A hotel executive recently told me that flying Singapore Airlines is so pleasant, losing a bag became a positive experience. Airline staff apologized profusely, delivered the bag within a few hours and gave him a free flight.
It made him want Singapore Airlines to lose another of his bags.
It was no surprise, then, to see that Singapore Airlines dominated Business Traveler magazine's reader-voted 23rd annual business travel awards.
Singapore Airlines won seven top honors in the global travel category, including best overall airline, best first-class service, best business-class service, best economy-class service and best in-flight services in the world.
It also underscored the disparity between American and foreign airlines.
"What stuck out to me is the up-and-coming travel providers — especially Middle Eastern and Asian air carriers — seem to be taking a lot of good things from the playbooks of the legacy carriers and going the extra yard," said Dan Booth, editorial director for trade publications Business Traveler and Business Travel Executive.
"The question is what are (legacy carriers) going to do to step up to that challenge in an international marketplace?"
Of American legacy carriers, Delta acquitted itself best, winning best North American airline for first-class service and business-class service, among others. American Airlines was able to snag an honor (best airline for North American travel). The full list of winners can be found at tinyurl.com/c4lbyl2.
Conspicuously absent: United Airlines and Southwest Airlines, the latter of which was bested at its own game — best low-cost airline in North America — by JetBlue.
Bright, spacious Denver International won best airport in North America.
"If anybody in commercial aviation is getting it, it's the airports," Booth said. "Pittsburgh, to my mind, was the first terminal building built with the idea of supporting a reasonable flow through security. They're starting to see where the customer service hot buttons are."
Love among hotel chains was split, with Hyatt winning best overall customer service, Hilton getting best business hotel chain in North America and Marriott winning best hotel loyalty program.
Least surprising was the best convention and conference city. Think Celine Dion and gambling. That's right: Las Vegas.
Other notable winners
Best car-rental company in the world: Hertz
Best frequent-flier program: Delta Air Lines
Best aircraft type: Boeing 777
Best in-flight service in North America: Air Canada
Best North American airline for international travel: Air Canada
Best website for booking travel: Expedia
Best airport in the world: Changi Airport Singapore
Best mobile phone coverage: AT&T
Best noise-canceling headphones: BoseCopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times