Some traditional front-runner brands began to lose their dominance this year as travelers’ favorites, according to MMGY Global’s 2013 Portrait of American Travelers.

The report surveyed around 2,500 active leisure travelers, asking them to name the brands they prefer to use on trips. Each respondent was allowed up to three mentions.

Airlines

Of the airlines travelers rated, American and United had both won favor since the previous year, with each climbing five percentage points in the ranks. Southwest maintained its No. 1 spot, with an impressive 49 percent of respondents citing it as a favorite.

Virgin ranked in the top ten brands for the first time since 2010, with seven percent naming it as a favorite.

Airline Brands 2010 2011 2012 2013
Southwest 47 43 46 49
Delta 47 44 44 46
American Airlines 42 36 36 41
United 29 26 28 33
JetBlue 17 16 17 19
US Airways 15 16 13 16
Continental 18 18 15 8
Alaska Air 5 5 5 7
Virgin 6 5 6 7
AirTran 9 8 6 5

Cars

The long-time preferred rental car company Hertz continued to lose favor this year to smaller brands, with Enterprise, Avis, and Budget each receiving more mentions than ever. These responses were compiled before Avis bought Zipcar in March for $500 million, but they do reflect some of the consolidation the industry has seen. That consolidation also included AvisBudget’s 2011 acquisition of Avis Europe and Hertz’s purchase of Dollar Thrifty in November 2012. In general this trend has increased car rental prices across the board.

Car rental brands 2010 2011 2012 2013
Hertz 60 57 57 56
Enterprise 37 32 39 46
Avis 42 39 36 44
Budget 35 27 26 34
Alamo 22 17 15 17
National 14 14 14 15
Dollar 14 12 12 14

Hotels

Not much changed in the lodging sector, where travelers’ preferences kept Marriott  firm in its spot at the top of the list, though Hilton’s Hampton Inn brand did show improvement while Comfort Inn dropped.

Hotel brands 2010 2011 2012 2013
Marriott 38 40 40 44
Hilton 37 35 38 39
Holiday Inn 26 30 22 22
Hyatt 15 14 15 15
Hampton Inn 9 3 10 12
Best Western 11 12 11 11
Sheraton 11 9 9 10
Westin 6 6 6 6
Comfort Inn 8 7 6 3
Photo Credit: Virgin America placed in travelers' top ten favorite airline brands this year for the first time, according to MMGY's survey. InSapphoWeTrust / Flickr