFlyer News
Sep 18, 2019

LOT Polish Airlines Adds New Route to Delhi

LOT Polish Airlines is offering travellers more options for travel between Asia and Europe.