New York (JFK) to Brussels (BRU)
On the Ground: I arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport for my evening departure to Brussels around 4 p.m. I was flying the airline’s new Economy Privilege cabin, but the premium-economy service does not include priority check-in, security access or boarding. Luckily, check-in was a breeze, and security was as expected but no worse than usual. All in all, my experience from check-in to the gate was easy, and my trip to Brussels was off to a pleasant start.
Pre-Flight: My departure time coincided with other departing flights; the early evening time slot is popular for trans-Atlantic flights from the United States bound for Europe. As a result, the gate area was busy, but I was able to snag a seat nearby, as passengers were getting up to board the Alitalia flight at the next gate.
After grabbing some pre-flight supplies at the newsstand, I only had about 30 minutes before boarding began. I took out my laptop and logged on to the airport’s complimentary WiFi to send a few last emails before departure. Before I knew it, the gate agents announced boarding was beginning; to maintain an orderly boarding process, Brussels Airlines created separate queues for the various boarding groups, and boarding completed swiftly and efficiently.
In-Flight: I’m usually an aisle seat gal, but as I wanted to catch some shut-eye on my overnight flight, I opted for a window seat on this leg. Additionally, the added perks of Economy Privilege came in handy when it came to a restful flight: an additional 8 centimeters of legroom, double the seat recline, a fleece blanket and an amenity kit.
In fact, each facet of the in-flight experience is enhanced for an Economy Privilege passenger. Better-quality headsets highlight an already ample selection of in-flight movies and television shows. A hot towel after take-off and a glass of Laurent-Perrier Champagne before dinner give the experience a more exclusive feel, further heightened by the upgraded dining experience from the traditional economy-class meal service. I also appreciated a bottle of water before the cabin lights were dimmed. However, without a separate cabin, it was apparent to passengers where the enhanced service started and where it ended. I can imagine the disappointment of passengers a few rows back when they realized they weren’t receiving a hot towel.
As we prepared to land, I was gifted a small Neuhaus chocolate box — a sweet finish to the flight, but also a sweet beginning to my Brussels experience.
◆ I experienced Brussels Airlines’ new Economy Privilege service shortly after its launch in 2016. While not in a dedicated cabin, the premium-economy service does offer passengers a significant amount of added amenities and comforts.
◆ Economy Privilege is available for an additional $149 per passenger per flight. The benefits far outweigh this nominal fee.
◆ Economy Privilege replaced the first 32 seats of the economy-class cabin on the Airbus A330 aircraft and is available on long-haul routes between Europe and Africa, the United States and Canada.
This summer, The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles began highly-anticipated enhancements. The property celebrates its 10th birthday next year and the renovations are the largest changes the property has ever seen. They impact the hotel lobby, all 123 guestrooms and suites, corridors and Club Lounge.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
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.
Seats on new JetBlue flights between New York City (JFK) and Georgetown (GEO), Guyana, are now available for purchase. The route takes off April 2, 2020, on the new Airbus A321neo aircraft. With a flight time of five hours from New York City, the route delivers intrepid travelers to what JetBlue calls “a playground for adventurists and modern-day explorers.” The route also serves the largest Guyanese American community in the United States, located in New York City.
Hawaiian Airlines will relaunch its service between the island of Maui (OGG) and Las Vegas (LAS) with flights set to begin in December.
British Airways launched a new in-flight entertainment channel in honor of its year-long centenary celebration. The new channel, christened Celebrate BA100, highlights the best of British in-flight entertainment.
An industry-first update to the award-winning Four Seasons app allows guests to plan travel more seamlessly. The app, completely overhauled, now includes a new trip planning itinerary feature that allows guests to easily customize their stay.