…and the winners of the top Freddie Awards for hotels and airlines are….

Web: www.twitter.com/flyingwithfish — E-Mail: fish@flyingwithfish.com

24/04/2009 – …and the winners of the top Freddie Awards for hotels and airlines are….

Last night the 21st Annual Freddie Awards for the top international airline and hotel loyalty programs were handed out at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport Hilton, in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Throughout the evening I had the pleasure of providing the running ‘colour commentary,’ live online, with fellow travel writer Marshall Jackson, who write the popular blog Marshall Jackson on Travel. During the evening Marriott Hotels’ ‘Rewards’ program and Alaska Airlines’ ‘ Mileage Plan’ received so many awards I literally ran out of things to say about them!

At the end of the evening the top program winners in The Americas were no surprise. With 301,491 votes cast for the top airline loyalty program of the year went to Alaska Airlines; and with 354,759 votes cast the top hotel loyalty program was awarded to Marriott Hotels.

In the Europe, Middle East Africa (EMEA) categories, with a total of 155,386 votes cast, the top programs are … drum roll please… Virgin Atlantic Airways and Starwood Hotels.

For the best loyalty program of the year in the Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia (JPAA) market 103,973 frequent travels cast their ballots and top honours were awarded to Virgin Blue and Starwood Hotels.

It is clear that in the EMEA and JPAA markets Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin airline brand and the Starwood Hotels brand of hotels have the magic touch! With Virgin and Starwood Hotels taking top program of the year honours in two of the three global sectors they are certainly forces to be reckoned with!

Throughout the evening I provided my running commentary from British Airways’ Terraces Lounge, at JFK International Airport’s Terminal 7 in New York. I’d like to thank British Airways and the staff at the Terraces Lounge for their help and excellent support throughout the evening. Being among travellers and speaking with travellers directly while providing my commentary certainly made my job easier and also added to the content I was able to provide throughout commentating on the 21st Annual Freddie Awards!

…again a special thanks to Randy Peterson for asking me to participate and to Marshall Jackson for being a great co-Commentator!

Below is a photo of me at work in the British Airways’ Terraces Lounge during the 21st Annual Freddie Awards. One computer was for commenting, the other was for tracking winners and quickly researching information to keep the comments rolling.

Happy Flying!
–Click Image Below To Enlarge–


  1. Gongratulations Alaska Airlines. Your ‘fish’ comes shining through and the distinction is all yours through superlative service.
    My best…

  2. Thanks to all the participating airlines and hotels without their efforts, this year Freddie will not be so sucessful.

    I also wish to thank and congratulate Cathay Airlines and Starwood hotels group for their excellent service.

    Well done, Fredie, with my best wishes.

  3. Don’t see the Hilton Honors program as being the best hotel program. Many times when I called, rooms not available on points when I wanted to go. Much prefer Starwood. Never any blackouts–and less points (although they’ve raised it recently.

  4. A few surprises, mostly expected. I wish Freddie’s allows us to vote for both the best and the worst.

  5. I think that Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest took the lion share of the arwards in most of the categories. As a silver elite member with Marriott Rewards and a Starwood Gold member I can say that they both deserve all of the votes from like minded travelers.

  6. As far as my experience is concern Kingfisher is my favorite choice and will be abide with it. Its start and hope in coming time Kingfisher will be King of all!!
    My best wishes with Freddie’s and also thanks them to cost my vote.

  7. As an Alaska Gold Member and Marriott Platinum member this is great. I have dropped all other hotel accts.

  8. Marriott rules and always has! Most of the airlines right now are shooting themselves in the foot. Do you charge more and get fewer passengers or charge a little less and get more passengers. Do you treat your customers like cattle and drive them away or treat them like guests and make them want to return?

  9. I would like to share the celebration with Starwood Hotels chain for their victorious, and I would like to comment that they really deserve it. Congratulations and keep on heading to the top.

  10. I am so disappointed that Southwest Airlines was not amoung the winners in all catagories!!!! It is evident that they have the best FF program. I am not sure why the other airlines just don’t get it!!

    I have been flying SWA for 25 years both business and pleasure and would pick them first every time!!!!! They stay the same….great all around.

  11. I am so disappointed that Southwest Airlines was not amoung the winners in all catagories!!!! It is evident that you have the best FF program, but it does not stop there.

    I have been flying SWA for 25 years both business and pleasure and would pick you first every time!!!!! You always stay the same….great all around.

    As my business partners and family say…”There is no other airline to fly”

    Thank you for you continued excellence!!!!

  12. I was so disappointed that SWA didn’t take all if not more Awards. They always have great consistant Fares and they always work to get the best Fare, time,day. Thank you Southwest Airlines.

  13. I am so stoked that Continental was completely shut out (except for some “Industry Impact”). I am an Elite member with Continental and a Diamond HH member and have been both of these for years. While Hilton could do some things to be the best, they are still really good and their customer service has always been stellar. Continental on the other hand is absolutely atrocious. They treat their silver, gold and platinum members like crap. I always joke that by being a higher status elite with Continental is for them, not me. It is so that they know they can treat me like crap and I will come back. Airlines aren’t suffering because of lack of profit, because that is called business. If your profit is in the tank, it is your fault, not the customers and if you can not device better ways of servicing your clients as opposed to screwing them, then they get what they deserve.

  14. The bottom line (for me) is customer service! I am an Marriotts Gold, Starwoods Gold, HHonors Gold and Priorty Gold member. Points are nice, but when you travel a lot (as I do) it is the customer service that brings me back everytime. Starwood and Marriott have ALWAYS taken care of every issue that I have ever had with a friendly can do spirit! I am always treated as a valued guest by both of them, and that is why I ALWAYS stay at Starwood or a Marriott chain.

  15. Congrats to all the winneres..
    In Asia region King Fisher has emerged as a winner in Customer satisfaction and Jet Airways in Elite travel category.

    My spl wishes for them

  16. Congratulations to all the winners…
    As per my experience both KINGFISHER AIRLINES & BRITISH AIRWAYS are great.

    My best wishes for them.

  17. How about an award for the worst airline?

    The nominations this year are …… TAP for appaling customer service and …..er…TAP for the worst credit card affiliation scheme and ….. er ..
    TAP for the worst short haul business class in flight entertainment.

    The winner is ……. TAP.

    I am very proud to award them The Plasic Emu Award.

  18. Congrats to Marriott hotel,I am always treated as a valued guest, friendly customer service, nice rooms make you feel comfortable like sleeping on a cloud,they really deserve it, all the awards and much more.I am very pleased to be part of the marriott guest family

  19. Curious of this was a North American survey, although BA is mentioned somewhere. If these awards are purely for North America, please count me out as I would never take a US flag carrier any longer. What about SQ, CX, TG, MH…..and LH was mentioned only for its credit card? Who is sponsoring this stuff????????????

  20. Freddies: Thanks to everyone in our Global Starwood family team!!! We strive to give honest-friendly-sincere-Postive-above and beyond coustmer service. No other Job in the world has given back as Starwood has for me. I am able to help create family memories; make someone’s life just a little bit brighter by taking the work out of putting all your ducks in a row. Celebrating aniversarys-weddings-birthdays or just a step back to re-energise. we can do it. “there’s no better feeling at the end of my day; then to smile in knowning i did the very best that i could by making each and every person feel that all has been taken care off” So thank you! thank you! for sharing and voting for starwood where we care.

  21. Dear all…
    Congratulation to Kingfisher..and all asian …
    But also to all because as a tourist the world as a family, and best service providers got sucess every time..and if they mantain then others also followed and tourist get good services from all. this show that how beautifull of our world..
    thanks to Freddie..for conduct like this program…

  22. Though Porter Airlines is just under 3 years old. I think they have a great chance to win next year. Their excellence in the airline business has often been compared to swiss air and other world reknown airlines. They will be doubling in size this year. So hopefully more people will try the Porter experience! Truly a secret Gem!

  23. Dear Winners,

    Congratulations for all of you and specially to Starwood, my favourite and best program.
    Wishing all the best to you all for the coming years.

  24. I can’t believe Hilton didn’t win for the best awards program for the US – they are the ONLY PROGRM that gives you points miles and points – Marriott doesn’t even come close!

  25. I’m happy that Singapore Airlines didnt get any awards this round as I think they had been ignoring their frequent flyers for quite sometimes.

  26. I just stayed at a Mariott this weekend; the facility and staff were great; I had a very nice three night stay with them in San Ramon, Ca. I was there for a Soroptimist Conference. I have to compliment the Conference chef for the great meals that were provided.

  27. I agree with most choices, but Frontier Airlines based in Denver, Colorado has great customer service, they are consistantly in the top three in the industry in overall flight completion, in on-time arrivals, in fewest customer complaints filed with the DOT, and near the top in fewest mishandled bags. Denver is a competitive market, and Frontier is tops!

  28. Congratulations and very warm greetings to all Winning Airline Companies and Love to Pakistan International Airlines

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