On the Ground: We had a long layover at JFK and were pleased to learn that Air Europa opens its check-in counters earlier than the usual three hours before flight time. There was already a line when we arrived, but a representative greeted us, scanned our passports and immediately escorted us to a dedicated Club counter. After a quick check-in, we were given directions to the Oasis Lounge, shared with several other airlines and outside the security checkpoint. The large lounge is long and narrow, located along a wall of windows, allowing lots of light and cutting the noise level. We were offered coffee (20 varieties), Tazo teas and a full range of drinks from an open bar. The complimentary buffet included fresh fruits and berries, salads, sandwiches and three hot dishes. The business center offered computers, and there was WiFi throughout. Although we were outside security, as soon as our flight was announced we went straight through the priority line and onto the plane, bypassing the boarding line as well. (30/30)
Pre-flight: Even before we were seated, our jackets were on hangers and whisked away. Attendants offered newspapers and magazines (several choices in English), along with orange juice and water. They also offered to help with the seat controls, but these were pretty intuitive, with a lighted diagram of the seat and arrows on the buttons. There was also an electrical outlet at each seat. (29/30)
In-flight: The Club Cabin has a 2-2-2 configuration in four well-spaced rows. We had individual high-intensity gooseneck lights, which we appreciated since the cabin lights were kept low because of the departure hour, 10:55 p.m. Attendants offered us the usual hot towels, menus, “do not disturb” signs and a vanity pack; since we were headed for the boisterous Las Fallas festival in Valencia, I put the earplugs in my pocket. As an alternative to a full meal (for those who wished to get a bit more sleep), a light dinner option with a good selection of Spanish wines was available, which we took advantage of before reclining our seats for the night. Although they were not 180-degree flat beds, they were quite comfortable. Throughout the flight, the cabin attendants were always available and in sight; in fact, this was the most attentive flight crew I can remember of any business-class flight. Cabin announcements were in Spanish and English, but the English was difficult to understand. Flight attendants were fluent, however, and quick to repeat anything we missed. (37/40)
The Experience: On the ground and in the air, we found the Air Europa staff to be exceptionally attentive and courteous. We were the first passengers off the plane in Madrid and were happy to find our priority-tagged luggage the first to hit the belt.
Total Score: 96/100
Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.
I imagine that when writer Hans Christian Andersen mused, “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale,” he was standing at the edge of Copenhagen’s historic Tivoli Gardens, one of his favorite haunts, enlivened by the swirl of human happiness that surrounded him: children laughing; carousels spinning; games of chance played for prizes; lovers holding hands; hungry people whispering over sweets, hot drinks, beer and towering, open-faced smørrebrød, Denmark’s quintessential sandwich. That fairy tale lives on today at the second-oldest amusement park in the world, a spectacle of folly architecture, bakeries, gardens, rides, restaurants, puppet shows and joy ... and which also happens to be one of the city’s most storied places to convene for business.
The restored Park Hyatt Toronto reopened its doors, bringing luxury, sophistication and glamour alongside a nod to the hotel’s Canadian heritage. Alessandro Munge of Studio Munge collaborated on the hotel’s refresh, drawing inspiration from Canada’s seasons and natural landscapes.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
I recently dined at Irwin’s in Philadelphia. The restaurant is located on the rooftop of the Bok Building, a former school turned collective of small businesses, non-profits, artist workshops, a bar and restaurant. I previously visited Bok for the bar and yoga classes, and I was excited to experience the restaurant.
Cathay Pacific reaffirms its commitment to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 with a pledge to use Sustainable Aviation Fuel for 10 percent of its total fuel consumption by 2030. The airline has made pioneering efforts in supporting SAF development for more than 10 years.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
Arriving early afternoon in Puerto Rico, we jumped in an Uber and took a short, 15-minute drive from the airport to La Concha. As it was Tuesday, the streets were not too busy and the hotel lobby was calm. During the weekend, the scene likely would have been more bustling. We were greeted by a staff member who requested proof of vaccination and government-issued ID, and were given a wristband to indicate we were fully vaccinated. All guests are required to be vaccinated and wear masks at all times while moving around the hotel. Hand sanitizer stations were placed around the lobby, in elevators and in each common area.