On the Ground: Arriving at London City Airport, just 10 minutes from the Four Seasons Hotel in Canary Wharf, I quickly learned that everyone on BA 001 is treated like a VIP. Check-in and security were the fastest I have seen since the 1970s: less than 10 minutes from curbside to gate. A gate agent is even positioned outside the main airport entrance, and there are multiple self-service kiosks just inside. (30/30)
Pre-flight: BA has made the departure gate into its lounge, where passengers are greeted by name. It has plenty of room for the 32 passengers on the flight. Friendly, helpful staff were ready with light snacks, including fresh fruit and Champagne. Passengers can check in just 15 minutes before boarding, which takes place just 10 minutes before departure, so there is no need for extensive services in the lounge. Boarding the narrow-body A318 took place outside via a single stairway but was accomplished efficiently. The first thing passengers notice on board is that there are only eight rows of 2-2 seating, with wide black leather seats which become fully flat sleepers. The plane projects a clubby atmosphere, almost like a private plane. (29/30)
In-flight: Since the runway at London City is too short for the narrow-body plane to take off with a full load of fuel, the flight must make a stop in Shannon, Ireland (SNN). On the 70-minute flight, drinks were served immediately after take-off, with a unique snack of a prosciutto-like ham atop a potato and apple salad with pea shoots. During the 35-minute stop in Shannon, passengers deplaned and quickly cleared American security screening and U.S. immigration and customs. While we waited in an adjacent lounge for 15 minutes before re-boarding, we enjoyed Irish coffee, Champagne and canapés while listening to a harpist. After take-off, an impressive dinner service was offered, with the choice of filet of beef with Madeira sauce, British corn-fed chicken with Somerset cider sauce, grilled sea bass with roasted fennel, pasta with zucchini and eggplant tomato sauce or smoked Scottish salmon and prawns. A single sour note was the beef, reheated beyond recognition and swimming in moisture from the accompanying vegetables. A single button turned the comfy chair into a sleeper. Once under the warm duvet cover, staying awake was impossible. Shortly before arrival at JFK, there was a full English tea with warm scones and clotted cream. Passengers also have access to WiFi for SMS, text by cellphone and web browsing, but no voice access. (37/40)
The Experience: The convenience of London City Airport to the financial district and Canary Wharf — and arriving without having to clear U.S. customs in New York — is unique in travel across the Atlantic. I was in a taxi at JFK 10 minutes after leaving the aircraft. So while the stop at Shannon makes the flight one-stop, the experience must be measured in door-to-door travel time. From start to finish, there was an admirable level of attention and comfort.
Total Score: 96/100
Even in “normal” times, folks gravitate to wellness resorts to jumpstart a healthier lifestyle, destress and be nurtured. In this COVID-19-era state of elevated anxiety, people seek even more natural beauty and caring hospitality, healthy food, fitness activities and beauty and body treatments. Canyon Ranch Lenox also provides an extensive staff of experts offering a multitude of health, wellness and spiritual well-being modalities that alleviate personal issues.
Step right up to the greatest show on Earth as FXExpress Publications, Global Traveler, trazeetravel.com and whereverfamily.com celebrate their 2020 award winners! Join the big top on Dec. 14 as we virtually award the winners of the 17th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards, including the Airline and Hotel of the Year; the 17th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Survey; the eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards; the sixth annual The Trazees; and the third annual Wherever Awards.
I had just taken off my sandals, stepping onto the white-sand beach for a late-morning walk to a secluded spot I heard about from a front desk clerk, when I glanced down and saw the time on my phone. It had just turned 11 a.m., which meant it was only 7 am back home, the perfect time to call and say good morning to by husband before he left for work. Not quite ready to head back to my room, I decided I’d test the WiFi signal and made the call as I continued walking toward the shoreline.
Though air travel slowed as airports temporarily closed and borders shuttered to stifle the spread of coronavirus, the airline industry — led by oneworld alliance member airlines — enacted enhanced protective measures to reduce risk and protect passengers.
San Antonio celebrated 300 years of progress in May 2018. With a clear vision following that anniversary year, the Texan city set its sights firmly on 300 more. While commemorating this milestone, the city underwent a major overhaul to prepare for the next phase in its history.
Remote workers looking for an upgrade from their home offices might want to consider Karisma Hotels & Resorts’ Workcation offer. Those booking an extended stay of 10-plus nights are eligible for discounts of up to 15 percent off best available rates; those booking 20-plus nights enjoy up to 25 percent off. The offer is available at Karisma Hotels & Resorts’ diverse portfolio of properties.
Dance the night away with Grand Hotel’s Ballroom Dance offer, available May 16–18. Dancers of all skill levels will experience a diverse range of ballroom dance styles, alongside daily breakfast and dinner, a welcome reception and complimentary golf green fees.