On the Ground: I got on the road from Philadelphia early enough to arrive at IAD two hours prior to my flight. Having never flown out of Dulles International Airport before, I was interested to see how busy it is compared to the surrounding D.C. traffic on a Sunday morning.
I was pleasantly surprised to find the airport was busy but organized, making for smooth sailing at the Alitalia check-in counter. The Alitalia staff immediately greeted me with a smile, seamlessly completed the check-in process and allowed me to journey to my terminal with some time to spare.
Pre-Flight: Upon boarding I was immediately impressed with the Magnifica layout that allowed everyone to maneuver their carry-on bags quickly and efficiently into the overhead bins. After a few minutes I found my aisle seat and sat down to get ready for the nine-hour flight to Rome.
Alitalia won Best Business-Class Seat Design in our 2018 GT Tested Reader Survey awards, so I was naturally curious to experience the award-winning seats for myself. Being 6 feet, 3 inches tall, I sometimes have to squeeze into airline seats, but there was a perfect amount of space for me to extend my legs and relax a bit. Once I took my seat, a crewmember swiftly greeted me and provided drinks, a WiFi voucher, an assortment of nuts and the Magnifica standard Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kit.
In-Flight: Wearing sharp new uniforms designed by Italian designer Alberta Ferretti, flight attendants wasted no time taking everyone’s food and drink orders after take-off. In addition to Best Business-Class Seat Design, Alitalia has won Best Airline Cuisine for nine consecutive years in the GT Tested Reader Survey awards. I regrettably did not try the Alitalia Lavazza espresso (given the overnight flight), opting instead for a red wine. The wide-ranging menu gave me some great options, and after placing my order I reclined my seat to watch a movie.
My food arrived course by course with little wait time, and the crew took all steps to make sure I had everything I needed. Every part of the meal was excellent, and I can see why our readers love the Alitalia cuisine so much. With a movie on, a full stomach and my seat at 180 degrees, I got some quality sleep for the night and woke up in the morning just prior to landing.
◆ All crewmembers paid exceptional attention to detail and were always timely with service.
◆ The comfort of the Magnifica seat allowed me to fully relax during the long flight.
◆ The Alitalia food and wine exceeded my expectations, and the menu was expansive but not overwhelming.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Six Senses Kocataş Mansions opened late last month along the Bosphorus Strait. The property is housed within two restored, Ottoman-era mansions in Istanbul. The resort’s urban decor incorporates architectural features and artifacts from the mansions.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
InterContinental Hotels Group expands its footprint in Saudi Arabia with plans for the new InterContinental Durrat Al Riyadh. The property opens in 2020, a short drive from King Khalid International Airport. The property is also near King Abdullah Financial District and many luxury shopping options.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Heathrow Airport is testing new technology that could help recycle all of its plastic waste into uniforms and furniture.