Delta, Korean Air take top ‘Executive Travel’ awards


Delta Air Lines and the St. Regis hotel brand were among the big winners in Executive Travel magazine’s Leading Edge Awards for 2013.

Delta took home the award for “Best Overall Domestic Airline” in the 2013 award, which were to be officially released on Monday. Delta edged out Southwest and JetBlue to take the top spot. Virgin America took the top spot in the category in 2012.

MORE: Winners of 2013 Leading Edge Awards (Executive Travel)

Other high-profile winners in aviation categories were Korean Air, which topped Singapore Airlines for “Best International Airlines Overall”. Emirates won the award in 2012.

Also winning the top spot on the broad “overall” categories: Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (“Best Domestic Airport”), London Heathrow (“Best International Airport”) and Delta Private Jets (“Best Private Jet Service.)” Boeing’s 777 widebody jet was voted as the “Best Aircraft Type,” coming in ahead of the Boeing 747 and the Airbus A380, according to Executive Travel’s readers.

PHOTOS: Boeing’s 777-300ER flies for American
PHOTOS: Scenes from the 2013 Paris Air Show

In the top non-aviation categories, Starwood’s St. Regis hotel brand was tabbed as the “Best Hotel Overall” while National was named the “Best Rental Car Company Overall.” The American Express Membership Rewards Program won for the “Best Credit Card Rewards Program.”

In addition to the “best overall” categories, Executive Travel also awarded six “Editor’s Picks” awards. They went to Alaska Airlines, “the new American Airlines,” Chicago O’Hare, Hertz, Langham International Hotels, Trip-It.

“The Executive Travel Leading Edge Award Editor’s Picks were selected primarily for their innovation and creativity,” Janet Libert, Executive Travel’s Editor in Chief, says in an e-mail to Today in the Sky. “We also considered the impact these companies have on the travel lives of our Executive Travel readers who are among the most frequent travelers on the planet. Our readers are on a plane virtually every week of the year and spend 103 nights a year in a hotel.”

The awards were voted on by the Executive Travel’s readers.

Read on for the six Editor’s Picks awards, as well as Executive Travel’s explanation for why they won. Then scroll down to see the complete list of Executive Travel’s Leading Edge Awards.

The New American Airlines: “The merger between US and AA has been executed relatively quickly and gracefully to date. As the biggest airline in the world, our ET readers will feel acutely the outcomes of the ongoing transition. We feel hopeful that the new AA has learned key lessons from previous mergers.”

PHOTOS: The new look of American Airlines

Alaska Airlines : “Alaska Airlines is honored for its unwavering service even as it steadily grows its route network in the “lower 48″. As a frequent flier, friendly service makes all the difference.”

Hertz: “Although not the biggest car rental company in revenue, Hertz is always innovating, especially for the business traveler. Carfimations, eReturn, ExpressRent are a sample of what makes Hertz an Editor’s Pick.”

Langham International Hotels: “Langham has just opened two properties in key U.S. markets for business travel — New York and Chicago.”

Trip-It: “Trip-It knows business travelers pain points and is committed to finding easy intuitive solutions for the time starved business traveler. This organization is open to ideas and is flawless in execution.”

O’Hare: Business travelers spend an inordinate amount of time in airports. ORD continues to improve that experience. The dining choices include a number of farm to table options. ORD showcases its commitment to sustainability with an aeroponic garden, vegetated roofs and an apiary of 28 beehives. It is also a hub for two of the US’ biggest carriers.

FULL LIST: 2013 Leading Edge Winners

“Overall” awards
Best Hotel Overall: St. Regis
Best Domestic Airline Overall: Delta Air Lines
Best International Airlines Overall: Korean Air
Best Domestic Airport: George Bush Intercontinental Airport (Houston)
Best International Airport: London Heathrow Airport
Best Aircraft Type: Boeing 777
Best Private Jet Service: Delta Private Jets
Best Rental Car Company Overall: National
Best Credit Card Rewards Program: Membership Rewards Program for American Express

Best by Category
Best Hotel – Business Travel: St. Regis
Best Hotel – Meeting Facilities: St. Regis
Best Hotel – Customer Service: Ritz-Carlton
Best Hotel – Frequent Guest Program: Starwood Preferred Guest Program
Best Domestic Airline – Customer Service: Southwest Airlines
Best Domestic Airline – Airport Lounges: Delta Air Lines
Best Domestic Airline – Frequent Flier Program: Delta Air Lines
Best Domestic Airline – Premium Class Service: Delta Air Lines
Best International Airline – Customer Service: Korean Air
Best International Airline – Airport Lounges: Singapore
Best International Airline – Frequent Flyer Program: Korean Air
Best International Airline – Premium Class Service: Singapore Airlines
Best Flight Experience to Canada: Air Canada
Best Flight Experience to the Caribbean: American Airlines
Best Flight Experience to Mexico: United Airlines
Best Flight Experience to Central/South America: American Airlines
Best Flight Experience to Europe: British Airways
Best Flight Experience to Asia: Korean Air
Best Flight Experience to Australia/New Zealand: Qantas Airways
Best Flight Experience to the Middle East: Emirates
Best Flight Experience to Africa: Delta Air Lines
Best Rental Car Company – Vehicle Selection: Hertz
Best Rental Car Company – Customer Service: Enterprise
Best Rental Car Company – Value: Thrifty
Best Rental Car Company – Loyalty Program: National

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