On the Ground: With virtually no wait in the designated check-in line for Premium Voyageur passengers, we were quickly assisted by pleasant and efficient agents. We happily checked our bags with their priority tags attached, passed quickly through the designated security line and made our way to L’Espace Lounge.
The small lounge offers separate zones (but not individual rooms) for dining, television watching or going online. Minimalist in design and slightly worn but clean, the room had large windows covered by opaque shades, which let in natural light and screened out the rooftop view of ducts and air-conditioning units. Leather club chairs with adjoining side tables and lamps and ample electrical outlets provided comfortable seating as I powered up my laptop to access the free WiFi. My husband checked out the three workstations and reported that one computer wasn’t functioning and the rest were frustratingly slow.
Although we arrived just before 1 p.m. and were hoping to find lunch items, food offerings were limited to prepackaged snacks and small rounds of cheese. A little later, a few small sandwiches were set out — and depleted before I got to them. A good selection of sodas, soft drinks and bottled water were augmented by a self-service station of wines, Champagne and liquors. The boarding announcement informed us of the time required to get to our gate — very helpful.
Pre-flight: We boarded through a separate entrance but still found ourselves seated aft of the economy-class doorway, delaying attendant service. Our seats were stocked with an amenity kit (ear plugs, eye shade, toothbrush, comb, shoe horn, moisturizer, headphone covers, socks and a shoe bag), blanket, pillow and bottled water. Each also featured a USB port and electrical outlet, reading lamp, headphones and spaces for stowing personal gear. Once boarding was completed, we were offered Champagne, juice and a selection of newspapers.
In-flight: Our dinner service — on white linen and china — began with an amuse-bouche of quail with chestnuts and cranberry preserves (and more Champagne) and proceeded to a delicious smoked duck and scallop flan appetizer and seasonal salad. The only disappointment here was the cold and rather dry rolls offered. Three entrées (including a vegetarian option) plus a special chicken dish were available; we both enjoyed the tournedos of beef in shallot sauce with two delicious red wine blends. A cheese plate (delectable brie and camembert at perfect room temperature) was followed by a trio of miniature desserts and a choice of coffee, tea or an assortment of after-dinner liqueurs.
Cabin lights dimmed, and after sampling the abundant entertainment on the AVOD system (movies, TV series, games, music), I reclined my seat into its self-contained shell and raised the footrest to achieve a not-flat-but-nevertheless-comfortable position for several hours of rest. I’ve found most cabins to be quite cool and prefer them so for sleeping, but on this flight I was actually too warm. Breakfast, served about 90 minutes before we reached Paris, began with fresh fruit (the sweetest, juiciest pineapple I’ve had in a long time), yogurt and pastries and concluded with a choice of omelet and hash browns, blueberry crêpes or a cold plate of preserved meats and cheeses. I enjoyed the crêpes while my husband, the last to be served, had to accept the cold plate (and the front of the plane was not full — disappointing). Not being coffee drinkers, we both found the hot chocolate — thick, creamy and rich — extremely satisfying.
The Experience: This was my first flight on Air France and one I would gladly repeat. The comfortable seat, fine service and delectable food and wine made the nearly 11-hour flight a pleasant one.
- Less than 10 minutes for check-in
- Friendly and helpful agents
- Priority tagged bags
- Airport lounge
- Complimentary in-lounge food and beverages
- Priority boarding
- Helpful and courteous in-flight staff
- Pre-flight beverage service
- Pre-flight newspapers and magazines
- Amenity kits
- Lie-flat seat/bed
- Mattress pad and comforter
- In-flight menu offering choice of three entrées
- Top-shelf wines and liquors
Brewing long and deep at its center before radiating out to the rest of Europe, Vienna boasts an illustrious history and lasting intellectual impact. The Austrian capital dates back to Celtic and Romen rule, the latter inhabitants using the center city as a military hub among many other employments.
Whether taking a COVID-19 test before boarding a flight or looking up different travel restrictions before planning your trip, travel has looked a little bit different this past year. With all the extra steps for traveling, American Airlines is committed to finding ways to provide ease and more flexibility and choices for passengers when traveling.
Even in “normal” times, folks gravitate to wellness resorts to jumpstart a healthier lifestyle, destress and be nurtured. In this COVID-19-era state of elevated anxiety, people seek even more natural beauty and caring hospitality, healthy food, fitness activities and beauty and body treatments. Canyon Ranch Lenox also provides an extensive staff of experts offering a multitude of health, wellness and spiritual well-being modalities that alleviate personal issues.
Step right up to the greatest show on Earth as FXExpress Publications, Global Traveler, trazeetravel.com and whereverfamily.com celebrate their 2020 award winners! Join the big top on Dec. 14 as we virtually award the winners of the 17th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards, including the Airline and Hotel of the Year; the 17th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Survey; the eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards; the sixth annual The Trazees; and the third annual Wherever Awards.
The lights of the aurora borealis appear frequently in the Fairbanks region of Alaska, with a growing number of Aurora Trackers in the area. A new video from Explore Fairbanks features five Fairbanks Aurora Trackers sharing their thoughts and photography on the northern lights.
Remote workers looking for an upgrade from their home offices might want to consider Karisma Hotels & Resorts’ Workcation offer. Those booking an extended stay of 10-plus nights are eligible for discounts of up to 15 percent off best available rates; those booking 20-plus nights enjoy up to 25 percent off. The offer is available at Karisma Hotels & Resorts’ diverse portfolio of properties.