The votes have been counted and the first result is in! Who won the reader and editor awards for best domestic airline?
Readers’ Choice: Virgin Australia
With a clear majority of the votes, Virgin’s strategy of cheaper-than-its-main-competitor but more-reliable/friendly-than-its-bargain rivals appears to be working a treat with Lifehacker readers. Notable developments for the carrier during the year included offering status matching for rival airline frequent flyer programs and the expansion of its international alliances. Broader customer research suggests that Qantas just has the edge in terms of customer satisfaction, but it remains to be seen what long-term impact Qantas’ recent industrial woes will have on the brand and the battle for market supremacy — something Virgin will doubtless be watching closely. Picture by Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Editor’s Pick: QantasLink
While we didn’t separate Qantas and its regional subsidiary QantasLink in the comments, several readers singled out QantasLink specifically in the poll, noting that the service was often friendlier than on the big-city routes under the main Qantas brand. And the airline did have one big advantage in the recent industrial kerfuffle: because its staff are on a different award, its services kept operating. Picture by purpleairplane
Thanks again to everyone who voted! You can still vote in the remaining open categories, and we’ll have more results throughout the week.