Entrepreneur magazine has released its 13th Annual Business Travel Awards recognizing the best companies and products for entrepreneurs and business owners. The awards recognize travel suppliers, in seven categories, who help cost-conscious entrepreneurs save a buck by combining superior products or services with reasonable pricing. This year three winners are repeats from last year and there was a tie in only one category.
- Best Site for Travel Advice – JoeSentMe.com
- Best Site for Travel Deals – Kayak.com
- Best Car Rental Value – Budget Rent a Car (www.budget.com/bizprogram)
- Best Budget Hotel Value – Holiday Inn Express (www.hiexpress.com)
- Best Midprice Hotel Value – Hilton Garden Inn (www.stayhgi.com)
- Best Upscale Hotel Value – Omni Hotels (www.omnihotels.com) and
- tying for Best Airline Values – AirTran Airways (www.airtran.com) and Jetblue Airways (www.jetblue.com)
Entrepreneur recognized Kayak.com, which was created by the co-founders of Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia, for helping small business travelers “by booking directly with the travel provider, small-business travelers can avoid paying service fees, which are usually charges by travel agency sites.” Booking directly also allows travelers to take advantage of supplier-direct incentives, including upgrades and bonus miles.
“Meta-search is emerging as the business traveler’s preferred model for finding the best prices for air, hotel, and rental car, and Kayak.com continues to be recognized as the top site in the space,” said Dean Harris, CMO of Kayak.com, in a prepared statement. “We are honored that Entrepreneur magazine has recognized Kayak.com. It’s gratifying that our efforts have paid off to the benefit of fellow entrepreneurs and business travelers.”
The Budget Business Program, which was launched last July, was recognized by Entrepreneur magazine as “the freshest approach to small and mid-size business car rentals in years – a $2 per day rebate.”
“The Budget Business Program has been well-received by our customers – and that’s because we offer small businesses the product and services they want, like Budget’s low everyday prices and on-airport presence at all major U.S. airports, plus a cash rebate,” Scott Deaver, executive vice president of marketing for Cendent Car Rental Group, parent of Budget, said in a prepared statement. “We are proud to accept this award from Entrepreneur magazine, a publication that small business owners hold in such high regard.”
“Entreprenuer Magazine has bestowed this prestigious award on us based on our merits, which include our affordable fares, excellent customer service, and numerous amenities,” said Joe Leonard, AirTran Airways’ chairman and chief executive officer, in a prepared statement. “As Many airlines cut back on services that travelers have become accustomed to, AirTran Airways continues to offer Business Class on every flight, XM Satellite Radio and an award-winning Frequent Flyer program.”
For the third consecutive year, Jetblue was also the best performing airline, according to the Airline Quality Rating (AQR) study, followed by AirTran. The rating is conducted annually by the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Aviation Institute and Wichita State University’s W. Frank Barton School of Business. Although low-fare carriers were the best-performing, the performance of the industry overall declined, largely due to a significant increase in lost and mishandled baggage. Rounding out the AQR list were, in descending order: Independence Air; Southwest; United, America West; Northwest; Continental; Alaska; American; ATA; Delta; Sky West; American Eagle; US Airways; Comair; and Atlantic Southeast.