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Best Airline and Hotel Innovators in 2017 From a Business Traveler"™s Perspective
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Best Airline and Hotel Innovators in 2017 From a Business Traveler"™s Perspective

Here"™s to some of the most innovative and thoughtful brands in travel today. These companies are doing the heavy lifting to make travel and hospitality more inspiring.

Colin Nagy, head of strategy at Fred & Farid, a global advertising agency, writes an opinion column for Skift on hospitality, innovation, and business travel. Today, he cites his personal favorites "” not necessarily Skift"™s "” for top innovators in 2017.

It"™s been an exciting year for travel and as this column has long argued: Where business travelers spend their money matters. There are brands that actually care about customer experience, and others seem to be driven only by cost cuts, earnings per share, and the bottom line.s

As we close out 2017, it is worth highlighting inspiring efforts in travel and hospitality.
Here"™s to the companies that are innovating, and doing the heavy lifting to make travel and hospitality inspiring.

Best Airline Lounges
The lounge wars are heating up, and top carriers put a lot of time, effort and thought into pre-departure spaces. But no one has been doing it as well as Cathay Pacific. Noted designer Ilse Crawford nailed the aesthetic perfectly, with comfortable yet stylish chairs, deep woods, polished gold fixtures and the classic Cathay touches like a noodle bar.

All of the new lounges are wonderful, and special mention goes again to the Pier First lounge in Hong Kong for being absolutely superb in its hushed, residential, yet inspiring feel. A recent traveling companion remarked to me that she didn"™t want to leave to get on the plane.

Best U.S. Domestic Airline
It doesn"™t have all of the bells and whistles, but I recently moved a good amount of transcontinental travel over to Alaska Airlines. The reason? The staff is superb. It is good value for money, and every touch point reflects people that care about their jobs, even down to how quickly your bags arrive.

Everything exceeds the standard of most U.S. carriers. The staff cares and it is apparent. Bonus points for having an easy to use frequent flyer program that allows for no-hassle redemptions on the likes of Cathay and Emirates…

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