SOURCE: JARP Publishing

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December 11, 2013 10:00 ET

Oneworld and Its Member Airlines - American, Qatar and Cathay Pacific, to Name a Few - Dubbed the Best of 2013 by Readers of Premier Traveler Magazine

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - December 11, 2013) - At a festive gathering of travel-industry insiders - held on December 5 at the stunning Sofitel L.A. - Premier Traveler magazine (PT) released its December 2013/January 2014 issue, featuring the results of the publication's annual survey of readers, who voted on the best travel companies of the year. Among the many winners was Oneworld, chosen by PT readers for excellence as the Best Airline Alliance.

PT's Best of 2013 gala - hosted by Publisher Linda Vaughan and Editor-in-Chief Ally Miola - was a red-carpet event celebrating excellence in global travel through the presentation of awards to the winners of PT's annual survey that determines the best of the best in the air, on the ground and around the world.

PT readers expressed their resounding approval of Oneworld's seamless benefits by naming it the Best Airline Alliance. Oneworld has experienced unprecedented growth this year, garnering the only Middle Eastern airline to join an alliance, Qatar Airways, and laying the groundwork to add US Airways and TAM early in 2014.

"Oneworld is very pleased to have been voted best airline alliance for the first time by readers of Premier Traveler," said CEO Bruce Ashby. "Our aim is to be the first-choice airline alliance for the world's frequent international travelers - just the sort of people who read PT - so it is heartening to have this vote of confidence from them. We will continue to work hard to retain it."

Several of Oneworld's member airlines were also named the Best of 2013 by PT readers, including American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines and Qatar Airways.

Change is in the air for American Airlines, whose merger with US Airways has just been cleared for takeoff. The carrier nabbed two awards this year: Best North American Airline for First-Class Service and Best Airline Advertising Campaign, reflecting readers' appreciation of the strides American is making toward the future. Once the merger is completed, the two carriers will become the new American Airlines, which will then become the largest airline in the world.

"We are honored that the readers of Premier Traveler magazine have voted American Airlines the best in not one, but two categories," said Rob Friedman, American's vice president for marketing. "We have taken tremendous steps in the last year to ensure easier and more efficient travel for our customers - and our ad campaigns have reflected that." Citing the plethora of ongoing changes at the carrier, Friedman went on to say: "We strive to keep our customers at the center of everything we do. Thanks to all the PT readers for their continued loyalty; we look forward to introducing more great enhancements for our premium customers in 2014."

Asia is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the global travel industry, and PT readers celebrated that fact by naming Japan's flagship Japan Airlines (JAL) the Best Airline to Asia, for its in-flight services spread across four classes of travel, and choosing Hong Kong's flag carrier, Cathay Pacific, as the Best Airline to China, thanks to its new Premium Economy cabin, a refreshed First Class and new upscale Business-Class amenity kits.

Cathay Pacific's Senior Vice President, Americas, Tom Owen, said: "It is a great honor to receive such recognition from Premier Traveler, and, on behalf of Cathay Pacific Airways, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who voted for us. Service and products play an important part in the overall passenger experience, and we are working hard to enhance these on every front. The huge investments we are making to provide superior products and services highlight our commitment to our customers."

Another sector on the rise is the Middle East and, focusing on that region, PT readers doubled their approval for Qatar Airways, the only one of the "Gulf Big Three" carriers to join an airline alliance. The carrier came away with two awards, Best Airline to the Middle East and Best Business-Class Service in the World, for the airline's many ongoing improvements, such as interactive touch screens, a wide variety of entertainment options and gourmet food on the fly.

Qatar CEO Akbar Al Baker thanked the magazine's readers for the award, vowed that the airline won't be resting on its laurels: "We will continue to increase the routes we service across the globe and adopt new technologies as they become available."

Turning to the Western hemisphere, PT readers chose LAN Airlines as the Best Airline to South America. LAN has now merged with Brazilian carrier TAM to create the continent's largest airline conglomerate, LATAM Airlines Group, with promises to continue its efforts in upgrading services and amenities, such as offering passengers a wine list curated by South America's only master sommelier.

Pablo Chiozza, LATAM's vice president for the USA, Canada and Caribbean, expressed his appreciation for the recognition and proudly stressed that the carrier is working to ensure that "the best of the region is incorporated into everything passengers experience onboard."

Europe claimed a stake in the awards, as well, with U.K. flag carrier British Airways being chosen as the airline with the Best International Frequent-Flyer Program for its Executive Club, which provides members with exclusive privileges and travel benefits.

And when the European continent is on the itinerary, Radisson Blu earned approval from PT readers as the place to stay - they named it the Best Hotel Chain in Europe for thinking outside the box. When business is on their minds, frequent travelers staying at one of the chain's many locations across the region extol the Brain Menu, which features nutritional specialties not generally found while traveling, and the Brain Box, a breakout room designed to stimulate creativity and boost efficiency. Productivity remains a top priority for business travelers on the go, and the Radisson Blu's free and fast Wi-Fi keeps them online and in touch.

PT Publisher Linda Vaughan was enthusiastic about the reader response this year. "Our discerning and experienced readers were given platform with which to amplify their opinions," she said proudly. "And they told us exactly what they think - no holds barred! It's extremely useful for these companies to get this kind of feedback from such a knowledgeable demographic," she continued, "and the winners have told us repeatedly how extremely pleased they are to be recognized in such fashion. We're delighted to be able to provide this service - it not only serves the companies, but it helps our readers plan their itineraries for the future by utilizing the advice of their peers."

About Premier Traveler:
Premier Traveler was designed with its readers in mind: frequent travelers who are perpetually on-the-go (both domestically and abroad), who have high expectations and a taste for luxury. With a focus on excellence in writing and response to reader requests, Premier Traveler provides valuable and relevant insights in an intelligent, energetic style. The magazine is noted for responding to its readers, providing them detailed informational surveys, insider reviews and in-depth answers to issues concerning frequent travelers.

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