• Bookmark and Share
  • | PRINT

2013 Leading Edge Awards

20130708-a-leading-edge-opener.jpg
© Alija / iStockphoto
LAUNCH SLIDESHOW

The winners of Executive Travel’s reader-voted Leading Edge Awards blaze the way with innovation and service.

Executive Travel’s readers are business-travel experts, embarking on dozens of trips a year. So when they vote for the companies they consider superlative, it’ls with authority.

Executive Travel’s Leading Edge Awards were developed to honor travel providers that offer the most innovative, high-quality products to business travelers. To that end, Executive Travel readers vote for their favorite travel providers each year. Here are the 2013 winners.

Methodology: A questionnaire developed by the editors of Executive Travel, in association with ROI Research, Inc., was made available to Executive Travel readers at roiresearch.com/leadingedgeawards from January 31, 2013 through April 1, 2013. Readers were invited to participate through dedicated email invitations, the March/April issue of Executive Travel magazine, ExecutiveTravelMagazine.com, the Executive Travel CheckIn newsletter and social media.

 

 

Domestic Airlines

Best Domestic Airline
Overall:

Gold: Delta
Silver: Southwest
Bronze: JetBlue

Best Domestic Airline
Customer Service:

Gold: Southwest
Silver: JetBlue
Bronze: Delta

Best Domestic Airline
Airport Lounges:

Gold: Delta
Silver: American
Bronze: JetBlue

Best Domestic Airline
Frequent-Flyer Program:

Gold: Delta
Silver: Southwest
Bronze: American

Best Domestic Airline
Premium-Class Service:

Gold: Delta
Silver: American
Bronze: JetBlue

International Airlines

Best International Airline
Overall:

Gold: Korean
Silver: Singapore
Bronze: Virgin Atlantic

Best International Airline
Customer Service:

Gold: Korean
Silver: Virgin Atlantic
Bronze: Singapore

Best International Airline
Airport Lounges:

Gold: Singapore
Silver: Korean
Bronze: Virgin Atlantic

Best International Airline
Frequent-Flyer Program:

Gold: Korean
Silver: Virgin Atlantic
Bronze: Cathay Pacific

Best International Airline
Premium-Class Service:

Gold: Singapore
Silver: Korean
Bronze: Cathay Pacific

Rewards Program

Best Credit Card
Rewards Program:

Gold: Membership Rewards Program from American Express
Silver: Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express
Bronze: United Airlines MileagePlus Explorer Visa

Flight Experience

Best Flight Experience
To Canada:

Gold: Air Canada
Silver: Delta
Bronze: United

Best Flight Experience
To Caribbean:

Gold: American
Silver: Delta
Bronze: United

Best Flight Experience
To Mexico:

Gold: United
Silver: American
Bronze: Delta

Best Flight Experience
To Central/South America:

Gold: American
Silver: Delta
Bronze: United

Best Flight Experience
To Europe:

Gold: British Airways
Silver: Delta
Bronze: United

Best Flight Experience
To Asia:

Gold: Korean
Silver: Cathay Pacific
Bronze: Singapore

Best Flight Experience
To Australia/New Zealand:

Gold: Qantas Airways
Silver: Air New Zealand
Bronze: United

Best Flight Experience
To Middle East:

Gold: Emirates
Silver: United
Bronze: Delta

Best Flight Experience
To Africa

Gold: Delta
Silver: South African Airways
Bronze: British Airways

Airports

Best Domestic Airport:

Gold: Houston (George Bush)
Silver: Washington D.C. (Ronald Reagan)
Bronze: Newark and Salt Lake City (tie)

Best International Airport:

Gold: London (Heathrow)
Silver: Amsterdam (Schiphol)
Bronze: Singapore (Changi)

Miscellaneous

Best Aircraft Type:

Gold: Boeing 777
Silver: Boeing 747
Bronze: Airbus 380

Best Private Jet Type:

Gold: Delta Private Jets
Silver: NetJets
Bronze: Flexjet by Bombardier

Hotels

Best Hotel Overall:

Gold: St. Regis
Silver: Ritz-Carlton
Bronze: JW Marriott

Best Hotel
Business Travel:

Gold: St. Regis
Silver: Ritz-Carlton
Bronze: JW Marriott

Best Hotel
Meeting Facilities:

Gold: St. Regis
Silver: Ritz-Carlton
Bronze: Four Seasons

Best Hotel
Customer Service:

Gold: Ritz-Carlton
Silver: St. Regis
Bronze: Four Seasons

Best Hotel
Frequent Guest Program

Gold: Starwood
Silver: Marriott
Bronze: Hilton

Rental Car

Best Rental Car Company
Overall:

Gold: National
Silver: Enterprise
Bronze: Avis

Best Rental Car Company
Vehicle Selection:

Gold: Hertz
Silver: Avis
Bronze: National

Best Rental Car Company
Customer Service:

Gold: Enterprise
Silver: Hertz
Bronze: Avis

Best Rental Car Company
Value:

Gold: Thrifty
Silver: Enterprise
Bronze: National

Best Rental Car Company
Loyalty Program:

Gold: National
Silver: Hertz
Bronze: Avis

Editor Picks

While Leading Edge Awards are reader-voted, Executive Travel editors honor these additional companies for innovation in 2013.

  • The New American Airlines: US Airways and American Airlines have executed their merger relatively quickly and gracefully. Challenges, including ratification of labor contracts, were patiently and shrewdly addressed. Now we have our fingers crossed that the new company will be able to avoid major transitional glitches like those of United, post-merger.

  • Alaska Airlines: Once a regional carrier, Alaska has successfully extended its reach while retaining its trademark culture of friendly service. The company continues to lead the industry in technology advancements, and in the last year it added Denver, Kansas City and Salt Lake City routes, bringing the total cities served to 95 (including feeder partner Horizon).

  • Hertz: Perennially bringing innovation to the otherwise staid rental car industry, Hertz added new technology recently for mobile convenience. With Carfirmations, Gold Members receive car information by SMS/email and can use it to change cars; eReturn allows drivers to drop the car and go; and ExpressRent allows drivers without a reservation to rent a car immediately via a video kiosk.

  • Langham International Hotels: The company’s tagline, “Birth of a legend,” refers to a long and colorful history, but what sets this hotelier apart is its innovative marketing that speaks to a very modern hotel experience. The hospitality group has also launched two new brands: Langham Place and Eaton Experience, which build on the Langham history while serving a new customer group.

  • TripIt: The world of apps is fast-changing, but TripIt’s ongoing commitment to innovation has kept it interesting and relevant since its founding in 2006, with no signs of slowing. The company keeps an ear to the ground for travelers’ pain points and responds nimbly by rolling out enhancements to its easy-to-use product.

  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport In the middle of a large capital improvement project that is adding runways, a new ATC tower and a terminal, ORD is also updating its dining choices with a number of farm-to-table options. The airport showcases its commitment to sustainability with an aeroponic garden, vegetated roofs and an apiary of 28 beehives.


Market Place