FX Excursions

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

The Best Of 2008

Dec 1, 2008
2008 / December 2008

An election year to remember, 2008 was record-setting in more ways than one. An impressive 31,457 GT readers weighed in with their selections for the best in business and luxury travel during our annual GT Tested Awards survey.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of our awards, a milestone for Global Traveler and our readers. Through the years, consistent, unbiased reporting of the annual results has enhanced the integrity of our survey, making Global Traveler’s GT Tested Awards the most sought-after recognition of excellence in business travel.

We keep it fresh, too. Each year we update our award categories to stay on top of trends in the industry and to sharpen the focus on our readers’ epicurean interests. This year we added Best Airline in the South Pacific, Best Hotel in the Eastern United States, Best Hotel in the Western United States, Best Hotel in the Southern United States, Best Hotel in the Midwestern United States, Best Domestic Restaurant and Best Spa.

We asked our discerning readers — experienced travelers who know the ins and outs of premium travel — to cast ballots in 55 categories. Read on to see what the experts have to say.


THE SKY’S THE LIMIT
For the fifth consecutive year, GT readers voted Singapore Airlines the Best Airline in the World. It is no wonder the esteemed carrier is a consistent favorite among our readers. The innovative airline continually upgrades its product to meet the demands of its passengers. In 2008 Singapore Airlines introduced a new business-class seat — the industry’s largest fully flat bed features in-seat power outlets, USB ports, a 15.4-inch LCD TV screen and more.

“This award is particularly meaningful for all of us at Singapore Airlines, as Global Traveler readers are among our most discerning customers,” said W. K. Lim, Singapore Airlines regional vice president, Americas. “We are honored and grateful for your recognition of our efforts to provide the world’s best flying experience.”

Emirates and British Airways also continued to excel in their respective categories. For the fourth year, Emirates claimed the top spot for Best Airline for First Class, and British Airways reigned supreme as Best Airline for Business Class. With the introduction of A380 service, Emirates upgraded its first-class private suites, while British Airways is in the midst of a major overhaul of its famed Club World service.

At home, GT readers agree American Airlines is, for the third consecutive year, the Best Airline for Domestic First Class.

Air Canada is a double winner this year, claiming top honors as Best Airline in North America and Best Airline in Canada. The airline swept the latter category for the last five years. With programs like On My Way, a service designed to ease complications due to cancellations and delays, Air Canada proves ensuring its customers’ well-being is a top priority.

EVA Air and Virgin Atlantic pulled the ol’ switcheroo this year. EVA’s Elite Class, voted No. 4 in the Best Airline for Premium Economy in 2007, trumped last year’s winner, Virgin Atlantic, which fell to No. 4. Clearly, readers are fans of EVA’s 38-inch shape-memory seats and its user-friendly entertainment system.

Asiana Airlines also took home double accolades. For the fifth consecutive year, the airline won Best Airline for Onboard Service and Flight Attendants, and this year Asiana moved up from last year’s third-place slot to claim top honors as Best Trans-Pacific Airline.

“On behalf of Asiana Airlines, it is truly an honor to receive such recognition. We cherish the readers of GT who have continuously voted for us as the best five years in a row,” said Tae Kun Han, Asiana senior vice president for airport and cabin services. “I thank our flight attendants who voluntarily commit extra passion to maintain and improve our top service levels and who believe in themselves to make a difference,”

For the third consecutive year, readers gave LAN the nod for Best Airline in Central/South America. Aeromexico took home the prize for Best Airline in Mexico and, for the fourth year in a row, Air France earned kudos as Best Trans-Atlantic Airline.

This year we split the prize for Best Airline to the South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand into two categories. Qantas, which has dominated the category for the last four years, picked up its fifth win as Best Airline in Australia and New Zealand. Air Pacific won Best Airline in the South Pacific.

LOT Polish Airlines rose from a No. 2 finish in 2007 to win the title Best Airline in Eastern Europe, and for the fifth year, readers voted South African Airways the Best Airline in Africa.

“South African Airways is honored at this recognition from Global Traveler and its readers. Winning this award for the fifth year in a row is proof that our extensive knowledge of the market and our keen attention to our guests has paid off,” said Marc Cavaliere, South African Airways executive vice president, North America. “We value this feedback from the magazine’s readers, as they are expert travelers with discriminating tastes, and we vow to continue earning their admiration and respect.”

In an upset, Emirates beat out last year’s winner, Qatar Airways, to nab its second trophy for Best Airline in the Middle East.

Once again, Global Traveler separated the Asian continent into four subcategories. Thai International Airways took top honors as the Best Airline in Southeast Asia. For the second year in a row, readers named Jet Airways the Best Airline in Central/South Asia and India. Having just entered the U.S. market in 2008 with service from Seattle, Hainan Airlines has already made a positive impression on GT the readers, who voted the carrier Best Airline in China. Making a leap from a sixth-place finish in 2007, Korean Air earned readers’ vote for Best Airline in North Asia.

“Korean Air has worked long and hard to create a product that is valued by travelers, and we’re honored that Global Traveler’s readers have noticed our progress,” said John Jackson, Korean Air director of passenger marketing and sales. “The airline flies from more cities in the Americas to Asia than any other airline. We are exceeding consumer expectations as well as becoming a leader in our industry.”

Once again claiming the award for Best Airline for Security, EL AL Israel Airlines continues to set security standards.

“Ensuring the safety and security of EL AL passengers is our top priority every day. It is with great pride that we accept this outstanding acknowledgement in our 60th-anniversary year,” said Offer Gat, EL AL CEO, North and Central America.

Discerning travelers know that it is not just what happens while in the air but also what happens before, after and between flights that can make or break a trip. Unexpected delays, cumbersome-but-necessary security measures, even overbooked flights add up to more time spent in airports. Two airports where our readers don’t mind whiling away a few hours? Incheon International Airport, voted Best Airport in the World for the third consecutive year, and Chicago O’Hare International Airport, readers’ choice for Best Airport in North America for the fifth year in a row.

“We are honored O’Hare International Airport has been awarded Best Airport in North America for the fifth consecutive year,” said Chicago Aviation Commissioner Richard L. Rodriguez. “We want to thank the readers of Global Traveler for recognizing our efforts to provide the very best amenities and services at Chicago’s gateway to the world.”

Another place our readers don’t mind spending time: Delta Air Lines Crown Rooms, voted Best Airport Lounges.

“Delta and its employees worldwide are proud the readers of Global Traveler have named our Crown Room Clubs as the Best Airport Lounges,” said Joe Leach, Delta’s general manager of product development–ground experience. “We remain committed to providing a world-class customer service experience to our valued Crown Room Club members, including premium products such as WiFi and complimentary cocktails, when they visit any one of our more than 35 Clubs worldwide.”

Yet another five-time winner, United Mileage Plus earned our readers’ nod for Best Frequent-Flyer Program.

“We are pleased to be recognized by our frequent international travelers and Global Traveler’s readers for the fifth year as the best frequent-flyer program, the only carrier to receive this award since its inception,” said Graham Atkins, United Mileage Plus president. “We will continue to work hard to provide our customers with a comprehensive program that rewards loyalty with meaningful and valuable redemption options.”

For the second year, readers named the Boeing 747 the Best Aircraft Type and, for the fourth year, SkyTeam earned kudos as the Best Airline Alliance.


THE BEST IN REST
Global Traveler readers understand that a good night’s rest can set the tone for a successful business meeting. So readers in the know select hotels equipped to cater to their discerning wants, needs and requirements.

For the fifth consecutive year, readers voted Park Hyatt the Best International Hotel Chain. The brand opened three new hotels in the last year including properties in Shanghai, Istanbul and Jeddah.

Westin Hotels & Resorts held claim to Best Domestic Hotel Chain for the second year in a row. When it comes to individual hotels in the United States, Hotel Bel-Air took home the gold, winning Best Hotel in the United States for the fourth year and outshining its competitors to claim the prize for Best Hotel in the Western United States. Other readers’ picks include the Jumeirah Essex House, Best Hotel in the Eastern United States; Conrad Chicago, Best Hotel in the Midwestern United States; and The Greenbrier, Best Hotel in the Southern United States.

The award for Best Hotel Chain in Canada went to Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, and for the third consecutive year Conrad Hotels and Resorts reigned supreme as Best European Hotel Chain.

Elsewhere, readers gave the nod to Lotte Hotel, Best Individual Hotel in Asia; Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Best Hotel Chain in Latin America; and Jumeirah International continued a three-year streak laying claim to Best Hotel Chain in the Middle East.

“We are delighted to be accepting the award for the best hotel chain in the Middle East for the third year in a row,” said Marco Nijhof, Jumeirah senior vice president, Middle East, Africa, South Asia. “We remain dedicated to our core promise to stay different, with every effort made to provide a truly memorable, luxury travel experience for our guests in the Middle East and as we continue with our expansion, worldwide.”

Sheraton Hotels and Resorts remains a bright star in Latin America. For the fifth year, GT readers voted the brand Best Hotel Chain in Latin America.

“We are greatly honored by our fifth consecutive selection as Best Hotel Chain in Latin America,” said Trip Barrett, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Latin America vice president, marketing. “With nearly 30 hotels in 11 countries throughout the region, we strive to ensure that our guests experience not only the latest innovations, [email protected] for example, but also the warmth and commitment of each of our associates during their stay.

“We are especially proud to share the spotlight and congratulate Global Traveler on its fifth anniversary of delivering a truly informative, world-class magazine.”


LAST BUT NOT LEAST
Travel is not just about getting from here to there. It is about finding the destinations, the activities and the services that match your interests and meet your standards.

When it comes to favorite places,GT readers favor Colorado, Best Domestic Tourism Destination; Malaysia, Best International Tourism Destination; and Bangkok, Best International Business City. And in a surprising turn of events, New Orleans took a bite out of the Big Apple to garner the title Best Domestic Business City.

“New Orleans is a fantastic city for the business traveler, from the warm Southern hospitality to the close proximity of our hotels to the Central Business District, 5-star restaurants and great attractions,” said Stephen Perry, president and CEO, New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau. “And when the business day is done and there is time to relax and enjoy the setting, New Orleans offers a historic, authentic backdrop with delicious cuisine, great entertainment and a vibrant culture.”

GT readers — a diverse yet discriminating group — appreciate the finer things in life including good food, indulgent spas and an occasional round of golf. Based on the sum of their well-traveled experience, readers named New York City’s Per Se the Best Domestic Restaurant. Fo r a world-class spa experience, readers gave the nod to Chi, The Spa at Shangri-La Bangkok, naming it Best Spa. And for hitting the links, Kiawah Island Golf Resort took top honors as Best Domestic Golf Resort for the second year running.

Business travelers on the go demand reliability when it comes to their cell phones, PDAs and BlackBerrys. Best Wireless Service in the World according to GT readers? Verizon Wireless.

For the second year running, Avis Preferred Service earned the top spot as Best Car Rental Program. Briggs and Riley bested last year’s winner, Travelpro, to claim the title Best Luggage Brand.

Rounding out the voting, readers named InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards the Best Hotel Rewards Program in the World. American Express Membership Rewards garnered top honors as Best Credit Card Rewards Program for the fifth straight year. Crystal Cruises topped the category for Best Cruise Line, and last but not least, Dubai Duty Free is GT readers’ choice for Best Duty Free Shops.


BEST IN TASTE
The results of Global Traveler’s annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Competition were first released in our August 2008 issue. Twenty-eight airlines submitted samples of their in-flight wine selections. Thirty-six professional wine experts presided as judges over the annual competition. Their favorites included Finnair’s Joseph Perrier Champagne Cuvee Royale Brut Millesime 2008 (Best Sparkling Wine), Finnair’s Jaffelin Rully Blanc 2006, CÔte Chalonnaise (Best White Wine) and TAM’s Jacques et Francois Lurton El Albar Toro 2006 (Best Red Wine). The overall winner: Iberia Airlines took top honors for Best Wines on the Wing.

Let’s raise a toast to the 2008 GT Tested and Wines on the Wing winners!


2008

Best Airline in the World
1. Singapore Airlines
2. Emirates
3. British Airways
4. Lufthansa
5. Korean Air
6. Thai Airways International
7. Virgin Atlantic
8. United Airlines
9. Air France
10. Qantas

Best Airline for First Class
1. Emirates
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Jet Airways
4. Etihad Airways
5. British Airways
6. Korean Air
7. LAN
8. Lufthansa
9. Qatar Airways
10. Qantas

Best Airline for Business Class
1. British Airways
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Korean Air
4. Lufthansa
5. Cathay Pacific Airways
6. Emirates
7. Jet Airways
8. LAN
9. Air Canada
10. United Airlines

The Process
The GT Tested Awards survey was conducted from Jan. 1, 2008, to Aug. 31, 2008. Open-ended questionnaires were available in subscriber copies of the magazine, online at http://newgtsite.wpengine.com/survey and through direct mail and email. Only questionnaires with more than 50 percent of the questions answered were considered. Employees of the magazine and members of the travel industry were barred from participation.

Best Airline for Domestic First Class
1. American Airlines
2. Delta Air Lines
3. United Airlines
4. Continental Airlines
5. US Airways
6. Virgin America
7. Alaska Airlines
8. Northwest Airlines

Best Airline in North America
1. Air Canada
2. American Airlines
3. Delta Air Lines
4. United Airlines
5. US Airways
6. Southwest Airlines
7. JetBlue Airways
8. Continental Airlines
9. Alaska Airlines
10. Virgin America

Best Airline for Premium Economy Class
1. EVA Air Elite Class
2. British Airways World Traveller Plus
3. OpenSkies Prem +
4. Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy
5. United Airlines Economy Plus
6. BMI Premium Economy
7. Japan Airlines Premium Economy
8. Air New Zealand Pacific Premium Economy
9. All Nippon Airways Premium Economy
10. Scandinavian Airlines Economy Extra

Best Airline for Onboard Service and Flight Attendants
1. Asiana Airlines
2. Korean Air
3. Thai Airways
4. Singapore Airlines
5. Jet Airways
6. Etihad Airways
7. Malaysia Airlines
8. Japan Airlines
9. Qatar Airways
10. Emirates

Best Airline in Central/South America
1. LAN
2. TAM
3. Avianca
4. Aerolineas Argentinas
5. TACA

Best Airline in Canada
1. Air Canada
2. WestJet
3. Porter Airlines
4. Sunwing Airlines
5. Air Canada Jazz

Best Airline in Mexico *
1. Aeromexico
2. Mexicana
3. Aero California

Best Trans-Atlantic Airline
1. Air France
2. Lufthansa
3. British Airways
4. Swiss International Air Lines
5. Continental Airlines
6. Virgin Atlantic
7. United Airlines
8. American Airlines
9. Delta Air Lines
10. TAP Air Portugal

Best Trans-Pacific Airline
1. Asiana Airlines
2. Thai Airways International
3. Singapore Airlines
4. Korean Air
5. United Airlines
6. Japan Airlines
7. Cathay Pacific Airways
8. All Nippon Airways
9. EVA Air
10. Malaysia Airlines

Best in Australia and New Zealand
1. Qantas
2. Air Pacific
3. Air New Zealand
4. Air Tahiti Nui

Best Airline in the South Pacific *
1. Air Pacific
2. Qantas
3. Air Tahiti Nui
4. Air New Zealand

Best Airline in Eastern Europe
1. LOT Polish Airlines
2. Czech Airlines
3. Malév Hungarian Airlines
4. Lithuanian Airlines
5. Estonian Airlines

Best Airline in Africa
1. South African Airways
2. Ethiopian Airlines
3. Air Mauritius
4. Royal Air Maroc
5. Air Namibia

Best Airline in the Middle East
1. Emirates
2. Etihad Airways
3. Qatar Airways
4. Saudi Arabian Airlines
5. Gulf Air
6. Middle East Airlines
7. EL AL Israel Airlines
8. Royal Jordanian Airline
9. Royal Air Maroc
10. EgyptAir

Best Airline in North Asia (excluding China)
1. Korean Air
2. Asiana Airlines
3. All Nippon Airways
4. Japan Airlines
5. EVA Airways
6. Cathay Pacific Airways
7. Dragon Air
8. China Airlines

Best Airline in Southeast Asia (Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Philippines)
1. Thai Airways International
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Malaysia Airlines
4. Royal Brunei Airlines
5. SilkAir
6. Air Asia
7. Philippine Airlines
8. Vietnam Airlines

Best Airline in China
1. Hainan Airlines
2. Air China
3. China Eastern Airlines
4. China Northern Airlines
5. China Southern Airlines

Best Airline in Central/South Asia and India
1. Jet Airways
2. Air India
3. Kingfisher Airlines
4. Biman Bangladesh Airlines
5. Pakistan International Airlines

Best Airline for Security
1. EL AL Israel Airlines
2. Lufthansa
3. Swiss International Air Lines
4. British Airways
5. Air Canada

Best Airport Lounges
1. Delta Air Lines Crown Room
2. United Airlines Red Carpet Club
2. American Airlines Ambassadors Club
3. Continental Airlines Presidents Club
4. British Airways Executive Club
5. Virgin Atlantic Airways Clubhouse
6. South African Airways Cycad Lounge
7. Emirates Lounge
8. Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club
9. Jet Airways Lounge
10. Scandinavian Airlines SAS Lounge

Best Airport in the World
1. Incheon International Airport
2. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
3. Singapore Changi Airport
4. Hong Kong International Airport
5. London Heathrow Airport
6. Kuala Lumpur International Airport
7. Munich Airport
8. Kansai International Airport
9. Madrid Barajas International Airport
10. Zurich Airport

Best Airport in North America
1. Chicago O’Hare International Airport
2. Denver International Airport
3. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
4. George Bush Houston Intercontinental Airport
5. San Francisco International Airport
6. Newark Liberty International Airport
7. Detroit Metro Airport
8. Miami International Airport
9. Dallas Fort Worth International Airport
10. Pittsburgh International Airport

Best Aircraft Type
1. Boeing 747
2. Boeing 777
3. Boeing 767
4. Airbus A340
5. Airbus A330
6. Boeing 737
7. Airbus A380
8. Airbus A320
9. Boeing 757
10. Embraer 170

Best Frequent-Flyer Program
1. United Mileage Plus
2. Delta SkyMiles
3. American AAdvantage
4. Continental OnePass
5. British Airways Executive Club
6. US Airways Dividend Miles
7. Southwest Rapid Rewards
8. Lufthansa Miles and More
9. Alaska Mileage Plan
10. Northwest WorldPerks

Best Airline Alliance
1. SkyTeam
2. Oneworld
3. Star Alliance

Best International Hotel Chain
1. Park Hyatt
2. Conrad Hotels and Resorts
3. InterContinental Hotels and Resorts
4. Westin Hotels and Resorts
5. Ritz-Carlton Hotels and Resorts
6. Marriott Hotels and Resorts
7. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
8. Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
9. The Peninsula Hotels
10. Grand Hyatt

Best Domestic Hotel Chain
1. Westin Hotels and Resorts
2. InterContinental Hotels and Resorts
3. Conrad Hotels and Resorts
4. Park Hyatt
5. JW Marriott Hotels and Resorts
6. Hilton Hotels
7. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
8. Ritz-Carlton Hotels and Resorts
9. Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts
10. Sheraton Hotels and Resorts

Best Hotel in the United States
1. The Bel-Air, Los Angeles
2. Jumeirah Essex House, New York City
3. The Peninsula Chicago
4. The Beverly Hills Hotel
5. The Peninsula Beverly Hills
6. Mandarin Oriental, New York
7. Montage Resort and Spa, Laguna Beach, Calif.
8. Halekulani Hotel, Honolulu
9. The Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park
10. Taj Boston

Best Hotel in the Eastern United States *
1. Jumeirah Essex House, New York City
2. Mandarin Oriental, New York City
3. The Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park
4. Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia
5. The Carlyle, New York City
6. The St. Regis Hotel, New York City
7. Four Seasons Hotel, New York City
8. The Wauwinet, Nantucket, Mass.
9. The White Barn Inn, Kennebunkport, Maine
10. Lake Placid Lodge, Lake Placid, N.Y.

Best Hotel in the Western United States *
1. The Bel-Air, Los Angeles
2. The Peninsula Beverly Hills
3. Campton Place, San Francisco
4. InterContinental Los Angeles, Century City
5. Westin, Kierland Resort and Spa, Scottsdale
6. The Lodge at Torrey Pines, La Jolla, Calif.
7. Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa, Phoenix
8. Montage Resort and Spa, Laguna Beach, Calif.
9. Bellagio, Las Vegas
10. Inn of the Five Graces, Santa Fe, N.M.

Best Hotel in the Midwestern United States *
1. Conrad Chicago
2. The Peninsula Chicago
3. Trump International Hotel and Tower, Chicago
4. Ritz-Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel)
5. InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza, Mo.
6. InterContinental Chicago
7. Hotel Sax Chicago
8. InterContinental Milwaukee
9. The American Club, Kohler, Wis.
10. Park Hyatt Chicago

Best Hotel in the Southern United States *
1. The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.
2. Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dallas
3. Hotel du Pont, Wilmington, Del.
4. The Breakers, Palm Beach
5. The Westin Diplomat, Hollywood, Fla.
6. The Williamsburg Inn, Va.
7. The Willard InterContinental, Washington, D.C.
8. The Regent Bal Harbor, Fla.
9. The Lodge at Sea Island, Ga.
10. Little Palm Island, Little Torch Key, Fla.

Best Individual Hotel in Asia
1. Lotte Hotel, Seoul
2. InterContinental Hong Kong
3. InterContinental Bangkok
4. Park Hyatt Tokyo
5. The Peninsula Hong Kong
6. Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
7. Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur, India
8. The Peninsula Bangkok
9. Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, India
10. Shangri-La Valley Wing, Singapore

Best Hotel Chain in Canada
1. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
2. Fairmont Hotels and Resorts
3. Marriott Hotels and Resorts
4. Ritz-Carlton Hotels and Resorts
5. Hilton International

Best Hotel Chain in Europe
1. Conrad Hotels and Resorts
2. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
3. Luxury Collection
4. Kempinski Hotels
5. Ritz-Carlton Hotels and Resorts
6. InterContinental Hotels and Resorts
7. Hilton International
8. Marriott International
9. Sheraton Hotels and Resorts
10. Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts

Best Hotel Chain in Asia
1. Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
2. Grand Hyatt
3. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
4. InterContinental Hotels and Resorts
5. Conrad Hotels and Resorts
6. Westin Hotels and Resorts
7. Oberoi Hotels and Resorts
8. Mandarin Oriental
9. Park Hyatt
10. Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces

Best Hotel Chain in Latin America
1. Sheraton Hotels and Resorts
2. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
3. Luxury Collection
4. Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts
5. Sol Melia Hotels and Resorts
6. Caesar Park Hotels and Resorts
7. InterContinental Hotels and Resorts
8. Hilton International
9. Grand Hyatt
10. Ritz-Carlton Hotels and Resorts

Best Hotel Chain in the Middle East
1. Jumeirah International
2. Ritz-Carlton Hotels and Resorts
3. Marriott International
4. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
5. InterContinental Hotels and Resorts
6. Dan Hotels Israel
7. Raffles Hotels and Resorts
8. W Hotels
9. Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
10. Kempinksi Hotels

Best Hotel Rewards Program in the World
1. InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards
2. Starwood Preferred Guest
3. Marriott Rewards
4. Hilton HHonors
5. Hyatt Gold Passport
6. Radisson Goldpoints Plus
7. Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle
8. Loews First
9. Leading Hotels of the World- Leaders Club
10. Fairmont President’s Club

Best Domestic Tourism Destination
1. Colorado
2. Arizona
3. New Mexico
4. Florida
5. Hawaii
6. New York
7. Washington
8. Oregon
9. Louisiana
10. Texas

Best International Tourism Destination
1. Malaysia
2. Italy
3. Spain
4. Thailand
5. Fiji
6. South Africa
7. Singapore
8. Hong Kong
9. United Kingdom
10. Australia

Best Domestic Business City
1. New Orleans
2. Chicago
3. New York
4. San Francisco
5. Boston
6. Miami
7. Los Angeles
8. Seattle
9. Dallas
10. Washington, D.C.

Best International Business City
1. Bangkok
2. Rome
3. Buenos Aires
4. Paris
5. Sydney
6. Singapore
7. Istanbul
8. Hong Kong
9. Cape Town
10. Tokyo

Best Domestic Restaurant *
1. Per Se, New York City
2. Masa, New York City
3. Chez Panisse, Berkeley, Calif.
4. Charlie Trotter’s, Chicago
5. Gramercy Tavern, New York City
6. Jean Georges, New York City
7. WD-50, New York City
8. Manresa, Los Gatos, Calif.
9. Blue Duck Tavern, Park Hyatt, Washington, D.C.
10. CUT, Los Angeles

Best Spa *
1. Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok
2. InterContinental Hong Kong
3. Esperanza Resort, Los Cabos, Mexico
4. Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa, Asheville, N.C.
5. Halekulani Hotel, Honolulu, Hawaii
6. The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, S.C.
7. The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.
8. Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tenn.
9. Westin Excelsior, Rome
10. Canyon Ranch, Tucson, Ariz.

Best Domestic Golf Resort
1. Kiawah Island Golf Resort, S.C.
2. Pinehurst Resort, N.C.
3. The Inn at Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach, Calif.
4. The Cloister at Sea Island, Ga.
5. Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Bandon, Ore.
6. Reynolds Plantation, Greensboro, Ga.
7. Princeville Resort, Kauai, Hawaii
8. The American Club, Kohler, Wis.
9. The Boulders Resort, Scottsdale, Ariz.
10. Mauna Lani Resort, Kohala Coast, Hawaii

Best Wireless Service in the World
1. Verizon
2. AT&T
3. T-Mobile
4. Sprint
5. US Cellular
Tie Alltel

Best Car Rental Program
1. Avis Preferred Service
2. Hertz Prestige Collection
3. Budget Fastbreak
4. Hertz Gold #1
5. Thrifty Blue Chip
6. National Emerald Isle
7. Dollar Express
8. Alamo Quicksilver
9. Advantage EasyID
10. Payless Perks

Best Luggage Brand
1. Briggs and Riley
2. Travelpro
3. Samsonite
4. Hartman
5. Tumi
6. Delsey
7. Skyway
8. Andiamo
9. Victorinox
10. Coach

Best Credit Card Rewards Program
1. American Express Membership Rewards
2. Delta SkyMiles American Express
3. Starwood Preferred Guest American Express
4. Citi AAdvantage MasterCard
5. Hilton HHonors Visa
6. Diner’s Club
7. Continental Airlines World MasterCard
8. US Airways Dividend Miles Visa
9. United Mileage Plus Signature Visa
10. Miles by Discover Card

Best Cruise Line
1. Crystal Cruise Lines
2. Regent Cruises
3. Cunard
4. Disney Cruise Line
5. Seabourn
6. Holland America Line
7. Orient Lines
8. Celebrity Cruises
9. Royal Caribbean
10. Princess Cruises
11. Oceania Cruises

Best Duty-free Shops
1. Dubai
2. Amsterdam
3. Heathrow
4. Incheon
5. Singapore
6. Taiwan
7. Bangkok
8. Hong Kong
9. Zurich
10. Munich

TEN TOP AIRLINES
1. Iberia Airlines
2. Finnair
3. Qatar Airways
4. EVA Air
5. American Airlines
6. Alitalia
7. Lufthansa
8. Austrian Airlines
9. Qantas
10. Etihad Airways

TEN TOP CHAMPAGNE AND OTHER SPARKLING WINES
1. Finnair – Joseph Perrier Cuvée Royale Brut Millésime 2000
2. Lufthansa – Jacquart Mosäique Champagne Brut, NV Tie Qatar – Laurent-Perrier Brut Millésime 1997
3. Air Berlin – Sansibar Prosecco Brut, NV
4. Korean Air – Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut, NV
5. Etihad Airways – Jean Milan Blanc de Blancs Champagne Millénaire, NV
6. ANA – Charles Lafitte Cuvée Speciale Brut, NV Tie Iberia Airlines – Castillo Perelada Brut Reserva Cava, NV
7. Japan Airlines – Piper- Heidsieck Champagne Brut, NV
8. Qantas – Charles Heidsieck Champagne Brut Réserve, NV, “mis en cave en 2003”
9. EVA Air – Heidsieck Champagne Monopole, Brut, NV
10. Brussels Airlines – Nicolas Feullatte Champagne Réserve Particulière Brut, NV

TEN TOP WHITE WINES
1. Finnair – Jaffelin Rully Blanc 2006, Côte Chalonnaise France
2. Iberia Airlines – Veigardares Rias Baixas 2006, Spain
3. EVA Air – Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Riesling Spätlese 2003, Mosel, Germany
4. American Airlines – William Hill Estate Chardonnay 2005, Napa Valley, Calif.
5. Iberia Airlines – Nora Rias Baixas 2006, Spain
6. US Airways – Beringer Chardonny 2005, Napa Valley, Calif.
7. Silverjet – Mantel Blanco Rueda 2006, Spain
8. Alitalia – Piano Mallese Tentue Rapitalà 2006, Sicily
9. Malaysia Airlines – Vincent Sauvestre Chablis 2005, France
10. Malév Hungarian Airlines – Hilltop Chardonnay 2006, Hungary

TEN TOP RED WINES
1. TAM – Jacques et François Lurton El Albar Toro 2005, Spain
2. Alitalia – Quota 29 2005, Salento, Puglia, Italy
3. Iberia Airlines – Ramón Bilbao Rioja 2005, Spain
4. Qatar Airways – Château d’Assault 2003, St.-Emilion, France
5. Finnair – Toar 2003, Masi, Verona, Italy Tie Iberia – Casa de las Especias Crianza 2004
6. South African Airways – Alto Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Stellenbosch, South Africa
7. Qatar Airways – Rassinaia 2002, Castello del Terriccio, Tuscany, Italy
8. Air Berlin – Castello di Fonterutoli Mazzei 1435, Tuscany, Italy
9. Austrian Airlines – Weninger Veratina Cuvée 2003, Milltelburgenland, Austria
10. EVA Air – Folie à Deux Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, Napa Valley, Calif.

* New category for 2008

Introducing

FX Excursions

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

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Jul 30, 2021

American Airlines Uses Science-Based Targets to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

With more companies around the world becoming more environmentally friendly, American Airlines recently announced it committed to set a science-based target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This move will sharpen the company’s strategy for reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 and aligns its path with the global imperative of limiting temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius.

Elevate Your Travel Experience with AirPass

As more travelers return to the skies, American is here every step of the way to ensure an elevated and seamless journey. Experience flying freedom with AirPass, American’s all-inclusive, pre-paid travel membership program.

United Arab Emirates
Jul 29, 2021

World’s Deepest Pool Opens in Dubai

Deep Dive Dubai, home of the deepest swimming pool for diving in the world, opened in Dubai, in the Nad Al Sheba neighborhood. Guinness World Records verified the pool as the world’s deepest swimming pool for diving at a depth of 60.02 meters, or almost 197 feet, holding 14 million liters of water, equivalent to six Olympic-sized swimming pools.

eFlyer Reviews
Jul 28, 2021

JW Marriott New Orleans Review

Family gatherings are extra special this year and we chose to celebrate a milestone birthday in New Orleans. The JW Marriott New Orleans, across the street from the historic French Quarter, is ideally situated for exploring the city. Streetcars roll in front of the property and are especially fun for first-time visitors. Within a ¾-mile radius, we could walk to the National WWII Museum, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Sazerac House, Harrah’s Casino, the Shops of Canal Place and numerous restaurants.

Finest Punta Cana is Where You Should Stay Next

You probably didn’t know you needed to visit the Dominican Republic until you learned about the new, beautiful, modern, all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana.

eFlyer News
Jul 28, 2021

Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ 2024 World Cruise Breaks Booking Record for Third Year

For the third year in a row, Regent Seven Seas Cruises broke the company’s world cruise opening day booking record. The 2024 World Cruise sold out around 11 a.m. on July 14, after going on sale that morning at 8:30 a.m. Fares started at $73,499 per guest for a deluxe veranda suite, up to $199,999 per guest for a master suite.

Sports & Games
Jul 28, 2021

Paddleboard Around the World with iROCKER SUP Boards

Now is the time to get out of the house, soak in the sun and try something new. From bread making to learning the latest TikTok dance, Americans picked up new hobbies since the COVID-19 pandemic. As travel gets busier, keep the momentum going with paddle boarding that can travel with you anywhere in the world.

SPIA 2021 Winners Crowned at Gala Ceremony at W Hotel, Palm Jumeirah

The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.

Daily
Jul 27, 2021

6 Reasons to Put Okinawa, Japan, on Your Travel List

As the vaccine rolls out and travel picks up, it’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Okinawa with us.