On the Ground: Weeks of careful deliberation went into deciding whether I should travel to Egypt following a recent botched terrorist attack on a popular tourist site in Luxor. I chose to go after discussing the pros and cons with colleagues, family and friends. I headed to JFK with a mix of excitement and anxiety, but my eagerness to explore the country and see the only remaining member of the Seven Wonders of the World outweighed my apprehension. Following an uneventful commute from Pennsylvania, I arrived for my evening flight in the early afternoon; any lingering unease was allayed by EgyptAir’s simple and quick check-in process for premium passengers and my relaxing experience in the SWISS Business Class Lounge, shared by Star Alliance members.
Pre-Flight: After a roughly five-minute wait in the security line for premium passengers, I took a short walk to the SWISS Lounge, conveniently located in Terminal 4 on the second floor near a TravelEx post that quickly exchanged my U.S. dollars for Egyptian pounds. Though nearly empty when I first arrived about two hours before my flight, the relatively small space quickly filled up in the evening, with several premium passengers flying Star Alliance carriers filling the remaining comfortable seating, leaving others to sit in the less comfortable high-top seats. From my seat overlooking the runway, I enjoyed bites from the fresh food choices, including a cold appetizer of mushroom salad, a hot entrée of pepper steak with jasmine rice, a vegetable side of roasted bok choy with pearl onions and confit tomatoes and cream of broccoli soup, and selected a Brooklyn Lager from the extensive beverage selection.
I made the most of my waiting time by working on my laptop with free WiFi and was interrupted a bit later with a boarding notice. I found the priority line empty at my gate and boarded the Boeing 777-300 without delay. A flight attendant immediately guided me to my aisle-access seat in the middle section of the 2-3-2 configuration and offered a pre-flight beverage of fresh mango juice (EgyptAir is a dry airline), as well as magazines, newspapers, amenity kits and menus.
In-Flight: After an on-time take-off, food service started with an ample appetizer of tasty smoked salmon and marinated prawns served with avocado, tomato and cream cheese as well as a fresh salad, bread and a small plate of cheese and grapes. From the three entrée offers of beef, sea bass filet and chicken breast, I chose the filet of beef. While the meat was a bit too salty for my taste, I enjoyed the sides of grilled vegetables and mushroom risotto.
Too full, I skipped dessert and sipped on a soda before settling into A Most Violent Year and dozing off. The airline offers a number of new movies and popular TV shows in a variety of languages. I slept on and off for about five hours of the 10-hour flight, roused about 90 minutes before landing for breakfast. The flight attendants, who all spoke English well, offered rather heavy breakfast options, including my choice of omelet with cottage cheese accompanied with chicken sausage, potatoes, sautéed mushrooms and a tomato stuffed with baked beans that left me feeling sluggish when we landed in Cairo a short while later. Disembarkation was quick, as was clearing Immigration and picking up my priority tagged luggage, one of the first on the conveyor belt.
The Experience: Overall, my flight with EgyptAir was pleasant, setting me up for an incredibly memorable trip to a country attempting to boost tourism after years of unrest. Following the January 2011 uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s tourism sector is only starting to rebound. The only issue I ran into involved acquiring a visa. I had to search for a different service in the airport to buy an Egyptian visa after the first told me it only accepted U.S. dollars; I eventually found a location nearby willing to accept Egyptian pounds.
[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]Top-shelf wines and liquors[/item]
Custom order your Volvo through the Overseas Delivery Program and receive round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations, and a personalized delivery at the Volvo Factory Delivery Experience in Gothenburg, Sweden. Your experience begins in Sweden with insurance and registration included, enabling you to drive your new Volvo throughout Scandinavia and Europe. Create the adventure of a lifetime with the program named Best Overseas Delivery four years running, and return home with the ultimate souvenir.
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.
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.
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.
When you think of a relaxing spa day, mountains, rivers and view of gorgeous landscapes pop in your head; a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of any city’s booming music and honking taxis. SoJo Spa Club and Hotel gives you the relaxing feeling of being away while still staying close to the busy center of Manhattan.
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.
Are you looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own refined adventure of a lifetime. You can custom order your new Volvo, tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.