These Travel Companies Have The Best Customer Service In 2023

If you’re looking for the best travel customer service, you might be surprised at what you find. Companies that are known for providing excellent service are prone to service outages. Companies that are traditional laggards have upped their game.

And if you’re booking a trip this summer, you might be confused.

Travel is back in 2023. The latest Expedia Traveler Insights report suggests that interest in travel is on the rise. In the final quarter of 2022, 35 percent of total searches were related to travel in 2023 — a 55 percent increase from a year earlier. It noted “reassuring signs of continued enthusiasm for travel amid mounting economic headwinds.”

Most Americans don’t buy trips based on customer service alone. They’re looking for a low price or to see if they’re taking advantage of rewards through their frequent travel programs. But wouldn’t it be nice to hear what real travelers have to say about who has the best customer service? Well, that’s why I created the Elliott Advocacy Readers’ Choice Awards.

Now in its 18th year, readers of my nonprofit consumer protection website poll the best airlines, rental car companies, hotels, and travel insurance companies.

Here are the top customer service companies, according to readers:

Best Domestic Airline for Customer Service: Delta Air Lines

Delta has been a reliable number two behind customer service champion Southwest Airlines in recent years. But this year’s poll came amid the Southwest’s embarrassing Christmas crisis that gave Delta a win.

Delta has also worked hard to improve customer service, including adding new facilities at LAX and refreshing its onboard food and beverage offerings. Readers said they appreciated the reliability and quality of service they receive from the airline at a time when air travel is unreliable and plagued by poor service.

Best International Airline for Customer Service: British Airways

British Airways’ victory came as no surprise. It has been number one on the Readers’ Choice Awards list for the past three years. What Is One surprise is that, despite the travel chaos in Europe this summer, they managed to clinch another win (remember the baggage piled up at Heathrow?).

How did this happen? A look at the airline cases received by my consumer organization shows how quickly the UK airline reacted to resolve the service issues. They were often approached before I could even ask. BA has clearly made customer service a priority. Last month, CEO Sean Doyle said his “top priority” was tackling the call center issues customers face when trying to contact the airline – so obviously BA isn’t resting on its laurels.

Best Car Rental for Customer Service: Hertz

Now there’s a surprise. After a difficult bankruptcy, Hertz won again for the first time in years. In difficult times, customer service is often the lowest priority. But over the past year, the company has invested in new technologies that improve customer experiences through real-time, data-driven insights. This partnership seems to have paid off. Hertz has also invested heavily in electric vehicles. Customer complaints have also fallen far, making readers happy.

Best Cruise Line for Customer Service: Viking

This too was a surprise. It’s true, Viking has won awards left and right in the last year, earning top honors from two well-known travel magazines. And it’s also true that Viking has expanded its offerings, welcoming new ocean-going vessels, expedition ships and river cruisers.

So why the surprise? Customers also have a slew of complaints about Viking refunds, some dating back to the beginning of the pandemic. But Viking overcame that hurdle, and there were far more fans than critics, giving Viking a decisive win.

Best Hotel for Customer Service: Marriott

When it comes to customer service, Marriott has been the hotel chain to beat for a while. Customer service is anchored in the corporate culture. And to his credit, the company isn’t resting on its laurels. Last year, Marriott’s famed Design Lab partnered with LG to develop new technologies that can be integrated into daily hotel operations to save energy, reduce costs, increase operational efficiencies and foster customer loyalty.

Marriott is also among the least-complained hotel chains, which is saying a lot considering its size. It handles most complaints quickly and to the customer’s satisfaction – even those involving Bonvoy, its loyalty program.

Best online travel agency for customer service:’s customer service was gradually improved in 2022 – the loyalty program was updated and the product offer was expanded. But underlying all of this is 24/7 support that has made and its partner sites some of the easiest to deal with. Readers appreciate the intuitive user interface and transparent pricing.

Best travel insurance: Allianz

Allianz has been a leader in this category for years, and with good reason: they offer some of the best customer support in the industry. The company has doubled its technology investments to ensure travelers get quick answers to their travel insurance questions.

Allianz has introduced new products and new ways to pay claims faster. And this technology has paid off. While other travel insurance companies struggled under the weight of last summer’s claims, Allianz processed almost all of them quickly and with little to no complaints from readers.

Best platform for vacation rentals: Airbnb

With 6 million active listings and 54 million active bookers, Airbnb is the largest vacation rental platform in the world. But a lot of time has also been spent improving customer service in 2022, including a no-party policy and an extended aircover guarantee. A wide selection and better service made it a readers’ favorite. Also, Airbnb seems to have solved its worst problem: banning guests without explanation.

Want more consumer buying advice for 2023? Here is a full list of the 2023 Readers’ Choice winners.

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