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Best of All

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.  

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.

Best Airlines by Region  

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.

Best Air Travel Experience

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.

Best Hotel Experience

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.

Best Hotel by Region

“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.

Best Loyalty Programs

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.

Best Connections on the Ground

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.

Good News for Business Travel

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.  


Best in Global Travel

Best Overall Airline in the World

Singapore Airlines

Best Airline in the World for International Travel

Etihad Airways

Best Airline Alliance


Best First Class Service in the World


Best Business Class Service in the World

Singapore Airlines

Best Premium Economy Class in the World


Best Economy Class Service in the World

Singapore Airlines

Best Airline Cuisine in Business Class

Turkish Airlines

Best Overall Inflight Experience in the World

Asiana Airlines

Airlines with Best Overall Customer Service

Delta Air Lines

Best Airlines By Region

Best North American Airline for International Travel

Air Canada

Best Airline for North American Travel


Best Airline in South/Latin America


Best Airline in Western Europe

British Airways

Best Airline in Eastern Europe

Turkish Airlines

Best Airline in Africa

South African Airways

Best Airline in the Middle East


Best Airline in Asia

China Southern

Best Air Travel Experience

Best North American Airline for Business Class Service

Delta Air Lines

Best Business Class to South/Latin America


Best Business Class to the Middle East

Etihad Airways

Best Business Class to Africa

South African Airways

Best Business Class to Asia

Singapore Airlines

Best Business Class to Australia/New Zealand/South Pacific


Best North American Airline for Inflight Experience

Air Canada

Best Airlines for Transatlantic Service

Virgin Atlantic

Best Airline for Transpacific Service

Cathay Pacific


Best Hotel Experience

Best Business Hotel Chain in the World

Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Best Luxury Hotel Chain

Ritz Carlton

Best Hotels By Regions

Best Business Hotel Chain in North America


Best Business Hotel Chain in South/Latin America

Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Best Business Hotel Chain in Europe

Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Best Business Hotel Chain in the Middle East

Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts

Best Business Hotel Chain in Asia

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

Best Loyalty Program

Best Frequent-Flier Program

Delta Sky Miles

Best Hotel Loyalty Program

Marriott Rewards

On the Ground

Best Connections on the Ground

Best Airport in the World

Singapore Changi Airport

Airport With Best Duty-Free Shopping

Incheon International Airport

Best Car Rental Company in North America

National Car Rental

Best Car Rental Company in the World