Zagat Airline Survey Praises Southwest, Virgin America

Southwest Airlines (LUV) and Virgin America were among the winners in Zagat's latest frequent-flier survey. Southwest was the top-rated in categories including "best check-in experience" and "top website," Zagat said in a statement. Virgin America was rated the best midsize carrier in both premium and economy class.

"While fliers are slowly but surely returning to the skies, they remain focused on good values and reliable service," said Tim Zagat, CEO of Zagat Survey. "Airlines like Virgin America, Southwest, JetBlue and Continental score well with surveyors for precisely this reason."

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Singapore Airlines came out top in international premium and economy,

The fliers surveyed rated direct routes, ticket price and past experiences as their top considerations. Sixty-four percent of those surveyed said they book their flights mainly through websites, compared with 60% in 2008.

Portland International was rated the top airport on overall quality. New York's LaGuardia Airport came in last.