Airline, hotel rankings usually depend on who's voting

How do you choose airlines and hotels when you travel? Besides considering where you're going, fares and room rates, and previous experience, do you consider surveys of travelers or rankings by travel experts? What about customer-review sites, such as www.tripadvisor.com, for hotels? 

Recent weeks have brought announcements of awards, based on surveys, for the "best airline," measured in various ways, in the world, in North America or just the U.S., and probably in other regions that no one has told me about yet. I plan to report in more depth about rankings of airlines and hotels in next week's Winging It column and welcome your thoughts on the subject.

In the meantime, here are two of the award announcements, one for the SkyTrax "people's choice awards" for the world's best airlines. Carriers from the Pacific Rim and the Middle East have been winning this one for years, which is based on international passengers' votes and takes into account business- and first-class travel. Another ranking, of U.S. carriers, by editors at the www.SmarterTravel.com travel-information site, gives top honors to JetBlue, with Southwest just behind. Airlines are only one of the categories of travel services ranked.

Please let me know if rankings by others influence your choices when you travel, either by adding a comment here, or in an e-mail to tbelden@phillynews.com. And thanks for your help. 

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