Alaska Airlines, British Airways and Qatar Airways each repeated to win three of the most-coveted "Best Reward Program" categories in the seventh annual FlyerTalk Awards, announced Monday.

"For only the second time since we launched the FlyerTalk Awards in 2012, we saw an exact repeat of last year’s winners in the Best Rewards Program categories," said Paul O’Brien, Community Manager for FlyerTalk.  

Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan won the “Best Rewards Program” for carriers in the “Americas” region, its second win in a row after it ended a five-year run by American Airlines’ AAdvantage back in 2017.

"Last year’s win broke American AAdvantage’s five-year streak of winner of Best Program for the Americas," O'Brien said. "The fact that Alaska Mileage Plan has taken the title again for a second year in a row tells us that last year’s win wasn’t a one-off fluke, and that the discerning members of FlyerTalk really value the Alaska program."

In the Europe/Africa region, British Airways' Executive Club program took home the top honor for the seventh consecutive year. The program also won the region's top honor for "Outstanding Benefit" for program members. 

"As of 2018, the only remaining program to never lose a category was British Airways Executive Club," O'Brien said. "And in 2018, BAEC once again trounced its competitors in the European Region, earning both Best Program and Outstanding Benefit. That’s a 7-year undefeated streak for British Airways' Executive Club."

Qatar Airways’ Privilege Club also won for the second year in a row, taking the title for Best Rewards Program among airlines in the "Middle East/Asia/Ocean" region.  

Incumbents reigned supreme across the board. In addition to winning all three of the "Fly" categories, repeat winners claimed all six of the other Best Awards Program titles in 2018. Those awards go to the best airline, hotel and rental car program in each of three regions.

The other Best Rewards Program titles for the Americas went to Starwood Preferred Guest for hotels and to Hertz Gold Plus Rewards for rental cars.  

The awards were voted on by members of FlyerTalk, a popular online community devoted to frequent-traveler interests.

The FlyerTalk Awards are one of two by big frequent-traveler communities to recognize frequent-flier programs. They join the long-standing Freddie Awards, now in their 29th year. The Freddies, the most high-profile of the awards for loyalty programs, are set to be unveiled later this month.

For FlyerTalk, voting is open to active FlyerTalk members, known as "FlyerTalkers." FlyerTalkers may cast one ballot, voting for up to four programs in each category. The votes are weighted, giving more sway to a first-place vote than a second-place vote, and so on.

Beyond the Best Rewards Program category that recognizes a company’s overall loyalty scheme, the FlyerTalk Awards also include one other category; the "Outstanding Benefit” award highlights a special promotion or specific perk offered by a loyalty program during the previous year.

In the "Fly" category for that award, the winners were American Airlines AAdvantage (Americas), British Airways Executive Club (Europe/Africa) and Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club (Middle East/Asia/Oceana). 

Turning in a stronger performance this year was Marriott, whose Marriott Rewards program won two awards. It took first in the "Outstanding Benefit" category in both the Americas and Middle East/Asia/Oceana regions. 

"In the Hotel category, Marriott Rewards surges to capture its second-ever FlyerTalk Award in history – and grabs another in the same year," O'Brien says. "Having previously won only a single trophy back in 2014, Marriott has suddenly become a darling."

"Both awards recognize the popularity of Marriott’s concierge lounge access and breakfast for two benefits, both of which cost Marriott relatively little to offer but make a huge impact in perceived value of the program," he adds.

Scroll down to see the entire list of 2018 FlyerTalk Award winners. Included below that are previous winners.

For those who don't know the site, FlyerTalk is popular with airline and travel enthusiasts. In its own words, FlyerTalk describes its "community" as having "one of the most-traveled groups in the world, with many members holding the highest levels of status across multiple travel reward programs."

FlyerTalk says it established its FlyerTalk Awards as "a way for this group of hardcore travel enthusiasts to recognize and recommend their favorite programs."

 BEST REWARDS PROGRAM (2018)

Americas

Fly: Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Stay: Starwood Preferred Guest

Drive: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards

Europe/Africa

Fly: British Airways Executive Club

Stay: Hilton HHonors

Drive: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards

Middle East/Asia/Oceana

Fly: Qatar Airways Privilege Club

Stay: Starwood Preferred Guest

Drive: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards

OUTSTANDING BENEFIT (2018)

Americas

Fly: American Airlines (oneworld lounge access on international flights)

Stay: Marriott Rewards (Concierge lounge access and breakfast for two)

Drive: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards (Ultimate choice)

Europe/Africa

Fly: British Airways Executive Club (Reward flight saver)

Stay: Hilton HHonors (Free breakfast)

Drive: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards (Free upgrades)

Middle East/Asia/Oceana

Fly: Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club (Lounge access)

Stay: Marriott Rewards (Concierge lounge access and breakfast for two)

Drive: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards (Gold service)

X X X X X X X X X X X 

PREVIOUS WINNERS: AMERICAS

Fly – Best Program

2017: Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

2016: American Airlines AAdvantage

2015: American Airlines AAdvantage

2014: American Airlines AAdvantage

2013: American Airlines AAdvantage

2012: American Airlines AAdvantage

Fly – Outstanding Benefit

2017: United Airlines Mileage Plus (Complimentary access to Economy Plus for all Premier members)

2016: American Airlines AAdvantage (Executive Platinum Systemwide Upgrades)

2015: American Airlines AAdvantage (Executive Platinum Systemwide Upgrades)

2014: American Airlines AAdvantage (Executive Platinum Systemwide Upgrades)

2013: American Airlines AAdvantage (Executive Platinum Systemwide Upgrades)

2012: American Airlines AAdvantage (500-mile and Systemwide Upgrades)

Stay – Best Program

2017: Starwood Preferred Guest

2016: Starwood Preferred Guest

2015: Starwood Preferred Guest

2014: Starwood Preferred Guest

2013: Starwood Preferred Guest

2012: Starwood Preferred Guest

Stay – Outstanding Benefit

2017: Hilton HHonors (Free breakfast)

2016: Hilton HHonors (Free breakfast)

2015: Starwood Preferred Guest (Platinum Room & Suite Upgrades)

2014: Marriott Rewards (Concierge Lounge Access)

2013: Club Carlson (Earn 50,000 Points Per Stay Promotion)

2012: Starwood Preferred Guest (Suite/Room Upgrades)

Drive – Best Program

2017: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards

2016: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards

2015: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards

2014: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards

2013: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards

2012: Hertz Gold #1 Club

Drive – Outstanding Benefit

2017: National Emerald Club (Choice of car/bypassing rental counter)

2016: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards

2015: National Emerald Club (Choice of car/bypassing rental counter)

2014: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards (Gold Service)

2013: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards (Gold Service)

2012: Hertz #1 Club (Gold Service)

PREVIOUS WINNERS: EUROPE/AFRICA

Fly – Best Program

2017: British Airways Executive Club

2016: British Airways Executive Club

2015: British Airways Executive Club

2014: British Airways Executive Club

2013: British Airways Executive Club

2012: British Airways Executive Club

Fly – Outstanding Benefit

2017: British Airways Executive Club (Lounge access)

2016: British Airways Executive Club (Lounge access)

2015: British Airways Executive Club (Lounge access)

2014: British Airways Executive Club (Upgrade Using Avios)

2013: British Airways Executive Club (Upgrade Using Avios)

2012: British Airways Executive Club (MFU/UUA/Avios Upgrades)

Stay -- Best Program

2017: Hilton HHonors

2016: Starwood Preferred Guest

2015: Hilton HHonors

2014: Starwood Preferred Guest

2013: Starwood Preferred Guest

2012: Hilton HHonors

Stay – Outstanding Benefit

2017: Hilton HHonors (Free breakfast)

2016: Hilton HHonors (Executive Lounge access)

2015: Starwood Preferred Guest (2 for 1 Nights/4 for 2 Nights)

2014: Hilton HHonors (Executive Lounge Access)

2013: Hilton HHonors (Executive Lounge Access)

2012: Hilton HHonors (Complimentary Room Upgrades)

Drive – Best Program

2017: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards

2016: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards

2015: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards

2014: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards

2013: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards

2012: Hertz #1 Club

Drive – Outstanding Benefit

2017: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards (Five Star & President's Circle)

2016: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards

2015: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards (Gold Service)

2014: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards (Gold Service)

2013: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards (Earn Points or Exchange For Other Programs)

2012: Hertz #1 Club (Free Upgrades)

PREVIOUS WINNERS: MIDDLE EAST/ASIA/OCEANIA

Fly – Best Program

2017: Qatar Airways Privilege Club 

2016: Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

2015: Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

2014: Jet Airways JetPrivilege

2013: Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

2012: Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Fly – Outstanding Benefit

2017: Qatar Airways Privilege Club (Qcredits)

2016: Cathay Pacific Asia Miles (Lounge access)

2015: Cathay Pacific Asia Miles (Seat Guarantees)

2014: Jet Airways Jet Privilege (Cash Upgrades on Domestic Award Tickets)

2013: Cathay Pacific Asia Miles (Seat Guarantees)

2012: Cathay Pacific Asia Miles (Seat Guarantees for Marco Polo Members)

Stay – Best Program

2017: Starwood Preferred Guest

2016: Starwood Preferred Guest

2015: Starwood Preferred Guest

2014: Taj Hotels & Resorts InnerCircle

2013: Starwood Preferred Guest

2012: Starwood Preferred Guest

Stay – Outstanding Benefit

2016: Hilton HHonors (Executive Lounge access)

2015: Starwood Preferred Guest (Platinum Room & Suite Upgrades)

2014: Taj Hotels & Resorts InnerCircle (Room Upgrades)

2013: Hilton HHonors (Lounge Access)

2013: Hilton HHonors (Complimentary Room Upgrades)

Drive – Best Program

2017: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards

2016: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards

2015: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards

2014: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards

2013: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards

2012: Hertz #1 Club

Drive – Outstanding Benefit

2017: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards (5 Star/Presidents Circle)

2016: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards (Gold service)

2015: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards (Gold Plus Rewards)

2014: No nominated programs

2013: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards (5 Star/Presidents Circle)

2012: Hertz #1 Club (Free Rental Days)

636598979542141446-2017-737-50th-gallery-JDL-48.jpg
An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-800 lands at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in February 2017.
Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren, special for USA TODAY