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Editors' Choice Awards 2011: Best Value Airline - International

by SmarterTravel Staff
Editors' Choice Badge: Value Airline International
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on May 21, 2011. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: airfare, Iberia, US Airways.

Winner: US Airways

We selected our Best Value Airline for International Travel by evaluating which major carrier best connects the U.S. market to a wide range of international destinations for a good value. The winner? US Airways.

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US Airways doesn't generally score top grades for creature comforts, nor is it as flashy as low-cost rivals such as Spirit, but it regularly comes out at or near the top of our price comparisons in terms of total after-tax prices for travel to markets as varied as the Caribbean, Latin America, and Europe. In fact, our internal research and data shows that US Airways' international fares are typically about five percent lower even the next-best competitor. US Airways is also a leader—so to speak—in matching sale prices from its competitors, more so than any other carrier serving such a broad base of international destinations. Its affiliation with the far-reaching Star Alliance codeshare also helps keeps globetrotting affordable.

As is the case with most airlines, US Airways provides complimentary entertainment and food offerings on most international flights. It also provides free boarding of the first bag for European travel.

Our runner up in the Best Value Airline for International Travel is Spanish carrier Iberia, a oneworld alliance member. Less familiar to many U.S. travelers, Iberia's after-tax prices are consistently among the lowest available on the wide variety of routes it serves from U.S. airports. Among its network partners are American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, LAN, and Qantas. Iberia checks your first two bags for free—a value-laden perk for international flights.

Editors' Choice 2011 homepage

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