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Southwest is Travel Industry's Favorite Airline

TravelPulse logo TravelPulse 8/10/2017 Mia Taylor

© Pixabay The world’s travel industry professionals and frequent flyers have named their favorite airline.

According to new data from YouGov, 35 percent of travel industry pros who participated in the survey prefer Southwest. It easily beat the competition, gathering twice as much support as the nearest competitor, American Airlines, which was named favorite by 15 percent of professionals, followed by Delta, with 11 percent.

Surprisingly, Virgin Atlantic—an airline known for its flashiness, forward thinking and customer service—came in at the bottom of the heap, with just six percent of travel industry professionals naming the airline as their favorite. It didn’t even make the list of favorites among frequent flyers and travel rewards program members polled.

That second group of survey participants said Southwest was their favorite overall airline, with 27 percent voting for it, followed by 21 percent naming Delta and American Airlines in third with 18 percent.

The survey, however, did not provide any context behind the participant’s airline selections. There was no indication of why Southwest ranked so well or Virgin so poorly.

The data was the result of surveys taken over a 12 month period by adults who work in travel and associated industries, according to a report in MarketWatch.  The same publication attributed Southwest’s top ranking to customer-friendly policies, such as free baggage checks.

The Department of Transportation reported earlier this year that Southwest carried 151,740 million passengers in 2016, which is more than any other U.S. airline.

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