British Airways has scooped several gongs at a prestigious travel-site awards, including Best Premium Economy Seat and Service, Best UK Airport Lounge (Airline), and Best Airline or Rail Loyalty Scheme.
The UK flag carrier received the accolades at the Head for Points Travel & Loyalty Awards, with the winners announced at an industry dinner at The Crypt by Bleeding Heart in London. It was hosted by Sky News‘ Jonathan Samuels and attended by representatives of the nominated airlines, hotel groups, airport lounges and travel rewards credit cards.
Over 6,000 readers of Head for Points cast their votes for the awards in recognition of ‘the best services that the UK has to offer for the business and premium leisure traveller’.
British Airways was praised by Head for Points for investing in its premium economy cabin (‘World Traveller Plus’). It said: ‘British Airways has been investing its World Traveller Plus experience significantly over the past five years, and this win goes to show it has all paid off.
‘Upgraded meals, blankets, pillows and amenity kits mean the cabin is now a real step up from economy, whilst – finally! – the launch of dedicated check-in and baggage-drop desks at airports seems to have given it the edge compared to our last awards.’
Suite dreams: Frequent flyer website Head for Points has announced its Travel and Loyalty Awards 2023. Qatar Airlines took home Best Business Class Seat and Service for its unique ‘Q-Suite’
British Airways won Best Premium Economy Seat and Service. BA was praised by Head for Points for investing in the cabin (‘World Traveller Plus’). It said: ‘British Airways has been investing its World Traveller Plus experience significantly over the past five years, and this win goes to show it has all paid off’
Best UK Airport Lounge (Airline) went to BA’s Concorde Room at Heathrow Terminal 5, above
The Best Business Class Seat and Service gong went to Qatar Airlines and its ‘Qsuite’.
Head for Points said: ‘From the unique Qsuite with privacy door and on-demand a la carte dining, and touch-screen entertainment inflight info, to comfortable loungewear, Diptyque amenities and highly attentive service, it’s no wonder Qatar Airways is the winner in this category.’
BA’s lounge award came courtesy of the BA Concorde Room at Heathrow Terminal 5.
Head for Points said: ‘The Concorde Room – exclusively for ticketed First Class passengers departing from Heathrow Terminal 5 – shows that British Airways can do good quality table service lounge food and premium drinks. Let’s see it rolled out to the Gold and Business Class lounges too!’
The BA loyalty scheme award, meanwhile, was thanks to the airline’s Executive Club, with Head for Points commenting: ‘It’s unsurprising that readers of a UK-focused frequent flyer site would choose British Airways Executive Club as their preferred programme. However, whilst it’s easy to be annoyed by high surcharges and wobbly IT, you have to admire industry-leading innovations such as guaranteed Avios seats on every flight, the new “all Avios” flights, and 2-4-1 voucher offered on the BA Amex credit card.’
The Best UK Airport Lounge (Independent) went to the American Express Centurion Lounge (Terminal 3).
Head for Points said: ‘The first Centurion Lounge to open in Europe – accessible at Heathrow Terminal 3 to anyone with an American Express Platinum or Centurion card – is a remarkable example of what good design can do with a windowless space. A variety of seating “zones” means that there is something to suit every sort of trip and traveller.’
Best New Hotel Chain went to W Edinburgh, a Marriott Bonvoy Hotel. Head for Points said: ‘This hotel is not going to win any awards for its – ahem – interesting silhouette or for the speed of its construction, but it is finally open as Scotland’s first – and only the UK’s 2nd – W hotel’
Sky News’ Jonathan Samuels awards ‘Best Loyalty Scheme’ to Esme Fillingham from British Airways at the Head for Points Travel and Loyalty Awards
Best New Hotel Chain went to W Edinburgh, a Marriott Bonvoy Hotel.
Head for Points said: ‘This hotel is not going to win any awards for its – ahem – interesting silhouette or for the speed of its construction, but it is finally open as Scotland’s first – and only the UK’s 2nd – W hotel. A branch of the hip SushiSamba restaurant sets the pace and the rooftop bar will come into its own during its first summer season in 2024.’
Speaking about the awards, Rob Burgess, editor and founder of Head for Points, said: ‘Our Travel & Loyalty Awards 2023 are a great opportunity to recognise the cream of the crop when it comes to UK premium business and leisure travel.
‘A lot of the areas we are covering, such as airport lounges and travel credit cards, are ignored by other awards because they are too niche – but for our readers, they are very important and appreciated.’