Meet the Nominees for Best Airline in the 2011 NewNowNext Travel Awards


Flying is glamorous! That’s the mantra we repeat when a flight is delayed or airports are crowded, or we’re sluggishly waiting in line in that big retractable tube thing from the terminal to the plane, boarding a flight at 6am.

But basically, flying anywhere is a marvel, and often, it does feel glam. It’s jet-set! It’s fancy! And when you land, you’re either somewhere nice, or you’re back home!

And some airlines do it better. (Insert your own flight attendant joke here.) That’s why the carriers listed below are all our faves. Bravo!



TripOut’s John Polly picks American, noting: “AA scores due to its sheer range of route coverage, constant professionalism and basic reliability.” And for Duane Wells, politics and progressiveness plays a part, too: “American has been Steadfastly loyal in its support of the LGBT community and so I am steadfastly loyal to them.” (Vote via Twitter using #NNNTA_American.)
JETBLUE’s Darren Frei is a JetBlue fan: “There are lots of incredible international airlines out there, but it’s hard to ignore the rare domestic ones that combine competitive pricing, decent service and overall experience—and a terminal that plays host to cool bands.” (Vote via Twitter using #NNNTA_JetBlue.)
“There’s pretty much no better way to get to Australia or New Zealand,” says travel writer Charles Runnette. “In addition to having the most comfortable long-haul seats in the industry, Qantas flight crew clearly takes the whole safety thing VERY seriously (their scare-you-shitless safety video sets that tone, fast) which is comforting when you’re on a plane over the Pacific Ocean for say 12-15 hours straight.” (Vote via Twitter using #NNNTA_Qantas.)
When it comes to her fondness for Singapore Airlines, Conde Nast Traveler’s Ondine Cohane breaks it down to service: “Who but Singapore Airlines has flight attendants who even help put your toddler to sleep?” (Vote via Twitter using #NNNTA_Singapore.)
“All you have to do is live in California, the Rockies or somewhere in Texas to appreciate this little airline that could,” says Charles Runnette. “At first glance the cattle drive feeling at the boarding area is somewhat horrifying. Then you start to like their reasonable pricing structure, their sunny attitude and you’re finally totally won over by the fact that they’re keeping super convenient airports like Burbank on the map.” (Vote via Twitter using #NNNTA_Southwest.)
“Virgin Galactic! Just kidding! I love Virgin America because of the TV channels and the food,” explains Town & Country Travel’s Heidi Mitchell. Sherman Travel’s Darren Frei is all about Virgin’s “mood lighting and the on-demand snacks.” And style-meister Duane Wells gives Virgin America props as “the epitome of cool, high-end service, and they’ve still got one of the youngest fleets in the business.” (Vote via Twitter using #NNNTA_Virgin.)


John Polly is a former editor at NewNowNext. He now makes the magic happen at World of Wonder.