PHILADELPHIA (PHL) TO MIAMI (MIA) TO BOGOTÁ (BOG)
On the Ground: As one of American Airlines’ hubs and my own home base, flying AA through Philadelphia International Airport is my ideal situation — especially for an early-morning international flight. Breezing through an empty TSA checkpoint, I sat at my gate in the near-ghost town of Terminal C. The Airbus A321 arrived, and I soon boarded for my nearly three-hour flight to Miami, en route to Bogotá, Colombia.
Pre-Flight: As the American Airlines Airbus A321 is used primarily for U.S. domestic routes, the first-class cabin featured just 16 reclining seats in a 2-2 configuration, with the remaining 165 seats in economy class. The first-class section was cozy, comfortably quiet and perfect for a quick flight. The friendly and attentive flight attendants came through asking if they could hang my jacket and get me anything to drink. As it was 5:10 a.m., at this point I opted for an easy water and coffee combo and looked out over the Philadelphia lights as we took off.
In-Flight: A flight attendant came back around, dispersing Bose headphones and taking breakfast orders. With a choice of oatmeal or an omelet, I opted for a generous helping of mixed nuts to snack on instead. I played around with my seat for a bit, seeing how far back I could lie, bending my headrest and enjoying the ample legroom in front. I fumbled around with the headphones, trying to get them into the port to watch a movie on the built-in, touch-screen television, but either the headphones or my early-morning brain didn’t work, so I stuck with my own personal pair.
We landed in Miami alongside a truly stunning sunrise. I quickly hopped on an Airbus A319 narrow-body jet to Bogotá, with just eight reclining seats in a 2-2 configuration. On board, attendants offered passengers a lunch of chicken or mozzarella-stuffed jalapeño peppers over Spanish rice. My choice, the jalapeños, arrived soon with some shrimp cocktail, a small salad and a large (crumbly) cookie. After I made a mess of the cookie, the observant and thoughtful flight attendant discretely brought over a few napkins and another coffee.
All of the AA crew and attendants I encountered on my flights were exceptionally kind and attentive, but I was especially impressed on my return flight from Bogotá. The service was fantastic as our flight attendant eased from Spanish to perfect English, from guest to guest, referring to everyone by name. Two individuals on my flight — one seated in first and one in economy — seemed to know the flight attendant, as they greeted each other excitedly. They could easily have been frequent flyers, as this flight attendant was just that good.
◆ AA service was personalized, warm and attentive without being overbearing.
◆ It’s always fun to see a non-pasta vegetarian option!
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
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.