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Travel Agents’ Favorite Airlines, Hotels, Cruise Lines


Travel agents aren’t like the rest of us. We occasionally consume travel; they sell it every day. We’re amateurs; they’re pros.

When it comes to opinions about travel services and suppliers, we have our own, based on our limited experience; they have their opinions, based on their experience, plus feedback from thousands of customers.

Travel Weekly, a trade publication for travel agents, has just published results of its 2017 Readers Choice Awards, with the top vote-getters in 77 categories, including best airline, best hotel, best cruise line, best travel insurance, and so forth.

Here are some of the more consumer-relevant picks:

  • Best domestic airline: Delta
  • Best international airline: Virgin Atlantic
  • Best first/business class: Emirates
  • Best global network: United
  • Best airline overall: Delta
  • Best car rental: Hertz (both domestic and international)
  • Best domestic hotel chain: Marriott
  • Best luxury chain: Ritz-Carlton
  • Best upscale chain: Hilton
  • Best mid-priced chain: Hampton Inn
  • Best boutique chain: W Hotels
  • Best hotel chain overall: Marriott
  • Best domestic cruise line: Carnival
  • Best Caribbean line: Royal Caribbean
  • Best Europe line: Celebrity
  • Best luxury line: Crystal
  • Best cruise cuisine: Oceania
  • Best cruise line overall: Royal Caribbean

No doubt you have opinions on some of the above “best of” categories, as do I. Always room for a second opinion, right?

Reader Reality Check

Any strong disagreements with the travel agents’ opinions?

More from SmarterTravel:

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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