On the Ground: After a swift check-in at Logan’s Air France counter, I headed through the security fast lane and bee-lined for the Air France Graf Lounge, named for long-term employee Daniel Graf and accessed from a dedicated elevator or stairs opposite Gate 4. It’s the only lounge on this end of the terminal and also the only one with windows. A selection of mostly French newspapers and magazines is available. Seating includes high-top and regular tables as well as club-style chairs in conversational groupings. TV is available. Guests have access to a self-serve bar and buffet; at the time of my visit, food options included a hot vegetarian chili along with cold items such as prepared salads, sandwich fixings, rolls and a few sweets. I was hoping for French cheeses but settled for Tillamook’s packaged Cheddar and Monterey Jack. Electrical outlets are few, and I had to muscle a table to the wall to share one with another lounge guest. The WiFi is the generic Logan service, which requires viewing an ad or other intermediary step for free access. The lounge offers restrooms but not showers.
Pre-Flight: Just prior to takeoff, attendants offered a choice of Champagne, orange juice or water.
In-Flight: Business class in the Air France Boeing 777-200 offers 2-3-2 seating, and I scored a center aisle seat. The podstyle seat had a power outlet, adjustable reading lamp and a massage function. A small, remote-controlled, LCD screen with on-demand entertainment was embedded in the seat in front of me. A pillow, blanket, amenity kit and noise-cancelling headphones were provided. Shortly after takeoff, menus were distributed along with hot towels, and a pre-dinner beverage service was offered. I savored a glass of Menetou-Salon Les Bornés 2001 Domaine Pellé, a Loire Valley white, while nibbling on an appetizer selection comprising a Champagne foie gras terrine, poached shrimp with a mayonnaise cream sauce, and coconut-fig chutney on cranberry-raisin bread. The menu, created by renowned French chef Joel Robuchon, offered a choice of two main courses: pan-seared tournedos of beef with Burgundy-style butter and ravioli with cèpe mushrooms, as well as a plat du jour. I opted for the latter and thoroughly enjoyed the chicken, potato and carrot tajine with cumin butter. A choice of warm breads was also offered. A cheese course and a Napoléon cake, along with coffee and tea, followed. I bypassed the digestifs in favor of bedding down on the angled lie-flat seat. I awoke in time for breakfast: orange juice, tea, fresh fruit, yogurt and pastries.
The Experience: I was able to depart the aircraft before coach passengers and also received priority screening at Charles de Gaulle, allowing swift passage through passport control and security for an easy connection to my next flight. Overall, it was a comfortable, smooth and enjoyable flight.
[item check=yes]Less than 10 minutes for check-in[/item]
[item check=yes]Friendly and helpful agents[/item]
[item check=yes]Priority tagged bags[/item]
[item check=yes]Airport lounge[/item]
[item check=yes]Complimentary in-lounge food[/item]
[item check=yes]Priority boarding[/item]
[item check=yes]Helpful and courteous flight attendants[/item]
[item check=yes]Pre-flight beverage service[/item]
[item check=yes]Pre-flight newspapers and magazines[/item]
[item check=yes]Extensive on-demand entertainment[/item]
[item check=yes]Amenity kits[/item]
[item check=yes]Lie-flat seat/bed[/item]
[item check=yes]In-flight menu with three entrée choices[/item]
[item check=yes]Top-shelf wines and liquors [/item]
The Franklin London Launches Afternoon Tea Inspired by Victoria & Albert Museum’s “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser”
The Franklin London – Starhotels Collezione, located in the heart of Knightsbridge, launched a new afternoon tea inspired by the “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser” exhibit at the nearby Victoria & Albert Museum. Diners booking the tea also have the option to book an offer including a pre-reserved ticket to the in-demand exhibition.
The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.
Pride Month is in full swing and to celebrate the community, make a colorful cocktail everyone will enjoy. These colorful ingredients will get the party started during Pride or any time of the year. Start this recipe the night before to create the rainbow ice cubes.
Up Norway, Norway’s travel curator, partners with sustainability experts to offer travelers a new tour. The Discovery Route, called the “world’s most sustainable journey,” combines personal wellness with the wellness of the environment.
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
Driving into Dallas during a rainstorm, we were eager to arrive at our destination. The valet parking at Marriott Dallas Uptown is underground and ideal for inclement weather. We took the elevator to the lobby and made our way to the registration desk. The staff wore masks, but still managed to convey a warm greeting. On the wall behind them hung a colorful piece of art made partially from reclaimed wood that depicts neighborhood scenes. The new hotel covers an entire block in a residential area and opened earlier this year.
Business travel is on the brink of returning, according to three new reports. The latest monthly Traveler Confidence Index developed by Travel Again shows business traveler confidence soared in May, with 42 percent now fully ready to travel, up from just 20 percent in April. An additional 31 percent are planning some type of business travel for summer, with 74 percent willing to travel domestically for business in the next 90 days. However, employers may not be as ready, with only 22 percent of business travel respondents with current business travel plans.
Although travel restrictions are beginning to lift, many Americans aren’t ready to travel yet, but still want to get out and explore something new. WalletHub, a personal-finance website, recently conducted a study to find out the best cities for a staycation this summer.