Virgin America named best U.S. airline

Virgin America has been named the USA's top airline according to the 2014 "World's Best Awards" released by Travel + Leisure magazine. It's the seventh consecutive year T+L has tabbed the San Francisco-based carrier as the top in the nation.

JetBlue was tabbed No. 2 in the USA, while Hawaiian, Southwest and Alaska Airlines rounded out the top five.

Internationally, Singapore Airlines and Emirates were tabbed as the best in the world, holding down the same No. 1 and No. 2 positions they won in T+L's 2013 ratings. Rounding out the top five were Cathay Pacific. Virgin Atlantic and Asiana.

On the ground, Oregon's Portland International Airport was named the best in the United States. Tampa, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Charlotte and Orlando rounded out the domestic top 5.

Internationallly, Singapore's Changi Airport repeated as No. 1. Hong Kong, Dubai International, Seoul/Incheon, and Zurich rounded out the top five.

T+L offers an in-depth explanation of its ratings methodology on its website. But, in short, the magazine says the ratings are "indexed averages of responses" compiled via surveys of its readers. The magazine adds "the survey website,, was maintained, monitored, and kept secure by Wylei, which collected and tabulated the responses and kept them confidential."

The T+L "best of" list rated U.S. airlines primarily for cabin comfort, in-flight service, customer service and value. The survey also incorporated food, for timeliness/reliability and loyalty programs in its ratings.

As for airports, the T+L survey used the following criteria: location/access, check-in/security, restaurants/food, shopping, design, business and families.


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