DALLAS — On November 30, Airways was in attendance in Miami at the second annual Business Traveler North America Awards, which celebrate the top performers in the airline, airport, hotel, and travel service industries.
A panel of aviation experts, hospitality leaders, and editors was responsible for selecting the nominees, which were then presented to the publication’s readers for their votes. The big winner was Delta Air Lines (DL), taking home four awards for the evening: North America’s Best Airline, North America’s Best Business Class, North America’s Best Premium Economy, and North America’s Best Airline Lounge.
Ignacio Borbolla, Regional Manager-South Florida at Delta Air Lines, told Airways how thrilled they were “to accept the honors on Delta’s behalf, taking away not only Sky Club but Delta One, North American airline, and Premium Economy as well.”
Elizabeth Ninomiya, Regional Manager Strategic Communications | Latin America, Caribbean & US Hispanic at Delta Air Lines, echoed the sentiment, “We’re also really honored to be here for such a prestigious award. We’ve worked hard to be the favorite for our customers, so to be chosen by the judges and to have that pretty much endorsed by the magazine itself is a real honor for us. It’s all about the people, and not only the Delta people but our travelers as well, ensuring that we’re giving them a top experience, whether they’re flying in our first-class cabin or our Delta One comfort plus main cabin.”
Borbolla continued, “We’re investing in our people. We’re investing in our experience. We’re investing in technology, whether it’s our Delta One free wifi on board, Delta Studio now, or having the most entertainment on board our aircraft. And for us, it’s ensuring that when somebody gets on board a Delta plane, they feel like they’re at home. They feel like they’re sitting down. They’re having the best experience. They’re able to connect, whether it’s for personal or business purposes. Whatever it might be, Delta provides that service to them.”
Airlines, Cabins in Detail
Delta Air Lines was named North America’s Best Airline for two consecutive years, receiving Cirium’s Platinum Award for Operational Excellence Delta’s commitment to punctuality is evident, with nearly 84% of its flights arriving on time in 2022. DL also prioritizes connectivity by offering fast and complimentary Wi-Fi to its SkyMiles members and providing a personalized and seamless journey through Delta Sync.
The Atlanta-based airline excels at providing an exceptional business-class experience with Delta One. The product ensures a seamless journey with access to DL’s Sky Club and Sky Priority services, including accelerated check-in, security, and baggage handling. DL has introduced state-of-the-art business-class cabins, such as the Delta One suites on their Airbus A350 aircraft, which feature a 1-2-1 configuration and a sliding door for enhanced privacy.
The airline elevates the travel experience with its Premium Select offering, whose seats are available on the latest wide-body aircraft and are designed to provide a relaxing and engaging journey, with features such as a footrest, power port, adjustable headrest, and a generous 13.3-inch in-flight entertainment screen.
The carrier also sets the standard for airport lounges with its Sky Club at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The lounge spans 30,000 square feet and can accommodate over 500 guests. It features the Sky Deck, an outdoor space with a bar and breathtaking views of the airport runway and the Hollywood Hills.
The natural beauty of Southern California inspired the Delta LAX lounge’s design, with a ceiling reminiscent of waves on the sand and wood paneling depicting mountain outlines. The lounge also offers regional cuisine from local chefs.
Singapore Airlines (SQ) was also honored as the world’s best airline for two consecutive years. The airline operates an extensive network, connecting travelers to over 75 destinations across five continents and 32 countries.
The Singaporean flag carrier offers a premium in-flight experience with a long-haul, wide-body fleet comprising Boeing 777s, Airbus A350s, and A380s. Passengers can enjoy personalized service, ergonomically designed seats, a wide range of entertainment options, and exquisite culinary dishes in Business and First Class.
Further, the airline’s A380 offers opulent first-class suites, providing over 50 square feet of space, a reclining armchair, a separate convertible into a double bed, and sliding doors.
Singapore Airlines told Airways, “It’s always so gratifying to have all the efforts of our staff around the world who come to work every day striving to create the world’s best travel experience. We’re so grateful that the judges and Business Traveler have recognized that. So once again, I am very, very grateful.”
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) has been crowned North America’s Best Airport for two consecutive years. It is the world’s busiest airport, serving over 100 million passengers annually. ATL ranked second-best for on-time departures in 2022, with only 16 percent of flights experiencing delays. The airport also received the prestigious Airport Service Quality Award for Best Airport at Arrivals Globally. It offers a wide range of dining options, ranking second worldwide for its culinary offerings.
The award for the world’s best airport went to Singapore Changi International Airport (SIN), SQ’s home base. SIN features the awe-inspiring Jewel, an architectural marvel with indoor forests, cascading waterfalls, and the Canopy Park. It offers a plethora of entertainment options, including open-air decks, the world’s first airport butterfly garden, a free 24-hour theater, and a rooftop pool.
Changi Airport also provides opportunities to delve into local culture and history, with attractions such as the Changi Chapel and Museum. It serves as a venue for special moments, including weddings, and offers airport tours for visitors to explore its operations.
The Pier, Business, and First Lounge at Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), operated by Cathay Pacific (CX), has been recognized as the World’s Best Airline Lounge. The lounge aims to create a haven where travelers can relax and focus on their well-being.
The lounge features unique offerings such as QX’s exclusive fragrance and provides a tranquil oasis with day suites, exceptional dining options, and a sensory experience that aligns with the airline’s “Life Well Travelled” ethos.
Other winners included DL’s joint venture partners, Air France (AF) and Virgin Atlantic (VS), as well as Middle Eastern airline Qatar Airways (QR). Congratulations to the winners!
Featured image: Delta Air Lines at the Business Traveler Awards 2023. Photo: Helwing Villamizar/Airways