Flying is often a fundamental element of travel, and airlines and airports have the ability to make or break a trip. So 10Best looked for the best airlines and airline amenities, as well as the best airports in North America that make getting to your destination a pleasure rather than a pain.
We asked our readers to vote for their favorite airports, airlines and in-flight amenities, and the results are in.
Click on each category below to see the full list of winners.
Best Airline: Southwest Airlines
10Best readers voted Southwest as the best for American flyers — Photo courtesy of Southwest Airlines
While Southwest Airlines isn’t glamorous — you won’t find first class seats or luxe airport lounges — the popular American-based airline wins over fans with a host of perks, including low fares, free baggage allowance, no change or cancellation fees and spacious seats compared to their competitors.
The airline has the highest customer satisfaction rating for any North American airline, according to JD Power.
Best Airport Lounge: Flagship Lounge - American Airlines at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York
Guests enjoy a champagne bar and restaurant in this winning lounge — Photo courtesy of American Airlines
Passengers will find one of American Airline’s best Flagship Lounges at JFK in New York. Guests can dine at a bright and airy restaurant, help themselves to bubbly at a self-serve wine and champagne bar, plenty of seating options and eight spacious shower rooms for freshening up pre-flight.
The Flagship Bridge, a separate area of the lounge, offers a la carte dining.
Best Business & First Class: Japan Airlines
Privacy is a big benefit in this first class experience — Photo courtesy of Japan Airlines
The newest JAL Sky Suite business class seats lie fully flat in a space that feels more like a private room. The first class JAL Suites feature woodgrain interiors, Airweave Dual Mode mattress pads, 23-inch screens, a retractable privacy partition and plenty of storage.
Best Cabin Crew: Delta Air Lines
Service shines on Delta Air Lines — Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines
When Delta Air Lines brings on new flight attendants, the company looks for individuals with previous customer-facing work experience in fields that require the care and safety of others to help ensure friendly and efficient service.
Best Economy Class: American Airlines
Readers choose American Airlines for its economy class — Photo courtesy of American Airlines
While standard economy seats on American Airlines typically include free entertainment and the option to purchase Wi-Fi, the airline really shines with its premium economy offering, which offers wider adjustable leather seats with more legroom, in-seat power and USB ports and amenity kits.
Best Inflight Entertainment: American Airlines
Passengers on American Airlines enjoy a huge library of TV shows and movies — Photo courtesy of American Airlines
Passengers with American Airlines can stream from an extensive library of movies and TV shows from a phone, tablet or laptop from the American Airlines app without having to purchase Wi-Fi Apple Music and live TV are also free and available.
Best Inflight Food: Air New Zealand
Hungry? Air New Zealand dishes up the best food in the sky — Photo courtesy of Air New Zealand
The menus aboard Air New Zealand have been developed in partnership with local chefs and wine experts to reflect the local cuisine. All cabins enjoy warm meals on long haul flights, accompanied by New Zealand wines. Business Premier passengers can also select from a list of champagnes and ports.
Best Large Airport: Orlando International Airport in Orlando, Florida
Customer satisfaction is high at Orlando International — Photo courtesy of Orlando International Airport
Orlando International Airport, the gateway to the Theme Park Capital of the World, scores points for customer satisfaction, as well as its robust retail program. The award-winning art collection adds splashes of color and whimsy to the passenger terminals.
Best Small Airport: Huntsville International Airport in Huntsville, Alabama
Winning small airport serves 10 destinations — Photo courtesy of AP Photo/The Huntsville Times, Eric Schultz
Delta, American, United, Silver Airways and Frontier all fly into this small Alabama airport with nonstop service to 10 major destinations across the country. The airport is small and easy to navigate, with an onsite hotel and a nice range of food and beverage options for an airport of its size.
Congratulations to all these winning airlines and airports. Remember to visit 10Best daily to vote in other Readers' Choice categories.