Arrival/Check-In: The Sheraton Macao Hotel is massive, the largest in Macau. Part of a three-hotel complex on the Cotai Strip, the hotel connects to The Conrad and Holiday Inn. With nearly 4,000 guestrooms, a plethora of shops and a casino, the hotel was constantly abuzz. I was checked in on the hotel’s club level, located on the same floor as the meeting and event spaces. The attentive staff greeted me with warm towels and a welcome drink. After a few minutes of rest, I was escorted to my room.
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.
On the Ground: I checked in at Durban (DUR) airport for a South African Airways flight connecting to Johannesburg and my New York flight. The process was swift, and the agent priority tagged and checked my bag through to JFK. Once in Joburg, I headed for the Baobab Business Class Lounge, which is separate from the Cycad First Class Lounge. I was greeted warmly, and one of three staffers manning the Business-side desk briefed me on the layout. The expansive space featured several lounging areas, including one for smokers; a business center with computer terminals; an audio-video lounge; a children’s room; three self-serve food areas; a staffed bar; secure luggage storage; and rainfall showers. WiFi was free. Food options included munchies, fruit, cheeses and crackers, soup, sandwiches, hot entrées and sweets. Business-class customers were escorted to the head of the secondary security line and boarded via a separate ramp and entrance.