On the Ground: My colleague and I arrived at JFK after an easy drive from our office in Pennsylvania. We parked the car and headed to Terminal 1, where we immediately checked in. A Brussels Airlines representative escorted us through the thinly populated first- and business-class TSA security line and on to the Lufthansa lounge, where we whiled away 45 minutes until boarding. The lounge had the usual workstations, easy chairs, and warm and cold snacks and beverages. Once our flight was called, we took off for the gate.
Pre-Flight: Boarding was swift and hassle-free. This early January flight was not full, so the gate agents let me select my aisle seat. The plane, an A330-300, offered a staggered seating pattern in a 1-2-1/2-1-2 formation. My flat-bed aisle seat was next to an empty window seat, so I had lots of room and privacy. After stowing my carry-on and briefcase and handing my coat to the flight attendant, I started fiddling with my seat settings and entertainment system while sipping Champagne. I liked the USB power outlets and the touch-screen feature on the video screen. There are hundreds of hours of movies in the system to appeal to everyone’s tastes. The flight attendants handed out amenity kits and menus as we waited to take off.
In-Flight: Soon after takeoff, the flight attendants started the beverage service. Brussels Airlines has been awarded the Best Business-Class Wines on the Wing for three consecutive years in Global Traveler’s Wines on the Wing airline wine survey, so I was eager to try some of their award-winning wines in flight. And since Belgium is famous for its huge number of beer brands, I started with the airline’s Beer of the Month selection, Brasserie de Bellevaux Brune, which I liked. I opted for the blackened sea bass — excellent — and a glass of the Sancerre (Domaine Sylvain Bailly, 2013). I later tried their selection of red wines, which were all very good. And of course, being a Belgian airline, the flight attendants handed out after-dinner chocolates and, as a chocolate addict, I consumed as many as I could. Just before landing, the crew served a continental breakfast.
The Experience: Like the best of flights, this one was uneventful, which was also the case for the flight home. Brussels Airport is a great way to enter the European Union for non-E.U. citizens since there are far fewer arrivals and the immigration process is so much faster than at the major airports in Europe. The Brussels Airlines’ staff, from check-in to the flight attendants, were attentive and friendly and played a big part in making the trip so pleasant. On the trip home, we used the airline’s lounge, The Loft, at Brussels Airport, which added greatly to the overall good experience of the trip. You can read my review of The Loft in the April issue of Global Traveler. It really is one of the best lounges in the world.
[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]Lie-flat seat/bed[/item]
[item check=yes]In-flight menu with three entrée choices[/item]
[item check=yes]Top-shelf wines and liquors[/item]
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.
WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across 24 key metrics to determine the best destinations for an upcoming Oktoberfest celebration. The brand’s study found the estimated cost for an American to attend Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, is $5,000. Munich boasts a $1.43 billion annual economic impact on Munich. During Oktoberfest, nearly 2 million gallons of beer are consumed and more than 510,000 whole roast chickens eaten.
Qantas will start using a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on its Sydney–Santiago route starting in late June 2020.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
On Location Experiences makes it easy for travelers to head to London or Mexico City for upcoming NFL games. Tottenham Hotspur Stadium hosts the Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiders Oct. 6, and the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers Oct. 13; Wembley Stadium hosts the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams Oct. 27, and the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars Nov. 3; and Estadio Azteca hosts the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers Nov. 18.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Hotel brands all over the world have pushed for sustainability. For many, it began with reducing single-use plastics, like straws. InterContinental recently announced the end of in-room miniature toiletries.