Global Traveler Announces 15th Annual GT Tested Reader Survey Awards

By - December 1, 2018

The results are in! For the 15th consecutive year, Global Traveler conducted its GT Tested Reader Survey, asking frequent business and luxury travelers to name the best in a variety of travel-related categories. More than 22,000 people responded. Global Traveler’s inaugural awards were celebrated in 2004.

The survey honors airlines, hotels, loyalty programs and travel-related products in more than 80 categories. GT’s distinguished readers vote for their favorites in the world of travel in an open-ended survey running in the magazine and online from January to August each year. The results of the survey are announced in the December 2018 issue, available now.

GT readers are frequent premium travelers averaging 9 international and 11 domestic round-trip flights a year, with an average household income of $312,000 per year. Global Traveler’s elite readers spend an average 60 nights per year in hotels, mostly 4- and 5-star properties. A whopping 72 percent regularly travel in first and business class.

“It’s an amazing accomplishment to celebrate the 15th year of our annual survey, and it’s an honor to have work alongside my team and the winning companies for 15 years,” said Francis X. Gallagher, publisher and CEO, Global Traveler. “This year we’re awarding another elite group of the travel industry’s exceptional providers. The awards are also a testament to our readers, who have not only made GT their preferred travel companion, but who also vote yearly in the survey. This well-traveled, savvy group truly knows the stand-out stars of the industry, and it is our honor to celebrate them once again. Congratulations!”

This year’s winners will be feted at a cocktail reception Dec. 12, at The Peninsula Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills, California. For more information, check out the December 2018 issue of Global Traveler or visit our website at globaltravelerusa.com. A complete recap of the night’s festivities will be featured in the March 2019 issue.

A complete list of winners is as follows:

Best Overall Airline in the World
Singapore Airlines
Fourth Consecutive Year 

Best Airline Alliance
oneworld
Ninth Consecutive Year 

Best Aircraft Type
Airbus A380

Best Airline Website
AA.com
Second Consecutive Year 

Fastest-Growing Airline, Trans-Pacific
American Airlines
Second Consecutive Year 

Best Airline for International First Class
Korean Air

Best Airline for Business Class
Turkish Airlines
Second Consecutive Year 

Best Airline for Domestic First Class
American Airlines
Third Consecutive Year

Best Airline for Onboard Service
Asiana Airlines
15th Consecutive Year 

Best Airline for Flight Attendants
Asiana Airlines
15th Consecutive Year

Best Airline Cuisine
Alitalia
Ninth Consecutive Year

Best Flight Attendant Uniforms
Hong Kong Airlines

Best Airline for Security
EL AL Israel Airlines
12th Consecutive Year

Best Business-Class Seat Design
Alitalia 

Best First-Class Seat Design
Air France 

Best Airline for New Service Launch
Hong Kong Airlines (SFO–HKG)

Best Corporate Program for Business Travelers
Turkish Airlines Corporate Club 

Best Overall Frequent-Flyer Program
United Airlines MileagePlus®
15th Consecutive Year 

Best Frequent-Flyer Elite-Level Program
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan™– MVP Gold

Best Frequent-Flyer Bonus Program
United MileagePlus®
Sixth Consecutive Year

Best Frequent-Flyer Award Redemption
Air Canada Aeroplan

Best Frequent-Flyer Customer Service
American Airlines AAdvantage

Best Airline in North America
American Airlines

Best Airline to South America
LATAM Airlines Group
Fifth Consecutive Year

Best Airline in Mexico
Aeromexico
Ninth Consecutive Year 

Best Airline in Australia and New Zealand
Qantas Airways 

Best Airline in the South Pacific
Air Tahiti Nui 

Best Airline in Europe
TAP Air Portugal
Eighth Consecutive Year 

Best Airline in Eastern Europe
LOT Polish Airlines
Second Consecutive Year 

Best Airline in Africa
South African Airways
15th Consecutive Year 

Best Airline in the Middle East
Emirates 

Best Airline in North Asia
EVA Air

Best Airline in China
Hainan Airlines
Sixth Consecutive Year 

Best Airline in Central/South Asia & India
Air India
Fifth Consecutive Year 

Best Airline to Japan
Japan Airlines
Second Consecutive Year 

Best Trans-Atlantic Airline
Brussels Airlines 

Best Trans-Pacific Airline
Japan Airlines
Second Consecutive Year

Best Overall Airport in the World
Singapore Changi Airport
Third Consecutive Year  

Best Airport in North America
Chicago O’Hare International Airport
15th Consecutive Year 

Best Airport in Asia
Incheon International Airport
Second Consecutive Year

Best Airport in Africa
Addis Ababa Bole International Airport

Best Airport in Europe
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol 

Best Airport in the Middle East
Hamad International Airport
Second Consecutive Year

Best Airport in South America
El Dorado International Airport, Bogotá

Best Airport Staff/Gate Agents
Turkish Airlines
Second Consecutive Year

Best Airport Dining
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Fifth Consecutive Year 

Best Airport Shopping
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Second Consecutive Year

Fastest-Growing U.S. Airport
Ontario International Airport, Ontario, California

Best Duty-Free Shopping in the World
Dubai Duty Free
12th Consecutive Year

Best Duty-Free Shopping in Asia
Singapore Changi Airport
Second Consecutive Year 

Best Duty-Free Shopping in Africa
Addis Ababa Bole International Airport

Best Duty-Free Shopping in Europe
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Second Consecutive Year

Best Duty-Free Shopping in the Middle East
Dubai Duty Free
Second Consecutive Year

Best International Hotel Chain
The Ritz-Carlton
Fourth Consecutive Year 

Best Domestic Hotel Chain
The Ritz-Carlton
Fourth Consecutive Year 

Best Lifestyle Hotel
Aloft Hotels 

Best MICE Hotel
Lotte Hotel Seoul
Fourth Consecutive Year

Best Hotel Club Floor
Grand Hyatt Grand Club 

Best Hotel Website
peninsula.com 

Best New Luxury Hotel in Asia
Le Méridien Seoul

Best Luxury Hotel in Asia
SIGNIEL Seoul

Best Hotel Rewards Program in the World
InterContinental Hotels Group
IHG® Rewards Club
14th Consecutive Year 

Best Frequent-Stay Elite-Level Program
Marriott Rewards Platinum Elite

Best Frequent-Stay Bonus Program
Marriott Rewards/Starwood Preferred Guest

Best Frequent-Stay Award Redemption
Hilton Honors

Best Frequent-Stay Customer Service
Marriott Rewards/Starwood Preferred Guest

Best Hotel in the United States
The Peninsula Beverly Hills
Eighth Consecutive Year 

Best Hotel in Asia
Mandarin Oriental, Taipei
Second Consecutive Year  

Best Hotel in South Korea
Lotte Hotel Seoul
Seventh Consecutive Year 

Best Hotel in Europe
Belmond Hotel Cipriani, Venice 

Best Hotel in the Middle East
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah
Second Consecutive Year

Best European Hotel Chain
St. Regis
Third Consecutive Year

Best Hotel Chain in Asia
Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts

Best Hotel Chain in Latin America
InterContinental Hotels and Resorts
Second Consecutive Year

Best Hotel Chain in Mexico
Fiesta Americana
Eighth Consecutive Year 

Best Hotel Chain in the Middle East
Jumeirah International

Best Overseas Delivery Program
Volvo
Third Consecutive Year  

Best Rental Car Company
Hertz
Fifth Consecutive Year

Best Tourism Destination
Kenya 

Best MICE City
Seoul
Fourth Consecutive Year 

Best WiFi Service
Boingo Wireless
Eighth Consecutive Year 

Best Noise-Cancelling Headset
Sony Digital Noise-Cancelling Headphone MDR1000XM2 Wireless 

Best Luggage Brand
Briggs & Riley
Ninth Consecutive Year

Best Ride Share
Lyft

Best Hotel App
Hotel Tonight

Best Airline App
American Airlines

Best Overall Credit Card
United MileagePlus® Club Card from Chase
Seventh Consecutive Year 

Best Credit Card Rewards Programs
United MileagePlus® Club Card from Chase
Seventh Consecutive Year 

Best Frequent-Stay Affinity Credit Card
Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase
Seventh Consecutive Year 

Best Frequent-Stay Affinity Credit Card Promotions
Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express
Third Consecutive Year

Best Frequent-Stay Affinity Credit Card Benefits
Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase
Second Consecutive Year

Best Frequent-Stay Affinity Credit Card Redemptions
IHG Rewards Club Select Visa Card

Best Credit Card Special Events
Inside Access From Chase
Third Consecutive Year 

Best Small Business Credit Card
Chase Ink Cash Business Preferred Credit Card 

Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card from Bank of America
Seventh Consecutive Year 

Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card Promotions
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World EliteTM Mastercard®
Fifth Consecutive Year 

Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card Benefits
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World EliteTM Mastercard®

Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card Redemptions
United Explorer Card from Chase
Sixth Consecutive Year 

Best Cruise Line Affinity Credit Card
Princess Cruises Visa Signature Card from Barclay’s

Global Traveler will also recognize the following Wines on the Wing award winners at the reception: Delta Air Lines (Best International Business-Class Wines on the Wing); All Nippon Airways (Best International First-Class Wines on the Wing and Best Champagne International First Class); American Airlines (Best Champagne International Business Class, Best Red Wine International First Class, Best North American Wines on the Wing, Best North American Red Wine and Best North American White Wine); Aeroflot (Best White Wine International First Class); United Airlines (Best Red Wine International Business Class); JetBlue (Best North American Sparkling Wine); and oneworld (Best Alliance Wines on the Wing). The results of the Wines on the Wing airline wine survey were announced in the August 2018 issue.

About the Survey
Global Traveler conducted an open-ended survey of its readers to determine the best in more than 80 travel-related categories. The survey was conducted from Jan. 1–Sept. 30, 2018. Questionnaires were available in subscriber copies of the magazine, online at globaltravelerusa.com/gt-tested-awards-ballot and through direct mail and email. Only questionnaires with more than 50 percent of the questions answered were considered. An outside accounting firm, Citrin Cooperman LLP, tabulated the results. Employees of the magazine and members of the travel industry were barred from participation.

About Global Traveler
With a readership of 550,000 monthly, Global Traveler connects with U.S.-based frequent, affluent, international travelers. According to MediaMark Research (MRI), GT readers have an average net worth of $2 million and 50 percent are CEOs and owners of companies. Our readers average nine domestic flights per year and 93 percent travel internationally on a regular basis, mostly in first and business class. More than 55 percent stay in 4- and 5-star hotels, at an average 60 nights per year. Four special editions — Leisure Lifestyle Edition, Global City Guidebook, Class Act Guide and The Trazee Book — complement 12 monthly issues. Each year, Global Traveler awards the GT Tested Reader Survey awards, the Leisure Lifestyle Awards and the Wines on the Wing awards.

About FXEXpress Publications, Inc.
FXExpress Publications, Inc., based in Yardley, Pa., is a privately held company publishing Global Traveler, China Global Traveler, eFlyer USA, eFlyer Asia, Trazee Travel and several annuals; and also operating globaltravelerusa.com, globaltravelerusa.com/blog, china-globaltraveler.com and trazeetravel.com.

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