Virgin America Named ‘Best Airline’ – Again

For the fifth year in a row, Virgin America has been named best U.S. airline by readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine. [Editor's note: I have flown Virgin America – a trip paid for by FareCompare – and it was indeed a terrific ride].

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Virgin America, Singapore Take Top Honors

If this is getting boring for Virgin America, they're not letting on. The San Francisco-based discount airline has been in the top spot since it began flying in 2007. The latest win prompted Virgin American to launch a new one-day only airfare sale, featuring flights from $55 each-way (between San Francisco and Los Angeles). Second place honors went to another low-cost carrier, JetBlue, while the top airline outside the U.S. was another frequent award-winner, Singapore Airlines.

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Top U.S. Airlines

The best airlines in the U.S., according the the 2012 Conde Nast Readers Choice Awards (airline scores are listed after the names):

  1. Virgin America, 79.6
  2. JetBlue Airways, 68.8
  3. Hawaiian Airlines, 61.0
  4. Alaska Airlines, 49.9
  5. Southwest Air Lines, 49.3
  6. Frontier Airlines, 49.3
  7. Delta Air Lines, 40.7
  8. AirTran Airlines, 37.7
  9. United Airlines, 33.6
  10. American Airlines, 31.6

Note despite its recent troubles, American made the list, barely – while it's oft-proposed merger partner US Airways did not.

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Top International Airlines – Outside the U.S.

Note that another of the airlines in Richard Branson's Virgin empire rounded out the top five in this list.

  1. Singapore Airlines, 86.5
  2. Emirates, 84.2
  3. Air New Zealand, 78.7
  4. Etihad Airways, 78.3
  5. Virgin Atlantic, 78.0
  6. Korean Air, 77.5
  7. Cathay Pacific, 77.1
  8. Asiana Airlines, 76.5
  9. ANA (All Nippon Airways), 75.1
  10. Qatar Airways, 72.9
Anne McDermott
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