Busi­ness Trav­eler read­ers cel­e­brate the 30th an­niver­sary of the Best in Busi­ness Travel Awards

Business Traveler (USA) - - CONTENTS -

The 30th An­nual Best in Busi­ness Travel Award Win­ners

Be­gin­ning in 1988 and every year since, Busi­ness

Trav­eler has asked our read­ers to voice their choice for who does travel bet­ter than any­body else in the world. The three decades since have been a time of re­mark­able change in the busi­ness of busi­ness travel, with new tech­nol­ogy, shift­ing de­mo­graph­ics and con­sumer pref­er­ences as well as a fluid com­pet­i­tive land­scape rev­o­lu­tion­iz­ing prac­ti­cally every step of the jour­ney.

Yet no mat­ter what di­rec­tion these de­vel­op­ments are tak­ing us, busi­ness trav­el­ers are al­ways the first to iden­tify the best of the best the in­dus­try has to of­fer. That’s be­cause these prod­ucts and ser­vices – from the tried and true to the lat­est in­no­va­tions – are essen­tial to the road war­rior’s suc­cess. These are the tools that en­able the jour­ney, en­sure suc­cess and em­power the re­turn on the trav­eler’s in­vest­ment.

Again this year, we’ve in­vited you, our read­ers, to select the top travel providers across the globe. The votes are tal­lied and now it’s time to an­nounce the 2018 Best in Busi­ness Travel Awards. Cat­e­gories are not pre-de­ter­mined and nom­i­nees are not pre-se­lected; the mag­a­zine staff took no part de­ter­min­ing which com­pa­nies were named the win­ners in any cat­e­gory. So these truly are your choices, voted by you and pre­sented to honor ex­cel­lence in the travel ser­vices in­dus­try.

The win­ners this year in­clude 28 dif­fer­ent travel providers in 40 dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories, in­clud­ing the best air­lines and the best busi­ness ho­tel chains both by re­gions and world­wide, as well as lux­ury brands. The awards also rec­og­nize read­ers’ choices in such cat­e­gories as car rental com­pa­nies, air­ports and loy­alty pro­grams, plus the top pick for duty free shop­ping.

For 2018 the awards have been clas­si­fied in seven groups: Best Air­lines by Re­gion, Best Air Travel Ex­pe­ri­ence, Best Ho­tel Ex­pe­ri­ence, Best Ho­tel by Re­gion, Best Loy­alty Pro­grams, Best Con­nec­tions on the Ground and the Best in Global Travel.


The Best in Global Travel are the in­ter­na­tional su­per­stars of the avi­a­tion busi­ness. These are the air­lines and al­liances whom read­ers have voted the best in the world in their re­spec­tive cat­e­gories; best air­lines in dif­fer­ent classes of ser­vice – from econ­omy to first – as well as those which de­liver the best ex­pe­ri­ence in such facets of air travel as ex­cep­tional cus­tomer ser­vice and fine cui­sine. Ev­ery­thing that im­pacts busi­ness travel – from big is­sues like ser­vice lev­els, route struc­tures, con­ve­nience and com­fort, down to the thick­ness of the du­vets and the selec­tions on the dessert cart – are part of the equa­tion. Read­ers se­lected these re­cip­i­ents for de­liv­er­ing best-in-class ser­vice all across the air travel ex­pe­ri­ence.


With a long his­tory of ser­vice and cul­tural iden­ti­ties closely tied to their par­tic­u­lar geo­graphic ar­eas, these air­lines stand out for of­fer­ing the best value and best ser­vice in seven ma­jor global re­gions. The award win­ners in this group rep­re­sent the Best in Busi­ness Travel in North Amer­ica, South Amer­ica/ Latin Amer­ica, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the Mid­dle East, Africa and Asia. The cat­e­gory also in­cludes the top air­line in North Amer­ica for in­ter­na­tional travel.


This group rec­og­nizes the air­lines that of­fer the best to­tal air travel ex­pe­ri­ence for busi­ness trav­el­ers. The qual­ity of travel for a fre­quent flier is mea­sured all along the value chain from their ini­tial con­tact with the air­line to their ar­rival at the

fi­nal des­ti­na­tion. So the over­all air travel ex­pe­ri­ence takes into ac­count such fac­tors as ground­side sup­port, in­flight ser­vice, cui­sine, ameni­ties, as well as air­craft lay­out, seat­ing and space. This group of award win­ners in­cludes the best in busi­ness class bro­ken out by re­gions, the best transoceanic ser­vices, plus the top air travel ex­pe­ri­ence in North Amer­ica.


Com­pe­ti­tion in the world of hos­pi­tal­ity is be­com­ing ever more in­tense. To­day’s ho­tel in­dus­try is field­ing new prop­er­ties, new brands and new ser­vice con­cepts, all striv­ing for the at­ten­tion of the all-im­por­tant busi­ness trav­eler. With more choices than ever, trav­el­ers can find a ho­tel stay tai­lored to their life­style, their busi­ness ob­jec­tives and even their fa­vorite dé­cor. But above ev­ery­thing else, what makes the ho­tel ex­pe­ri­ence stand out is su­pe­rior ser­vice, value, com­fort and at­ten­tion to de­tail, fac­tors that are the hall­mark of every ho­tel chain in this group of award win­ners.


“Wel­come” is a word that car­ries all the sense and sig­nif­i­cance of hos­pi­tal­ity, no mat­ter what lan­guage is used. But how it’s ex­pressed can be dif­fer­ent in dif­fer­ent cul­tures around the world. So too the Best in Busi­ness Travel Awards honor hote­liers across dif­fer­ent re­gions, a recog­ni­tion by our read­ers that gra­cious hos­pi­tal­ity may take many dis­tinc­tive forms, but all based on con­sis­tent at­ten­tion to the needs of busi­ness trav­el­ers sea­soned with the spe­cial fla­vor of these re­gions.

This group hon­ors award win­ners in North Amer­ica, Europe, the Mid­dle East, Asia and Latin Amer­ica.


Travel providers rec­og­nize the ef­fec­tive­ness of us­ing loy­alty pro­grams to at­tract and re­ward their most fre­quent cus­tomers. In re­turn, trav­el­ers ex­pect these pro­grams to be ac­ces­si­ble, easy to use and above all, re­ally re­ward­ing with great earn-and-burn op­tions. Year af­ter year, the award win­ners in this cat­e­gory are those pro­grams which read­ers say of­fer the most de­sir­able pre­mi­ums and the great­est flex­i­bil­ity.


As any busi­ness trav­eler will tell you, the pur­pose of the trip is to get where you need to go so you can get done the busi­ness you need to get done. While it may sound sim­ple, our read­ers know from ex­pe­ri­ence that it doesn’t al­ways work out that way. That’s why it’s easy to ap­pre­ci­ate the award win­ners in this cat­e­gory.

Re­gard­less of whether the con­nec­tion is a fast turn­around or a long lay­over, the world’s best air­ports are easy to nav­i­gate from curb­side to plane­side, and the ameni­ties – from light­ning quick WiFi con­nec­tiv­ity to top-shelf duty-free shop­ping – make life on the road a lot eas­ier.

Once you ar­rive at your fi­nal des­ti­na­tion – in North Amer­ica or any­where else in the world – be­fore you can get where you want to go, the next stop is of­ten at the rental car counter. It’s a crit­i­cal part of life on the road that needs to be as smooth and seam­less as pos­si­ble. The award win­ners in this cat­e­gory know what it takes to get their busi­ness trav­el­ers on the road.


These cov­eted awards honor the travel providers who of­fer ex­cep­tional prod­ucts and ser­vices in a wide range of travel set­tings. That’s good news for those of us whose work takes us on the road; com­pe­ti­tion in the travel in­dus­try is alive and well – and that means new ideas and in­no­va­tions are con­stantly im­prov­ing our lives and our travels.

Ul­ti­mately that drives ser­vice lev­els higher, and that means all of us in the glo­ri­ous busi­ness of busi­ness travel are win­ners in the end.

BE­LOW: Best Over­all Air­line in the World: Sin­ga­pore Air­lines; Best Busi­ness Ho­tel Chain in the World: Hil­ton Ho­tels & Re­sorts

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