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The Greatest Show On Earth

Dec 1, 2011
2011 / December 2011

Step right up as Global Traveler announces the winners of the 2011 GTTested Reader Survey awards. From the high flying to the grandest ground performers, the travel industry enhanced the show in 2011.

From city to city and country to country, our esteemed readers took in all the travel industry’s acts before voting on the best of the best in the biz. Over an eight-month period, frequent travelers voted for their favorites in nearly 70 different categories covering airlines, hotels and travel products. 2011 marks our eighth year conducting the survey.

So welcome to the Big Top as we announce the winners.

AMAZING ACROBATS

Every journey begins with getting there, and the following winners are top-notch at doing just that — transporting our readers to the most sought-after and far-flung destinations. Congratulations to the following winners on their fancy flying feats.

The ringmaster of the pack is Singapore Airlines, earning the title of Best Airline in the World for the eighth consecutive year, making it the big winner for every year of the survey’s history.

Also among the main attractions are Emirates and British Airways, the 2011 winners of Best Airline for First Class and Best Airline for Business Class, respectively. Domestically, the highest honor is awarded to American Airlines, capping its fifth consecutive year as Best Airline for Domestic First Class. Air Canada’s performance earns it Best Airline in North America, its seventh consecutive win. Best Airline for Premium Economy Class is Scandinavian Airlines.

No act is complete without the perfect prop, and when it comes to the airline business, the shining star is the seat. Global Traveler introduced awards for seat design three years ago. Earning the designation of Best First-Class Seat Design for all three of those years is Swiss International Air Lines, Ltd. Virgin Atlantic usurps the crown from the past winner by being voted Best Business-Class Seat Design for 2011.

One of the crowd’s favorite performers is Asiana Airlines, which sweeps the show this year with three awards (not to mention wine wins and an Airline of the Year nod). Asiana headlines as Best Airline for Onboard Service, Best Airline for Flight Attendants and Best Trans-Pacific Airline. Lufthansa takes a bow as Best Trans-Atlantic Airline.

There’s more to see all around the world, with several airlines earning accolades in their specific regions. Best Airline in Central/South America is LAN Airlines; in Mexico, the honor of Best Airline in Mexico goes to Aeromexico for a second consecutive year. Moving to the Pacific Rim, V Australia triumphs over the previous seven-time winner to be named Best Airline to Australia and New Zealand. Another newbie to the list, also besting a longtime winner, is Air Tahiti Nui, the Best Airline in the South Pacific. In Asia, five airlines stand out — Korean Air (Best Airline in North Asia; Best Airport Staff/Gate Agents), Thai Airways (Best Airline in Southeast Asia), Hainan Airlines (Best Airline in China), Jet Airways (Best Airline in Central/ South Asia and India) and All Nippon Airways (Best Airline to Japan). Rounding out the continents, we have TAP Portugal, Best Airline in Europe; South African Airways as Best Airline in Africa for the eighth consecutive year; and Emirates, Best Airline in the Middle East.

It takes many different acts to put on an entertaining show, and each and every element is important. Here are a host of awards that acknowledge the entire performance, from beginning to end.

At the airport, travelers want entertaining options and welcome distractions from the monotony of waiting for the main event. When it comes to airports internationally, Seoul’s Incheon International Airport (ICN) is tops, being honored as Best Airport in the World for the sixth consecutive year. Domestically, the top spot belongs to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), named Best Airport in North America for an impressive eighth year in a row. For the best dining options available, be sure to transit through Singapore’s Changi International Airport (SIN), noted for its Best Airport Dining.

Speaking of cuisine, Alitalia serves the best cuisine on board. Earning the title every year since the award was introduced, the Italian flagship is once again the winner of Best Airline Cuisine.

Once in the airport, the show really starts. For the fifth consecutive year, EL AL Israel Airlines nabs the trophy for Best Airline for Security. Looking for a reprieve from all the hustle and bustle in the airport? Our readers think United Club offers the Best Airport Lounges.

For the fifth year in a row, the game-changing Boeing 747 is Best Aircraft Type. The Best Airline Alliance is oneworld, for the second consecutive year.

Sit back and relax, the show is just getting started.

WELCOME TO THE BIG TOP

As the most sought-after awards in the business travel niche, the GT Tested Reader Survey Awards are as ever-changing as the industry itself. Each year, we add new categories
and recognize new winners in vogue with the trends of the travel world.

The world of private jet travel is one of those trends, seeing a steady increase in usage from the mid-1990s through today. To tip our hat to the burgeoning sector, we introduced four new categories this year: Best Private Jet Company in Asia, Best Private Jet Company in the Americas, Best Private Jet Company in Europe and Best Private Jet Company in the Middle East. The inaugural winners are Deer Jet, Delta Private Jets, Air Partner and Royal Jet, respectively.

Best Hotel in the World is a hefty title to carry, but one The Address Hotel Downtown Dubai holds with ease, luxury and style. The flagship 5-star hotel sits near another world-renowned landmark, Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower.

In 2011, we further bulked up our hotel category with the addition of the Best Hotel Chain in Mexico award. The winner is FiestAmericana, part of the Posadas hotel group. Its eight FiestAmericana hotels are located throughout Mexico, including Guadalajara, Cancún, Cozumel and Hermosillo.

Also new this year is the Best Overseas Delivery Program category. Overseas delivery provides the best of both worlds, as it combines a great trip with driving around a foreign destination in your new car, which is later delivered stateside. Audi ranks No. 1 — a nod to the cars and the experience.

Our last newbie this year is the Best Noise-Canceling Headset category, as these are among the most popular toys for travelers. The winner is Sony, whose noise-canceling varieties offer ambient noise adjustments, adjustable settings for your environment, a lightweight design and fold-up functionality for easy transport.

REIGNING RINGMASTERS

After disembarking from a fantastic flight, travelers want to be wowed by an equally wonderful hotel experience. From check-in to accommodations, guests expect a 5-star — not a three-ring —  performance. Our experienced readers know great hotels, and those are reflected in this year’s winning properties and brands.

The Peninsula Hotels take top billing as Best International Hotel Chain. The chain operates nine 5-star properties around the world, including Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Beijing, New York, Chicago, Beverly Hills and Manila. Joining the stellar international repertoire, The Peninsula Paris will open in 2013. Also earning recognition this year is The Peninsula Beverly Hills, voted Best Hotel in the United States and Best Hotel in the Western United States.

Another well-recognized luxury brand takes top honors domestically. With nearly 40 U.S. properties, The Ritz-Carlton claims the award for Best Domestic Hotel Chain. Look out for the upcoming Rancho Mirage, Calif., property.

Continuing our domestic journey, New York City’s Jumeirah Essex House earns its fourth consecutive win for Best Hotel in the Eastern United States. The Middle Eastern brand wins two nods this year, as Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts claims the Best Hotel Chain in the Middle East award for its sixth year in a row. The brand has six new hotels and resorts in the pipeline for the near future.

Hyatt takes home two titles this year, and both mark the second consecutive win for each, continuing the streak of topping these categories since their inclusion in our survey. Andaz is the 2011 winner for Best Lifestyle Hotel, and Grand Hyatt’s Grand Club earns Best Hotel Club Floor.

Rounding out the hotel category, we acknowledge the stand-outs in Europe, Asia and Latin America. St. Regis, with properties in Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, stars as Best European Hotel Chain. Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts will open more than 20 new properties throughout Asia by 2015, further enhancing its presence as the Best Hotel Chain in Asia. An annual favorite is Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, the Best Hotel Chain in Latin America for the eighth consecutive year.

Which worldwide destinations rank as your favorite stops on the traveling circuit? Domestically, both coasts get standing ovations. Oregon, known for its beautiful landscapes and wine regions, is our readers’ Best Domestic Tourism Destination. The City of Brotherly Love takes a leading role in doing business, as Philadelphia wins Best Domestic Business City. One of Spain’s most bustling cities, Barcelona shines as Best International Business City. South Africa is the 2011 Best International Tourism Destination.

To relax and rejuvenate, GT readers choose the Rome Cavalieri, a Waldorf Astoria property in Italy’s capital city, as Best Spa. Golf remains a leading leisure choice for business travelers, who often opt for Bandon Dunes in Bandon, Ore., named the Best Golf Resort this year.

As we all know, the perfect circus is the right combination of performers, animals, magic and death-defying feats. Travel, in much the same way, is a hodgepodge of flights and hotels but also rewards programs, on-the-road essentials, services, products, shopping and sightseeing. And so we salute the rest of the very best for 2011.

Rewarding loyalty is the perfect way to thank frequent travelers. Which companies show gratitude best? For hotels, it is InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards, voted Best Hotel Rewards Program in the World for the seventh consecutive year. In the airline arena, United’s MileagePlus program accepts its eighth win as Best Frequent-Flyer Program. Also an eight-time winner is American Express Membership Rewards, named Best Credit Card Rewards Program.

Cellphone, check. Laptop, check. Add to that list — iPad, check. Apple’s newest game changer is 2011’s Best Travel Gadget. And for the cellphone and laptop, readers like Verizon as Best Wireless Service in the World, marking its second year on top, and Boingo Wireless as the Best WiFi Service. And we cannot forget our luggage, which is Briggs & Riley, preferably. The luggage company carries Best Luggage Brand for the second year in a row.

Last, but certainly not least, we award the final two winners of 2011. See the lions, tigers, elephants and horses of the world with Lindblad Expeditions, Best Tour Operator. And for the perfect souvenir or luxury item, shop at Dubai Duty Free, named Best Duty-Free Shops for the fifth consecutive year.

THE VOTING PROCESS

The GT Tested Awards survey was conducted from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31, 2011. Open-ended questionnaires were available in subscriber copies of the magazine, online at 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. more than 36,000 qualifying surveys were received in 2011.

BEST AIRLINE IN THE WORLD
1. Singapore Airlines
2. British Airways
3. Lufthansa
4. Asiana Airlines
5. Swiss International Air Lines, Ltd.
6. Virgin Atlantic Airways
7. Emirates
8. Cathay Pacific Airways
9. Korean Air
10. Qantas

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

BEST AIRLINE FOR BUSINESS CLASS
1. British Airways
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Emirates
4. Cathay Pacific Airways
5. Lufthansa
6. Air Canada
7. Jet Airways
8. Korean Air
9. Asiana Airlines
10. United Airlines

BEST BUSINESS-CLASS SEAT DESIGN
1. Virgin Atlantic Airways
2. Swiss International Air Lines, Ltd.
3. British Airways
4. Singapore Airlines
5. TAM
6. Korean Air
7. Etihad Airways
8. Qantas
9. Asiana Airlines
10. United Airlines

BEST FIRST-CLASS SEAT DESIGN
1. Swiss International Air Lines, Ltd.
2. Singapore Airlines
3. United Airlines
4. Emirates
5. Asiana Airlines
6. TAM
7. British Airways
8. Qantas
9. Cathay Pacific Airways
10. Etihad Airways

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

BEST AIRLINE FOR DOMESTIC FIRST CLASS
1. American Airlines
2. United Airlines
3. Virgin America
4. Delta Air Lines
5. US Airways

BEST AIRLINE FOR ONBOARD SERVICE AND FLIGHT ATTENDANTS
1. Asiana Airlines
2. Swiss International Air Lines, Ltd.
3. Emirates
4. Singapore Airlines
5. Air Canada
6. Korean Air
7. TAM
8. Qatar Airways
9. Cathay Pacific Airways
10. South African Airways

BEST AIRLINE IN CENTRAL/SOUTH AMERICA
1. LAN Airlines
2. Avianca
3. TAM
4. Aerolineas Argentinas

BEST AIRLINE IN MEXICO
1. Aeromexico
2. Volaris Airlines
3. Aero California

BEST TRANS-ATLANTIC AIRLINE
1. Lufthansa
2. Swiss International Air Lines, Ltd.
3. British Airways
4. TAP Portugal
5. American Airlines
6. Virgin Atlantic Airways
7. United Airlines
8. Iberia Airlines
9. Delta Air Lines
10. OpenSkies

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

BEST AIRLINE TO AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
1. V Australia
2. Qantas
3. Air Tahiti Nui
4. Air Pacific
5. Air New Zealan

BEST AIRLINE IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC
1. Air Tahiti Nui
2. Air Pacific
3. Qantas
4. V Australia
5. Air New Zealand

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

BEST AIRLINE IN AFRICA
1. South African Airways
2. Ethiopian Airlines
3. Royal Air Maroc
4. Kenya Airways
5. Air Namibia
6. Arik Air

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

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

BEST AIRLINE IN SOUTHEAST ASIA (Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore and the Philippines)
1. Thai Airways
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Philippine Airlines
4. AirAsia
5. SilkAir
6. Malaysia Airlines
7. Royal Brunei Airlines
8. Vietnam Airlines

BEST AIRLINE IN CHINA
1. Hainan Airlines
2. China Southern Airlines
3. Air China
4. China Eastern 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 TO JAPAN
1. All Nippon Airways
2. Japan Airlines
3. United Airlines
4. American Airlines
5. Delta Air Lines

BEST AIRLINE FOR SECURITY
1. EL AL Israel Airlines
2. Swiss International Air Lines, Ltd.
3. Lufthansa
4. BritishAairways
5. Air Canada

BEST AIRLINE CUISINE
1. Alitalia
2. Asiana Airlines
3. Swiss International Air Lines, Ltd.
4. Air France
5. Korean Air
6. Lufthansa
7. Finnair
8. Iberia Airlines
9. Singapore Airlines
10. Air New Zealand

BEST AIRPORT LOUNGES
1. United Club
2. Delta Air Lines Sky Lounge
3. American Airlines Ambassadors Club
4. Korean Air
5. British Airways Executive Club
6. Virgin Atlantic Airways Clubhouse
7. South African Airways Cycad Lounge
8. Emirates
9. Cathay Pacific Airways Marco Polo Club
10. Asiana Airlines

BEST AIRPORT IN THE WORLD
1. Incheon International Airport
2. Changi International Airport
3. Munich Airport
4. London Heathrow Airport
5. Amsterdam International Airport Schiphol
6. Hong Kong International Airport
7. Kuala Lumpur International Airport
8. Kansai International Airport
9. Centrair Nagoya
10. Zürich Airport

BEST AIRPORT IN NORTH AMERICA
1. Chicago O’Hare International Airport
2. Denver International Airport
3. George Bush Intercontinental Airport Houston
4. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta 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. Airbus A380
3. Boeing 777
4. Boeing 737
5. Airbus A340
6. Airbus A330
7. Boeing 767
8. Airbus A320
9. Airbus A350

BEST FREQUENT-FLYER PROGRAM
1. United MileagePlus
2. American AAdvantage
3. Delta SkyMiles
4. Alaska Mileage Plan
5. British Airways Executive Club
6. Southwest Rapid Rewards
7. Lufthansa Miles & More
8. US Airways Dividend Miles
9. Aeromexico Club Premier

BEST AIRLINE ALLIANCE
1. oneworld
2. SkyTeam
3. Star Alliance

BEST AIRPORT STAFF/GATE AGENTS
1. Korean Air
2. Asiana Airlines
3. Singapore Airlines
4. Etihad Airways
5. Swiss International Air Lines, Ltd.
6. Lufthansa
7. Cathay Pacific Airways
8. Emirates
9. Malaysia Airlines
10. Qatar Airways

BEST AIRPORT DINING
1. Changi International Airport
2. Dubai International Airport
3. Incheon International Airport
4. Chicago O’Hare International Airport
5. Denver International Airport
6. Bangkok International Suvarnabhumi Airport
7. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport
8. Narita International Airport Tokyo
9. Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport
10. London Heathrow Airport

BEST PRIVATE JET COMPANY IN ASIA
1. Deer Jet
2. Jet Aviation
3. ASA Group
4. Paramount Business Jets
5. Executive Jets Asia

BEST PRIVATE JET COMPANY IN THE AMERICAS
1. Delta Private Jets
2. Sentient
3. NetJets
4. FlexJet
5. Bluestar Jets

BEST PRIVATE JET COMPANY IN EUROPE
1. Air Partner
2. AB Corporate Aviation
3. Ocean Sky
4. Bookajet.com
5. TAG Aviation

BEST PRIVATE JET COMPANY IN THE MIDDLE EAST
1. Royal Jet
2. EMT Jets
3. VistaJet
4. Western Aviation
5. Rizon Jet

BEST HOTEL IN THE WORLD
1. The Address Hotel Downtown Dubai
2. Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris
3. Hotel Cipriani Venice
4. Hôtel de Crillon Paris
5. Claridge’s Hotel, London
6. Burj Al Arab, Dubai
7. Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Dubai
8. Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
9. Emirates Palace Hotel Abu Dhabi
10. The Peninsula Beverly Hills

BEST INTERNATIONAL HOTEL CHAIN
1. The Peninsula Hotels
2. Park Hyatt
3. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
4. InterContinental Hotels and Resorts
5. The Ritz-Carlton
6. Marriott Hotels and Resorts
7. Conrad Hotels and Resorts
8. Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
9. Westin Hotels and Resorts
10. Grand Hyatt

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

BEST LIFESTYLE HOTEL
1. Andaz
2. W Hotels
3. Hotel Indigo
4. Affinia Hotels
5. Kimpton Hotels

BEST HOTEL IN THE UNITED STATES
1. The Peninsula Beverly Hills
2. The Peninsula Chicago
3. Elysian Hotel, Chicago
4. Jumeirah Essex House, New York City
5. Taj Campton Place, San Francisco
6. Mandarin Oriental, New York City
7. The Montage Beverly Hills
8. The Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dallas
9. The Inn at Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach, Calif.
10. Hotel Bel-Air, Los Angeles

BEST HOTEL IN THE EASTERN UNITED STATES
1. Jumeirah Essex House, New York City
2. Mandarin Oriental, New York City
3. Mandarin Oriental, Washington, D.C.
4. Taj Pierre, New York City
5. The Carlyle, New York City
6. St. Regis, New York City
7. Four Seasons Hotel New York City
8. Four Seasons Hotel Boston
9. The Breakers Palm Beach
10. The Willard InterContinental Washington

BEST HOTEL IN THE WESTERN UNITED STATES
1. The Peninsula Beverly Hills
2. The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colo.
3. The Montage Beverly Hills
4. The Montage Laguna Beach
5. Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa, Phoenix
6. Taj Campton Place, San Francisco
7. Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco
8. Hotel Bel-Air, Los Angeles
9. Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
10. Shutters on the Beach, Santa Monica, Calif.

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

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

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

BEST HOTEL CHAIN IN MEXICO
1. FiestAmericana Hotels and Resorts
2. Westin Hotels and Resorts
3. W Hotels
4. Sheraton Hotels and Resorts
5. InterContinental Hotels and Resorts

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

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

BEST DOMESTIC TOURISM DESTINATION
1. Oregon
2. Arizona
3. Hawaii
4. New York
5. North Carolina
6. Florida
7. South Dakota
8. New Mexico
9. Colorado
10. Utah

BEST DOMESTIC BUSINESS CITY
1. Philadelphia
2. Chicago
3. New York
4. San Francisco
5. New Orleans
6. Washington, D.C.
7. Los Angeles
8. Miami
9. Boston
10. Las Vegas

BEST INTERNATIONAL TOURISM DESTINATION
1. South Africa
2. Malaysia
3. India
4. Spain
5. Italy
6. Thailand
7. United Kingdom
8. Hong Kong
9. Brazil
10. Australia

BEST INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CITY
1. Barcelona
2. Madrid
3. Paris
4. Sydney
5. Bangkok
6. Singapore
7. London
8. Hong Kong
9. Cape Town
10. Istanbul

BEST SPA
1. Rome Cavalieri, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel
2. Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
3. The Langham Huntington, Pasadena, Calif.
4. Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo
5. The St. Regis Mexico City
6. The Langham Melbourne
7. The Ritz-Carlton, Singapore
8. Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris
9. Banyan Tree Phuket
10. The Peninsula New York

BEST GOLF RESORT
1. Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Bandon, Ore.
2. Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Kiawah Island, S.C.
3. Pebble Beach Resorts, Pebble Beach, Calif.
4. The American Club, Kohler, Wisc.
5. Cloister at Sea Island, Sea Island, Ga.
6. Turtle Bay Resort, North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii
7. Pinehurst Resort, Pinehurst, N.C.
8. The Phoenician, Scottsdale, Ariz.
9. Troon North Golf Club, Scottsdale, Ariz.
10. The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows, Hawaii

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

BEST WIFI SERVICE
1. Boingo Wireless
2. AT&T Wireless
3. Verizon
4. T-Mobile
5. Comcast

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

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

BEST CREDIT CARD REWARDS PROGRAM
1. American Express Membership Rewards
2. Chase MileagePlus Visa
3. Capital One Orbitz Visa Premium
4. Capital One Venture Rewards
5. Delta SkyMiles American Express
6. Diner’s Club
7. Chase Sapphire
8. Discover More Card
9. Bank of America World Points
10. Chase Freedom

BEST DUTY-FREE SHOPS
1. Dubai Duty Free
2. Incheon International Airport
3. Munich Airport
4. London Heathrow Airport
5. Changi International Airport
6. Bangkok International Suvarnabhumi Airport
7. Hong Kong International Airport
8. Narita airport Tokyo
9. Zürich Airport
10. Amsterdam International Airport Schiphol

BEST TOUR OPERATOR
1. Lindblad Expeditions
2. Boundless Journeys
3. Abercrombie & Kent
4. Classic Journeys
5. Geographic Expeditions
6. African Travel, Inc.
7. Travoca
8. International Expeditions
9. Big Five Tours & Expeditions
10. Quark Expeditions

BEST NOISE-CANCELING HEADSET
1. Sony Noise-Canceling Headsets
2. Monster Beats Headphones
3. Bose
4. Sennheiser
5. JVC
6. MEElectronics

BEST TRAVEL GADGET
1. iPad
2. iPhone
3. Sony Digital Headsets
4. Amazon Kindle e-Reader
5. BlackBerry
6. Garmin GPS
7. Android Mobile Phone
8. Bose Headsets
9. Powermonkey Portable Charger
10. MacBook Air

BEST LUGGAGE BRAND
1. Briggs & Riley
2. Delsey
3. Samsonite
4. Tumi
5. Hartman
6. Coach
7. Swiss Army
8. Travelpro
9. Victorinox

CHAMPION CONFECTIONS

The results of Global Traveler’s annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Competition were first released in our August 2011 issue. Twenty-eight airlines submitted samples of their in-flight wine selections. Thirty-one professional wine experts presided as judges over the annual competition. This year’s winners included OpenSkies (Best Business-Class Wines on the Wing), Asiana Airlines (Best First-Class Wines on the Wing), Etihad Airways (Best Business-Class White Wine), EL AL Israel Airlines (Best First-Class White Wine), South African Airways (Best Business-Class Sparkling Wine), V Australia (Best Business-Class Champagne), Asiana Airlines (Best First-Class Champagne and Best First-Class Red Wine), TAP Portugal (Best Business-Class Red Wine) and Lufthansa (Best First-Class Red Wine). For the North American category of the Wines on the Wing competition, American Airlines outshone the rest, earning nods with the Best North American Wines on the Wing, Best North American Sparkling Wine and Best North American Red Wine. US Airways boasts the Best North American White Wine. SkyTeam, represented by Alitalia and Delta Air Lines, won Best Alliance Wines on the Wing.

2011 winners, revel in your moment and take a bow — you are officially part of one of the greatest shows on Earth.

BEST BUSINESS-CLASS WINES ON THE WING
OpenSkies

BEST FIRST-CLASS WINES ON THE WING
Asiana Airlines

BEST BUSINESS-CLASS WHITE WINE
Etihad Airways

BEST FIRST-CLASS WHITE WINE
EL AL Israel Airlines

BEST BUSINESS-CLASS SPARKLING WINE
South African Airways

BEST BUSINESS-CLASS CHAMPAGNE
V Australia

BEST FIRST-CLASS CHAMPAGNE
Asiana Airlines

BEST BUSINESS-CLASS RED WINE
TAP Portugal

BEST FIRST-CLASS RED WINE
Lufthansa and Asiana Airlines (TIE)

BEST NORTH AMERICAN WINES ON THE WING, BEST NORTH AMERICAN SPARKLING WINE AND BEST NORTH AMERICAN RED WINE
American Airlines

BEST NORTH AMERICAN WHITE WINE
US Airways

BEST ALLIANCE WINES ON THE WING
SkyTeam, represented by Alitalia and Delta Air Lines

Introducing

FX Excursions

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

Daily
May 29, 2020

6 Reasons We Can’t Wait to #ComeBacktoTravel to the Florida Keys

At FXExpress Publications, Inc., we can’t wait to #ComeBacktoTravel, and we can’t wait for the travel industry and others to #ComeBacktoGT. Join us over the next several weeks as we entice you with photos from some of the places we’re most excited to visit. Take a visual journey through some of the Florida Keys’ most breathtaking sights with us, just in time for the June 1 reopening.

Goway Offers Travelers Journey of a Lifetime

Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.

Daily
May 29, 2020

Four Seasons Resort Revamps Reef Club

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa unveiled its newly renovated Reef Club. The Mediterranean eatery offers the warm vibes of the southern coast of Europe, combined with views of the Maldives.

Daily
May 28, 2020

European Commission Outlines Plan to Reopen Europe

People need a “chance to get some well-needed rest, relaxation and fresh air.” This is a sentiment we all likely share, as does the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union. The EC included that phrase when it released its plan to help reopen Europe following the COVID-19 global pandemic. While most EU borders remain closed to international travel until at least mid-June, the EC’s plan starts with inter-Europe travel, and are non-binding recommendations and guidelines. European countries still have the final decision, so travelers are advised to check the restrictions of the countries they plan to visit. According to the EC, “blanket restrictions of free movement are replaced by targeted measures.”

The Perfect Fit

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and account for nearly 48 percent of the U.S. private sector workforce. And small- and medium-sized businesses outpace all other sectors as one of the fastest-growing in the United States. InterContinental® Hotels Group (IHG) goes above and beyond to create opportunities for this segment with its IHG® Business Edge program, voted Best Small- to Mid-Sized Business Program in Global Traveler’s 2019 GT Tested Reader Survey awards.

Daily
May 28, 2020

Cruise Line Updates on Cancellations and Rebookings Due to COVID-19

The cruise industry responds to the COVID-19 pandemic with updates on cancellations and rebooking policies. Here’s an update.

eFlyer Deals
May 27, 2020

Star Clippers Offers Complimentary Hotel Nights on Caribbean Sailings

Star Clippers offers two complimentary hotel nights in Barbados or St. Maarten for Caribbean sailings December 2020–March 2022. For use before or after the cruise, the hotel deal also includes one breakfast and a ship transfer.

Athens: A city that charms its guests and stirs their emotions

The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.

eFlyer Deals
May 27, 2020

Naples Grande Beach Resort, Cheeca Lodge & Spa Debut Reopening Offer

Two Florida hotels boast reopening offers as Florida begins its phased reopening.