Out Traveler Awards: Time to Vote
By OUTTraveler Editors
Whether you’re in the air an hour or an eternity, which airline provides the all-around best experience from booking to baggage?
Air New Zealand
It’s the airline that brought you the Skycouch “cuddle seats,” need we say more? From safety videos featuring rugby teams, to memory foam in business class, there’s a reason to find yourself onboard an Air New Zealand plane. They also hosted a same-sex marriage in the air!
As it gets set to merge with US Air, American has rebranded itself, hoping to show us something new. And it has. With new premium class cabins on the marquee flights from New York to the West Coast, it’s an airline of choice for the avid long distance and business traveler. Making delays more than bearable, the luxurious Admiral’s Club lounges offers a reason to miss your next flight.
If you’re on top of your trip, booking early with BA can usually offer unexpected savings when flying from most major cities into Europe. For those transatlantic business travelers, the new Club World business class experience offers the newest in-flight technology that could only be balanced out with an afternoon tea. How British.
As industry competitors struggle with mergers, Delta is posting profits for a reason: the first airline to allow passengers to use their portable electronic devices from gate to gate, Delta prides itself on catering to the customer. If you aren’t afraid to pay a little more to tailor the flight specifically to your needs, then you’ve found your airline. Several variations of both business and coach let you choose how you fly when you fly.
Flying Blue doesn’t mean feeling it. The airline that prides itself on legroom and leather seats, also happens to be the first airline to bring travelers live TV, so you don’t have to plan your trip around the big game (or Ellen). With your first checked bag flying free of charge, couch no longer has to mean second class.
Headquarted in Chicago, but operating out of 10 hubs worldwide, United Airlines has the reach to get you to your destination, even if it’s a world away. Not having to rely on multiple carriers means more frequent flyer miles with the same carrier, which hopefully translates into more travel. With industry-leading loyalty programs, and a new commitment to customer service, look for United to gain a growing loyalty.
A perennial favorite, Virgin, like its owner Richard Branson, spares no expense. Leading the way with high quality entertainment options, including an interactive system offering touch-screen meal orders, it’s difficult not to feel like you’re already on vacation from the minute you step into this lounge/plane.