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?
Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.
I imagine that when writer Hans Christian Andersen mused, “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale,” he was standing at the edge of Copenhagen’s historic Tivoli Gardens, one of his favorite haunts, enlivened by the swirl of human happiness that surrounded him: children laughing; carousels spinning; games of chance played for prizes; lovers holding hands; hungry people whispering over sweets, hot drinks, beer and towering, open-faced smørrebrød, Denmark’s quintessential sandwich. That fairy tale lives on today at the second-oldest amusement park in the world, a spectacle of folly architecture, bakeries, gardens, rides, restaurants, puppet shows and joy ... and which also happens to be one of the city’s most storied places to convene for business.
The restored Park Hyatt Toronto reopened its doors, bringing luxury, sophistication and glamour alongside a nod to the hotel’s Canadian heritage. Alessandro Munge of Studio Munge collaborated on the hotel’s refresh, drawing inspiration from Canada’s seasons and natural landscapes.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
I recently dined at Irwin’s in Philadelphia. The restaurant is located on the rooftop of the Bok Building, a former school turned collective of small businesses, non-profits, artist workshops, a bar and restaurant. I previously visited Bok for the bar and yoga classes, and I was excited to experience the restaurant.
Cathay Pacific reaffirms its commitment to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 with a pledge to use Sustainable Aviation Fuel for 10 percent of its total fuel consumption by 2030. The airline has made pioneering efforts in supporting SAF development for more than 10 years.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
Arriving early afternoon in Puerto Rico, we jumped in an Uber and took a short, 15-minute drive from the airport to La Concha. As it was Tuesday, the streets were not too busy and the hotel lobby was calm. During the weekend, the scene likely would have been more bustling. We were greeted by a staff member who requested proof of vaccination and government-issued ID, and were given a wristband to indicate we were fully vaccinated. All guests are required to be vaccinated and wear masks at all times while moving around the hotel. Hand sanitizer stations were placed around the lobby, in elevators and in each common area.