LOS ANGELES, California – Taking top honors for the Premier Traveler Annual Awards included Hainan Airlines, IHG Rewards Club, Emirates, Sheraton Latin America, United Airlines, Fairmont Hotels, Air France, Hertz and Israel Tourism.
Actress Cloie Wyatt Taylor joined Premier Traveler to guest host The Best of 2015 Award Gala. Known for her work in Grey’s Anatomy, Brothers and Sisters, and Dollhouse, Taylor took the stage alongside of the magazine’s multi-award-winning Features Editor Janet Forman for a celebratory night that broke all the rules.
Watch Premiere Traveler’s Gala Highlights:
“The most extraordinary aspect of an event this large, and with so many industry luminaries, was its genuine warmth, its informal congeniality and its optimism,” describes Forman. “It felt much like a college or family reunion, where attendees were delighted to see old friends, to connect long time colleagues with new ones, and best of all, to reach out to other companies with a generous spirit. A telling detail was that no one wanted to leave! Lots of people lingered in the dining room to chat, and continued celebrating long after the ‘official’ party had ended,” she remembers.
Accepting Best Airline in China for the fourth consecutive year with a powerful speech was Hainan Airlines North American Managing Director Pubin Liang and U.S. Executive Director Joel Chusid, who proclaimed the airline’s strong growth in North America and revealed new routes to come.
IHG Rewards Clubremains unmatched for the fourth consecutive year, winning Best Hotel Loyalty Program in the World and Best Overall Loyalty Program in the World.ProgramManager Norra Guenault accepted on behalf of the entire team. Michael Burny of United Airlines picked up three awards–Best 787 Layout, Best Airline Credit Card Awards Program and Best Domestic Frequent Flyer Program—for the 4th consecutive year.
The festivities continued as Sheraton Latin America’s Director of Marketing, Laura Alfonsin, attended the Gala for the first time to accept the Best Hotel Chain In Latin America award. Ted Brady of Emirates gave a short yet witty speech that spoke volumes to the airline’s continued success and growth, before accepting Best First Class Service in the World and Best Airline in the World for International Travel with a grin on his face—then leaving the stage with a wave to a cheering audience.
Southwest Airlines Regional Manager Thavy Burns took to the stage after nabbing Best Low-Cost Carrier in North America for the third consecutive year. As a later comment from the airline stated, this award is “more than a title, it is further proof that Southwest continues to outshine our competitors,” citing the new Transfarency philosophy as another example.
A first this year was Israel’s winning of Best Destination in the World. Director of Tourism & Travel Professor Scott Feinerman was on hand to give some heartfelt words of thanks. Hertz Vice President Joseph Baker was so touched by the evening that he came back to the stage to give a second speech in appreciation of the company winning Best Rental Car Company.
FRHI’s Director of Global Accounts, Faith Peterson was on hand to accept Best Hotel Chain in the Middle East (for Fairmont Hotels and Resorts) and Best Hotel Chain in China (for Raffles Hotels and Resorts.) Another double winner was Air France, with Commercial Manager Digna Faber taking to the stage to accept awards for Best Airline to Europe and Best Airline Advertising Campaign.
Air Canadawas the standout winner of the night, garnering more North American Awards than any other carrier. To sustained, overwhelming applause, Senior Director In-flight Service, Anup Anand gave full credit to the entire Air Canada team for achieving such honors at this year’s gala, before accepting the nods for Best North American Airline for Business-Class Service, Best Flight Attendants in North America, and Best Airline Website. Regional Manager Maria Benson proudly accepted Best North American Airline for International Travel on behalf of the carrier.
“Even before all of Air Canada’s awards could be announced there were few people left sitting in their seats,” enthuses Adam Rodriguez, President/Publisher, Premier Traveler.
“The special atmosphere of that magical evening at the Sofitel gave everyone present a genuine appreciation for their colleagues in this wonderful industry.”
About Premier Traveler (PT) was created as an outlet for its readers’ voices to be heard. Perpetually on-the-go (both domestically and abroad), with high expectations and a taste for luxury, Premier Traveler readers always have something to share—a personal experience, an opinion, a suggestion, a question—and PT was designed to listen and to get the answers they need.