On the Ground: Once I arrived at Incheon International Airport, I headed to Asiana Airlines’ first-class desk and received swift service, my credentials reviewed and my boarding pass delivered. I was eagerly anticipating my first flight on Asiana’s Airbus A380 in its first-class suite. An Asiana employee stood ready to help me through security and to the first-class lounge. I have enjoyed the Asiana Airlines’ first-class lounge many times — a welcoming and restful place where you can sit back, work, recharge your electronics and have something to eat and drink. (I am particularly fond of the steamed dim sum.) I stepped out for a few minutes to purchase some traditional items and gifts from Incheon Duty Free and returned to the lounge. When my flight was ready to board, my Asiana representative escorted me onto the plane and to my first-class suite. Pre-Flight: As I boarded, the flight team greeted me by name and offered reading material — newspapers and, of course, Global Traveler magazine. They hung up my sport coat and offered a pre-flight drink, Johnny Walker Blue on the rocks, served with warm nuts. On this flight, specialty cocktails ranged from Manhattans to mimosas. I planned to watch a movie while enjoying lunch and then take advantage of the comfortable flat-bed suite and sleep my way to JFK. In-Flight: First class occupies the front of the A380 on the lower lever and consists of 12 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. I was located on the left side in a single window seat. Each suite can fully close with a sliding door to provide privacy for sleeping. The 32-inch TV screen — nearly the size of the standard house TV a few years ago — makes watching a movie a must. I immediately hooked up the supplied headphones and plugged in my laptop, ready to turn everything on once we achieved cruising altitude. The first-class suite includes a great number of compartments as well as a large area along the windows for storage. The tray tables are massive and easy to put into place. Electronic amenities feature easy-to-use controls and plentiful audio and video options. For lunch, the traditional Western menu offered Wagyu beef or roasted chicken, with starters of caviar and other canapés. Instead, I chose the Korean Royal Cuisine menu, bibimbap with poached king prawn. Bibimbap is a traditional meal of rice, vegetables and meat served with gochujang (red pepper paste). Fresh fruit and Korean cookies followed. Asiana flight attendants volunteer to join many specialty teams, such as the Magic Team, which performs magic tricks to entertain children on long flights, and the Charming Team, which offers facials and manicures on board. The Sommelier Team on my flight specialized in educating passengers about wine and proper serving. My flight attendant expertly decanted the 2007 Louis Jadot Corton-Pougets Grand Cru (Burgundy) I ordered, and we discussed the many wine awards Asiana has received from Global Traveler over the years. After lunch, I took full advantage of the comfortable suite and closed the door while I restfully slept until it was time for a light breakfast before landing. The Experience: Asiana Airlines has always provided wonderful service, and its flight attendants are known as the best in the world. Add the A380 first-class suite to this mix, and you have a traveler’s dream come true.
[checklist] [item check=yes]Less than 10 minutes for check-in[/item] [item check=yes]Friendly and helpful agents[/item] [item check=yes]Priority tagged baggage[/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]Slippers[/item] [item check=yes]Lie-flat seat/bed[/item] [item check=yes]Turn-down service[/item] [item check=yes]In-flight menu with three entrée choices[/item] [item check=yes]Top-shelf wines and liquors[/item] [/checklist]
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.