On the Ground: The 83-mile trip from my home in Pennsylvania to JFK can be a hassle, but this time there were no traffic delays, so I made good time and arrived at the airport with time to spare. Check-in was pleasant and uneventful. The sun and the moon and Earth must have been in alignment that day because I was through security in no time and made a beeline for the Lufthansa lounge.
Pre-Flight: Brussels Airlines passengers at JFK can use the lounge of its parent company, Lufthansa, where I whiled away an hour and a half checking emails, reading international newspapers and partaking of the snacks and drinks on offer. Once the flight was announced, it was a short walk to the gate, and within a nanosecond I was in my seat after surrendering my coat to the flight attendant and stowing my carry-ons. Soon after I was settled, I was offered a glass of Champagne and some nibbles.
The seat configuration is a 2-1-2/1-2-1 staggered layout. My seat was on the aisle of a 2-1-2 row. No one had the window seat, and I was pleased to have the privacy. I had a single seat on my flight home and thoroughly enjoyed it. The seats are fully lie-flats with all sorts of luxurious adjustments for precise seat softness, a massage (I liked that!) and lumbar options. The seat settings are made using a touch screen and are memory settings, which is a plus when you must readjust it to leave your seat.
In-Flight: After we were airborne, I settled in and then checked out the menu; I chose the chicken. Since Brussels Airlines won GT’s 2012 and 2013 Best International Business Class Wines on the Wing awards, I sampled two from their list: the Les Vieux Murs Pouilly-Fuissé 2009, which was superb, and the Frescobaldi Tenuta di Castiglioni 2009, which also lived up to the airline’s reputation. The meal was delicious and was followed by Belgium’s notoriously fabulous chocolates!
After dinner, I turned my attention to the entertainment offerings. There were many viewing options, from TV shows to current and past movies. I decided to watch a movie before catching a little shut-eye. An hour before landing, a continental breakfast was served.
The Experience: One of the key elements to any travel experience is the people providing the service. I have nothing but high praise for Brussels Airlines’ personnel; from the checkin counter to the flight attendants, they were all very friendly and accommodating … true professionals! The whole experience was more than pleasant, and I will definitely fly Brussels Airlines again.
- Less than 10 minutes for check-in
- Friendly and helpful agents
- Priority tagged bags
- Airport lounge
- Complimentary in-lounge food
- Priority boarding
- Helpful and courteous flight attendants
- Pre-flight beverage service
- Pre-flight newspapers and magazines
- Extensive on-demand menu
- Self-serve in-flight pantry
- Amenity kits
- Lie-flat seat/bed
- Mattress and comforter
- In-flight menu with three entrée choices
- Top-shelf wines and liquors
Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.
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.