British Airways and Heathrow win big at the TPG Awards

Nov 1, 2021

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We’re kicking of the annual TPG Awards with airline week, and both British Airways and London Heathrow won big with readers.

Voting ran from 13 September through 15 October and the votes have now been tallied and the results are in. Though the awards have a strong U.S. focus, there are a number of international honours chosen by the readers of TPG — and the U.K. had a very strong showing this year.

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Best international airport

Our list of candidates for the best international airport came from 2019 traveller data from Airports Council International, and each appeared in the top 15 of either international passenger traffic or total passenger traffic. But just one rose to the top.

Winner: London Heathrow International Airport (LHR)

The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London Heathrow Airport (LHR) (Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy)

As one of the busiest international airports in the world, London-Heathrow (LHR) offers service around the globe, and it’s seen increasing traffic as the world continues to relax travel restrictions.

Despite lengthy immigration lines — likely to grow even more as the U.S. reopens to fully vaccinated international visitors on 9 November — the gateway has a lot going for it.

Heathrow features a plethora of lounges, including Virgin Atlantic’s well-regarded Clubhouse and a brand-new Amex Centurion lounge, and it’s a relatively easy journey to London via the Tube or the Heathrow Express to Paddington. It also served as the first destination for JetBlue’s new transatlantic service from New York-JFK, furthering the debate on the best business-class seats between the U.S. and U.K.

There’s still a lot of uncertainty regarding the airport’s long-awaited third runway, but for now, it reigns supreme in the eyes of TPG readers.

Best international airline loyalty program

This honour was paused last year due to the ongoing travel restrictions around the world. But in 2019, when we first gave out this award, British Airways was voted as the best — and today, it’s keeping its title.

Winner: British Airways Executive Club

Image by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy

British Airways may be known for the significant fuel surcharges it imposes on award tickets, but there are many ways to maximise the carrier’s Executive Club program.

The distance-based award chart allows travellers to book short-haul flights at very affordable rates, not only on its own flights but on Oneworld carriers as well. In fact, booking American-operated flights can sometimes be cheaper through BA than by using American’s own AAdvantage program.

Avios are also very easy to earn via the British Airways shopping portal, the Nectar programme and British Airways partners with American Express Membership Rewards, allowing cardholders to transfer points to Executive Club at a 1 to1 ratio.

Congratulations to both of these very deserving winners!

Featured image by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy.

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