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The 10 Best Travel Companies to Work for

A company that treats its employees well is more likely to treat its customers well.

I can’t recall whether that chestnut came to me from the street or academia, but it’s a correlation I’ve always assumed to exist. So when I come across studies of employee satisfaction, especially in the travel industry, I take note.

A just-released survey by, reported in Forbes, ranks the satisfaction of employees at airlines, hotels, and online travel agencies. The top 10 companies were as follows:

1. Orbitz
2. Southwest Airlines
3. JetBlue
4. Ritz-Carlton
5. Four Seasons
6. TripAdvisor
7. Marriott
8. Disney Parks and Resorts
9. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
10. AirTran

I would argue that Orbitz and TripAdvisor (SmarterTravel’s parent site) shouldn’t be included in this survey at all. They may well be fine companies, but they’re more like tech firms than they are like service providers, with very little in the way of direct customer contact.

What we’re left with is a list of companies that would, I think, rank high on most travelers’ list of customer-focused companies.

It would be interesting to take the analysis another step, to see if the top performers in terms of employee and customer satisfaction are also the most profitable companies. If that relationship holds as well, it would be a powerful argument for doing well by doing good.

Reader Reality Check

Do the satisfaction rankings dovetail with your experience of these companies’ levels of customer service?

This article originally appeared on

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