Independent business owners and corporate executives like to travel in comfort. They choose hotels that offer comfortable and large rooms, excellent amenities and service, an adequate choice of restaurants and bars that offer imaginative and healthy foods and a fine selection of beverages,
A prestigious address, preferably downtown locations of a capital or industrial centre also belong to the criteria.
Airline travel is the preferred method, especially for long distance travel, regardless of all the controls and restrictions that have been imposed by a range of authorities in most of the countries of the world.
Very large corporations with factories on different continents maintain a fleet of jets on call 24/7, or contract specialized aviation companies catering to their needs.
In North America, Virgin America, Hawaiian, and Continental Airlines were ranked best, taking into consideration – ticketing and ground services, cabin comfort, service, entertainment, and food and beverage offered.
For transatlantic flights Emirates (owned by United Arab Emirates), Qatar Airways (owned by Qatar), and Lufthansa (Germany’s flag carrier) were rated as the best of 10 surveyed. Of the ten, only one, American Airline, scored 80 out of 100, which is remarkable as the country is home to hundreds of airlines and prides itself as the birthplace of commercial aviation. My experiences with American Airline are very poor.
Interestingly, Air Canada, Canada’s largest airline, and flag carrier did not make it to the top ten. For transpacific flights, Singapore Airlines (93), Air New Zealand (88), and Cathay Pacific (87) were rated best, followed closely by Japan Airline, Qantas, All Nippon Airways, Korean Air, Continental Airlines (International routes), Thai Airways, and Air Tahiti Nui.
Flying has become an inconvenience due to security checks. They cause delays, require passengers to arrive well before departure time, and it has become much more expensive with departure taxes, that include expenses of checks. Still millions travel in the U S A, Western Europe, and Russia.
When it comes to accommodation, the choice is wide. Out of hundreds of large and small hotel companies, only 25 made the list with the lowest rating being 82 for Conrad Hotels a brand of Hilton International.
The tope three were Peninsula Hotels, Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, followed by Mandarin Oriental, St. Regis, Orient-Express, Raffles, Oberoi, Shangri-La, Regent, Starwood Luxury Collection, Park Hyatt, and Fairmont.
There are boutique hotels in every major city that offer more personalized service, maybe even better or more innovative food and beverages, but they have to be sought out, and may not be centrally located, and difficult to obtain reservations due to their size. They usually shy away from large scale advertising preferring to rely on word-of-mouth advertising by their repeat guests.
Regardless, one thing is clear to me. After close to 50 years of experience in the industry, the bigger the hotel, the less personal is the service and food and beverage facilities cater to your physical needs, but rarely, if ever, satisfy your gustatory pleasures.