Independent Travel awards 2015: Aviation

Much excitement greeted the launch of Etihad's 'Residence', a three-room suite with its own butler

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The Independent Travel

Airlines and airports are the subjects of some fierce criticism from Independent readers. Yet there is much to celebrate.

Over the past year, improvements have included more no-frills airlines offering allocated seating, the introduction of more modern aircraft on a wide range of routes and, on the ground, the closure of Heathrow Terminal One nearly half a century after it opened. But these are some of the contenders that have caught our eye.

"Glamour" and "scheduled air travel" appear to have moved steadily apart over the years, so much excitement greeted the launch of Etihad's "Residence" – a three-room suite with its own butler. At the other end of the spectrum, Ryanair's "Always Getting Better" slogan has been derided by some as "Couldn't Get Any Worse".

But Ryanair's new seat-allocation policy has impressed us, as has its relaxation of draconian cabin-baggage limits to allow a second bag to be carried on board. The airline also launched the most innovative new route, a weekly service from Stansted to Sao Miguel in the Azores.

Nominations for The Independent Travel Awards best European airline, best long-haul airline and best international airport will open in August. Watch this space.

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