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Fortune’s ‘Most Admired’ Travel Companies

Fortune magazine this week released its list of the 50 world’s most admired companies, according to a survey of 3,800 business executives from 30 countries.

It is, arguably, the Academy Awards of the corporate world, not least insofar as the results reflect the opinions of industry insiders and may be at odds with the consensus view of consumers.

In what might loosely be considered the travel category—companies of special interest to frequent travelers—Southwest was ranked seventh, Disney was ninth, American Express was thirteenth, JP Morgan Chase was twenty-eighth, Singapore Airlines was thirty-first, and Marriott was thirty-sixth.

The top-10 most-admired companies, regardless of industry affiliation:

  1. Apple
  2. Google
  4. Coca-Cola
  5. Starbucks
  6. IBM
  7. Southwest Airlines
  8. Berkshire Hathaway
  9. Walt Disney
  10. FedEx

Eliciting the admiration of corporate titans, who tend to fixate on operational and financial success, isn’t the same as winning the hearts and minds of customers.

Some of the highest-rated companies certainly have reputations for great products and top-notch customer service. But some have less-than-stellar relationships with their customers. And others may be resting on laurels from long ago.

Southwest, as an example, was for many years justly lauded for it ability to exceed its customers’ expectations for value and service. But the company’s new focus on business travelers has undermined its relationship with its traditional base of leisure travelers, who increasingly see Southwest as more like United than its former self.

Reader Reality Check

How do Fortune’s results square up with your own opinions?

Which travel companies do you admire most?

This article originally appeared on

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