On the Ground: I flew Aer Lingus round trip between Boston and Dublin, and after swift check-ins in both airports, I headed for the Aer Lingus lounges. Both have a similar décor, with the highlight being an Irish wall of fame. Boston’s lounge is small, somewhat spartan, but adequate, with restrooms located outside and down the hall. Dublin’s lounge sprawls over two floors, with an open balcony, restrooms and shower rooms. Boston’s lounge has no windows; Dublin’s has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the gates and tarmac. Both feature a stone wall listing famous Irish events, but it’s far more dramatic in Dublin, where it soars two stories and doubles as a waterfall. Both have free WiFi, desk areas with outlets and lighting, and conversational seating arrangements; Dublin also has a quiet area, a TV area, and a second coffee bar upstairs. A small selection of self-serve, mostly packaged foods — including sandwiches, sweets and cheeses as well as coffee, tea, wines and alcohol — are available in each lounge. Dublin’s selection was more extensive and also included a hot soup. Reading material was limited to Cara, the Aer Lingus magazine, and Irish newspapers.
Pre-Flight: On both flights, attendants offered a choice of sparkling wine, orange juice or water, served in custom Waterford crystal glasses, upon boarding. Irish newspapers were available in a rack at the front of the cabin.
In-Flight: Aer Lingus flies Airbus A330s on its trans- Atlantic flights. From Boston to Dublin, dinner began with hot and cold canapés and progressed to a salad, a selection of warm breads and a choice of four entrées, all served on custom Wedgewood china. My pan-roasted Pacific cod was excellent; I wish more restaurant chefs would serve fish this moist and flavorful. Two red wines and three white wines were offered. For dessert, I opted for the fruit and cheese plate over the chocolate whiskey lava cake. After the meal was cleared, I activated the seat’s massage setting and then snuggled under a comforter and slept for a few hours on the angled-flat seat (58-inch pitch). I awoke in time for the continental breakfast.
On the return flight, lunch service began with canapés and again was followed by an appetizer, salad, choice of entrée and dessert. Although the selections on the cheese plate, served afterward, didn’t match those listed on the menu, I liked the choices. After lunch, attendants handed out comforters for those who desired to sleep. I debated watching a movie, but none appealed so I worked instead. My only disappointment was that the electric outlet at my seat didn’t work despite trying different adapters, including ones provided by the attendants. About an hour before landing, we were served an open-faced roast beef sandwich and a choice of warm scones, accompanied by jam and Devon cream, along with coffee or tea. It was a comforting last taste of Ireland.
The Experience: Business class on both flights was nowhere near full, and I easily could have changed seats if I’d desired. The seat next to me remained empty on both flights. Overall, a comfortable experience accented with better-than-expected food. Both flights departed on time and arrived early, always a plus.
- Less than 10 minutes for check-in
- Friendly and helpful agents
- Priority tagged bags
- Airport lounge
- Complimentary in-lounge food
- Priority boarding
- Helpful and courteous flight attendants
- Pre-flight beverage service
- Pre-flight newspapers and magazines
- Extensive on-demand menu
- Self-serve in-flight pantry
- Amenity kits
- Lie-flat seat/bed
- Mattress and comforter
- In-flight menu with three entrée choices
- Top-shelf wines and liquors
The UNESCO World Heritage neighborhood of Balat rivals İstanbul’s Old City for its historic significance, with an added splash of color. Its cobbled hilly streets boast a full rainbow of houses, cafés, restaurants and churches painted in pinks, reds, oranges, yellows, greens and blues — parts even surpassing my native San Francisco’s steep, colorful corridors. The most vibrant stretch of homes, dating anywhere from 50 to 200 years old, runs along Kiremit Caddesi.
Awareness about fair and sustainable travel continues to grow around the globe, with travelers everywhere considering a destination’s eco-friendly options before visiting. As public consciousness for this important aspect of tourism strengthens, tourists also look beyond just ecotourism and delve deeper into types of travel that allow them to respect the local culture, interact with locals and distribute benefits fairly.
Icelandair recently announced its newest North American gateway: Detroit, Michigan. The seasonal flights begin May 18, 2023, taking off from Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport to Reykjavik (KEF), Iceland. The four weekly, non-stop flights will run through Oct. 30, 2023. Flight 872 departs Detroit for Iceland Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, at 8:30 p.m., on a 160-seat Boeing 737MAX. The return, from Reykjavik to Detroit, departs 5 p.m. on the same days of the week, arriving at 6:25 p.m.
If your personal travel nirvana involves fabulous scenery and a snappy, reviving hike in bracing winter air, Bannikin Travel & Tourism hopes to make your dreams come true with a selection of new winter walking itineraries in Scotland (other trip options are available in England and Ireland). Here’s what you can look forward to in 2023:
United Airlines remains firmly committed toward sustainability in aviation. The latest development in its eco-conscious goals includes working with Oxy Low Carbon Ventures to commercialize the production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) with biotech firm Cemvita Factory. Cemvita looks to develop a revolutionary new way to produce SAF by using carbon dioxide and synthetic microbes. Additionally, United Airlines Ventures (UAV) recently announced an equity investment in Fulcrum, and United has invested more in SAF production than any other airline in the world.
As of November 2022, Rohrkopfhutte (mountain hut) on Germany’s Tegelberg mountain reopened, and the dream view from the terrace, of the castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau and the stunning Schwangauer Alpsee, can be seen in the valley below.
Travelers constantly look for their next bucket-list vacation, but with Europe getting colder, why not travel to a destination that is sunny year-round? Tel Aviv is the perfect getaway to escape the cold winter months. Whether traveling solo, with friends or family members, here are some must-do activities in Tel Aviv.
THE MOST EXCLUSIVE TOURS OF EGYPT EVER OFFERED with the world’s most eminent archaeologists
Palm Springs became a destination of legend when Hollywood’s biggest and brightest during cinema’s “Golden Age” turned the desert community into their glamourous backyard. While restaurants and hotels epitomizing definitive Palm Springs luxury open, adapt and change with the times, it says something that one of its hottest restaurants sets up an outpost back in Los Angeles. And that’s exactly what chef Michael Beckman and restaurateur Joe Mourani did on the southern tip of the always-evolving Fairfax District.