Above and Beyond
Global Traveler|December 2019
Global Traveler announces the 2019 Airline of the Year and Hotel of the Year.
By Angelique Platas

FOR THE NINTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR, Global Traveler honors the best of the best in the industry, naming 2019’s Airline of the Year and Hotel of the Year.

What travelers once deemed impossibly vast distances between oceans now seem closer and more accessible than ever. We enjoy much more of the world thanks to ever-improving and developing travel capabilities, but with all this power comes great responsibility … and the responsibility to satisfy customers as well as our planet is just the beginning.

Every provider in the travel industry not only must keep up but also consistently impress, perform and even go above and beyond just to pull ahead of the pack — and that pack presents quite a lot of competition.

Air Canada and Hyatt each climbed a long ladder to success based primarily on high standards, dedication and customer service. The two titans of travel again took this year as an opportunity to carve their way well beyond industry standards and stand out among the rest. As a result, they’ve each earned top honors as GT’s 2019 Airline of the Year and Hotel of the Year, respectively.

Presenting the esteemed honor each year, a select group of Global Traveler staff and Advisory Board members choose the winners based on a series of considerations. They weigh a wide range of factors including each nominee’s financial information, performance records, loading and boarding time, safety procedures and current standing, onboard menus and overall brand identity. Earning this award represents a perfect storm of professional achievement.

When considering a favorite travel brand that stands the test of time, constantly strives for perfection, adapts to a changing landscape, gives more back to communities than it takes away and continues to shine with impressive initiatives and practices, does anyone brand come to mind?

AIR CANADA

AIRLINE OF THE YEAR 2019

The year was 1937. Eccentric millionaire and aviator Howard Hughes broke his own transcontinental flight-speed record by flying a monoplane from Los Angeles to Newark in seven hours, 28 minutes and 25 seconds. Amelia Earhart disappeared during her nearly completed circumnavigation of the globe. And Trans-Canada Air Lines launched its first flight. Not a bad group among whom to make history.

Trans-Canada Air Lines’ inaugural commercial flight headed for Seattle from Vancouver via a Lockheed 10A Electra — the same aircraft flown by Earhart, the military and other airlines in the 1930s. The first round-trip flights transported mail as well as a couple of passengers for a whopping $14.20 each.

Founded as a Canadian National Railway subsidiary, TCA paved the way for Canada’s national airline Air Canada (officially renamed in 1965), to enjoy a strong start in the industry. With $5 million in seed money; a small fleet of aircraft purchased from Canadian Airways Limited, a regional air carrier based in Winnipeg, Manitoba; World War I fighter pilot Donald MacLaren’s development of TCA’s rigorous pilot program; and airline experts joining the team, TCA opened up the world for Canadian travelers, making Canada’s vast landscape seem a little smaller.

While TCA quickly grew a strong and successful business on the ground, natural elements taught valuable lessons in the air. In 1938 TCA became the first airline to equip its fleet with de-icing nozzles to remove ice accumulation on aircraft windshields and again led the way with Canada’s first electric de-icing devices in 1961.

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