Virgin America Wins Best "Premium Class" Honors Yet Again

The Conde Nast Best Airlines Poll

The results from Conde Nast’s 2011 Business Travel Poll have just been released, and this annual best-of-the-best list highlights both familiar airline names and some surprises. The independent poll included results from nearly 26,000 flyers who identify themselves as business travelers, and here are their picks for the best premium class (first/business), on domestic, trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific carriers.

Best Domestic Premium Class

Once again, the winner was San Francisco-based Virgin America, which should surprise no one since the airline has owned the top spot of this poll for the past four years. Flyers love everything about Virgin America’s first class service: the comfortable seats, the WiFi, the seatback screens, the food-on-demand and of course, the mood-lighting. Here are the top five:

  1. Virgin America: overall score, 90.2
  2. Hawaiian Airlines: overall score, 77.9
  3. Continental Airlines: overall score, 70.1
  4. Alaska Airlines: overall score, 65.4
  5. Jazz (Canadian regional carrier): overall score, 60.3

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Best Trans-Atlantic Premium Class

  1. Emirates: overall score, 90.5
  2. Virgin Atlantic: overall score, 88.8
  3. Qatar Airways: overall score, 81.4
  4. Continental Airlines: overall score, 80.7
  5. Lufthansa: overall score, 78.4

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Best Trans-Pacific Premium Class

  1. Singapore airlines: overall score, 93.5
  2. Air New Zealand: overall score,  88.7
  3. Cathay Pacific: overall score, 87.6
  4. JAL (Japan Airlines): overall score, 81.4
  5. Qantas: overall score, 81.3

Do you think this poll is right on the money or do you have serious disagreements? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Published: September 14, 2011