IN GLOBAL TRAVELER’S 14TH ANNUAL GT Tested Reader Survey awards, we celebrate those winners deemed the best in travel for the year. Our Quint Status reflects those winners collecting the same GT Tested Reader Survey award in the same category for the fifth consecutive year. In previous years, the Hall of Fame reflected winners collecting the same GT Tested Reader Survey award in the same category for 10 consecutive years. While we don’t have any winners entering the Hall of Fame in 2017, we expect to see the recipients of this year’s Quint Status inducted into the Hall of Fame in the years to come.
Carefully selected by our distinguished readers, the annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards applaud the best of the best in the travel industry, honoring the readers’ favorite airlines, credit cards, destinations, hotels and travel goods and services. GT’s readers are expert travelers, flying in first and business class on domestic and international carriers and staying in 4- and 5-star properties around the world.
This year, four commendable companies reached Quint Status. The elite group has been consistently recognized by our readers for having the highest standards of service, a penchant for achieving excellence in their respective fields and striving toward the future with new innovations.
We’re happy to welcome these new inductees into the winners’ circle. The fantastic four include United MileagePlus (Best Frequent- Flyer Bonus Program), LifeMiles (Best Frequent-Flyer Award Redemption), China Airlines (Best Airline in North Asia) and United MileagePlus Explorer Card from Chase (Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card Redemption).
United MileagePlus won Best Frequent-Flyer Bonus Program for the fifth consecutive year. Partnerships with brands like Hilton, Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and others allow members to earn bonus miles when they book a vacation. Most recently, members could book a stay with Hilton and receive 5,000 bonus miles. The program continues to lead in the industry, offering new incentives and initiatives for its members that help sustain its brand loyalty.
Readers also voted LifeMiles Best Frequent-Flyer Award Redemption for the fifth consecutive year. The unified loyalty program between Avianca and TACA integrates the best practices of two airlines to benefit members. LifeMiles boasts more than 5 million members around the world and has been recognized globally for its redemption ability. In 2014 LifeMiles became the only loyalty program in Latin America to receive a Freddie Award. Members of LifeMiles have access to more than 1,200 cities; 1,000 VIP lounges; and more with the award-winning frequent-flyer program.
China Airlines is the Best Airline in North Asia for the fifth year in a row. The airline’s commitment to constant innovation in airline technology, safety, convenience, comfort and entertainment made it a repeat winner with our readers. The company boasts a fleet of 96 aircraft, including 75 passenger jets, which fly to 143 destinations in 29 countries and districts. From the moment travelers step on board a China Airlines flight, they are welcomed with the finest hospitality and accommodations. “If you have not flown China Airlines’ business class … I suggest you try it,” said Francis. X. Gallagher, publisher and CEO, Global Traveler, speaking of his experience flying with China Airlines from New York (JFK) to Taipei (TPE) this past September.
United MileagePlus Explorer Card from Chase takes home Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card Redemption for its fifth year. Members earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases within three months of opening an account, and two miles for every dollar spent on tickets from United Airlines. Additional benefits include your first checked bag free, priority boarding and no foreign transaction fees. The MileagePlus Explorer Card wins consistently in this category because it makes it easy for members to redeem the miles they’ve earned when booking their next trip.
Congratulations to all of the winners. Who will we welcome into the Quint Status club next year?
Did the new film Oppenheimer rouse your interest in the nefarious world of international espionage? You can go straight to the real-life setting for covert actions this November (Nov. 10–12), when La Fonda on the Plaza in Santa Fe hosts a specially themed “Spies, Lies and Nukes” weekend. The hotel actually served as the retreat location for Manhattan Project scientists, who stayed at La Fonda on the Plaza to take a break from the stress of their work. During the weekend, the property’s La Fiesta Lounge will make a tasty nod to those days by serving up a special Atomic Martini.
Whether it's the people, the craic (fun) or the coasts, travelers always find something to love about the island of Ireland. What fills your heart?
Ever want handcrafted martinis and freshly shucked oysters delivered straight to your room? The Read House’s New Martinis & Pearls service has you covered. Shining in 1920s-themed decor, the historic hotel in the heart of Chattanooga offers a true Gatsby-esque experience, now further elevated with this upscale amenity. Guests can now indulge in their perfectly chilled martini, made to order, and “pearls” (oysters) in the comfort of their room.
If your idea of fun in New York City is to get the adrenaline flowing and your heart racing rather than engage in more relaxed pursuits like shopping, seeing Broadway shows and visiting museums, here are four activities that are anything but low-key:
Experience the life-changing destination of Greece by exploring its island gems in the Ionian Sea. Scattered off the western coastline of Central Greece, to the south of Peloponnese, the Ionian Islands are an island group comprising large and small islands.
There are two Hollywoods: A catch-all name for the American entertainment industry and the physical place where it was born. The latter continues to draw tourists with the original Walk of Fame; historic hotels, movie and live production theaters; and a full spectrum of pop cultural phenomena.
Whether you call secondhand fashion treasure troves “thrift stores,” “fripperies,” “charity shops,” “vintage boutiques” or something else, shifting the paradigm from “old clothes” to “new finds,” you may find the best, most conversation-starting souvenirs inside these shops and neighborhoods located in the world’s most fashionable cities and a few unexpected places.
Are you looking to enhance your business trip with a little leisure? Look no further than Portugal, a country renowned for its captivating blend of history, culture and natural beauty. And with TAP Air Portugal, you can effortlessly transform your business trip into an unforgettable bleisure adventure. Discover why Portugal and TAP Air Portugal are the perfect combination for an enriching and rejuvenating experience.
While the 372-passenger Viking Polaris expedition ship, launched in September 2022, falls midway in size between Viking Cruises’ intimate river cruise ships and large-scale ocean ships, it is operated with the same attention to detail and personalized service.