On the Ground: Wondering if weather might delay my flight, I went to BMI’s Web site to find its origin, only to find that the site is Anglocentric and phone center hours limited. Encountering connection problems, I spent most of the day waiting for my United flight between Tampa and Chicago. Although United is nominally a codesharing partner with BMI, its schedules don’t dovetail. United personnel knew nothing about BMI, and in the process of changing my connection, cancelled my entire itinerary. (22/30)
Pre-flight: Once I arrived at the gate for my BMI flight, everything went smoothly. I was quickly checked in, assigned a new seat to replace the one that had been cancelled, and boarded, making a quick left into the premium cabin. As with many aircraft these days, it looks a bit like walking into Circuit City, with large seatback screens illuminated at every seat. Seats are large and comfy, well spaced and have partial privacy screens. The flight attendant helped me stow my carry-on (and pointed out the laptop storage compartment set into the seatback in front of me), and I was handed a welcome glass of Champagne. A water bottle was already waiting at my seat. (28/30)
In-flight: The cabin amenities were first-rate. The leather seats are 26 inches wide and, when fully extended (flat), 80 inches long. Gooseneck individual lights allow reading without disturbing neighbors. The seatback monitors are 15 inches wide, making viewing movies easy. I did wish, however, that the cabin staff had turned off the monitors for the many unoccupied seats, which maintained their ghostly glow — and showed the Channel 1 movie — throughout the flight. The first course at dinner was a delicious pea soup. The fish entrée had a good consistency (a challenge to any kitchen, never mind an aircraft oven), although the sauce had an odd flavor I couldn’t name. Dessert was luscious Irish strawberry ice cream. Service throughout was excellent. The seats have almost infinite controls: electronic lumbar support, all sorts of combinations of leg rest and foot rest height and extension, and various adjustments for the seatback. The controls, however, were a rubber bubble that didn’t work well, something the cabin staff admitted was an ongoing problem. I eventually wrestled the seat into full recline, a lovely flat and comfy bed, and slept most of the way across the Atlantic under a soft, blue, cotton blanket. (34/40)
The Experience: The personnel definitely made this flight; they couldn’t have been nicer, more efficient or more helpful. The flight was on time, the seats/beds very comfortable and the food quite good. The business-class cabin was definitely a first-class experience. But BMI does really have just two U.S. gateways, Chicago and Las Vegas, and I wouldn’t recommend the Tampa–Chicago “connection.”
Total score: (84/100)
PLANNING A VACATION TO FRENCH POLYNESIA, the Cook Islands or Fiji? Lucky you! While you really can’t go wrong with any of these exotic locales that beckon with white-sand beaches, mornings spent listening to soothing water lapping your bungalow, and immersion excursions with some of the world’s most amazing flora and fauna, not all islands are created equally.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and account for nearly 48 percent of the U.S. private sector workforce. And small- and medium-sized businesses outpace all other sectors as one of the fastest-growing in the United States. InterContinental® Hotels Group (IHG) goes above and beyond to create opportunities for this segment with its IHG® Business Edge program, voted Best Small- to Mid-Sized Business Program in Global Traveler’s 2019 GT Tested Reader Survey awards.
As more destinations around the globe reopen to travelers, we are ready to get back to one of our favorite activities. Join us over the next several weeks as we take you to places around the world saying #WelcomeBacktoTravel. Take a visual journey through New Jersey’s beach towns with us.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
My husband and I enjoyed an impromptu Saturday dinner at The Farm & Fisherman Tavern & Market. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, the restaurant specializes in seasonal farm-to-table dining. There is a second location in Horsham, Pennsylvania.
Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.
Travelers arriving at Vilnius International Airport in Lithuania will find themselves walking along a trail of pink spots on the floor — dubbed “cold pink” by the country as it matches the distinct color of the country’s national šaltibarščiai soup. The trail ends at a 10-foot replica of the famed dish.