On the Ground: Allowing myself extra time to pass through EL AL’s award-winning security checks, I arrived at the airport three hours prior to my scheduled departure. I was also coordinating my arrival with train times from New Jersey, but I was happy to pass the idle time doing work in the lounge once I arrived at the airport. I’m glad I allowed added time, as I was questioned for 15 minutes before being permitted to check in for my flight. Once I passed through the screening, check-in was swift and my luggage was priority tagged; a dedicated airport security lane meant I was on my way to EL AL’s lounge quickly, as well.
Pre-Flight: Given my early arrival, I shared the lounge with just a few other guests. I found a seat near an outlet and powered up my laptop, tapping into the lounge’s complimentary WiFi. I perused the buffet and returned to my seat with a plate of salad, vegetables, hummus and pita, as well as a glass of crisp Israeli Chardonnay. As anticipated, I settled in and worked solidly and efficiently until it was time to pack up for boarding. Situated near a TV, I was also able to listen to the nightly news. As the flight time approached, the lounge filled up, with most seats occupied and the noise level noticeably higher. It was a bit of a walk to the gate, so I departed the lounge about 10 minutes prior to the start of boarding. Despite a dedicated boarding lane at the gate, I was delayed for further security measures.
In-Flight: I settled in to my business-class seat, storing my carry-on quickly and reading my Kindle as the plane finished loading and prepared for takeoff. Flight crew distributed welcome drinks and newspapers and magazines. The selection of publications was mainly in Hebrew, but the flight attendant offered me a copy of Where Tel Aviv in English, which was a nice added touch.
After we reached cruising altitude, I explored the entertainment system. Personal screens pull up from the armrest and are somewhat small. With movies, television shows and music in a few different languages, passengers have plenty to choose from. However, the system works on channels, with designated start times for each channel, so passengers cannot choose when to start a movie or show or fast-forward, rewind or pause what they are watching.
Chef Segev Moshe, an Israeli restaurant owner, cookbook author and TV host, designed the in-flight menu. Dinner started with a mushroom salad with hummus and chickpeas, followed by mixed greens with honey lemon vinaigrette. Of the three entrées, I opted for Mediterranean-style chicken in a mushroom sauce, rosemary orzo and caramelized carrots. The other choices were salmon and Moroccan-style beef stew. Israeli red and white wines complemented the dinner menu. After a light dessert of fruit and a piece of chocolate, it was time to rest. Happily, I slept, relaxed and read for the majority of the flight.
The Experience: From beginning to end, my EL AL experience was efficient and comfortable. All the staff I encountered were willing to go one step further for passengers, and I felt secure. While not the flashiest or most up-to-date business class on the market, EL AL is a reliable and viable option, as well as the most convenient, to the beautiful country of Israel. I arrived well-rested and eager to continue my experience, and I’d love to visit again via EL AL.
- 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 entertainment
- Amenity kits
- Lie-flat seat/bed
- Turn-down service
- In-flight menu with three entrée choices
- Top-shelf wines and liquors
New Orleans has a full roster of activities, events and festivals enticing guests throughout February and March.
IHG® Business Edge: Working Together with SMEs for a smarter way to manage travel
With Black History Month and Women’s History Month right around the corner, it’s time to highlight and recognize South African women working hard to make the travel industry better.
Since Cheval Blanc, an extraordinary, newly designed and refurbished 72-room hotel owned by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey, launched in September 2021, it has been the talk of the town. Le Tout-Paris remarks about its WOW factor … and the hard-to-get reservations for the 30 seats at Plenitude, the intimate, first-floor gastronomic outlet headed by chef Arnaud Donckele, who earned three Michelin stars at Cheval Blanc Saint Tropez. Reservations are also recommended for Limbar, the ground-floor bakery/café/tea shop/bar where we watched Pastry Chef Maxime Frédéric preparing desserts and an absolute must-have for dinner at Le Tout-Paris, the 7th-floor, all-day brasserie. This brightly colored space, with its raised seating and Fauve-like floor tiles and the adjacent Milanese restaurant, Langosteria, both have access to terraces facing the Seine River, with amazing views encompassing Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower.
Located in the South Pacific, The Islands of Tahiti are just eight hours by air from California. Surrounded by pristine, crystal-clear blue waters, the 118 islands and atolls offer natural beauty, authentic island culture and unique French Polynesian style. The Islands of Tahiti are world-renowned for white-sand beaches, stunning turquoise lagoons and varied landscapes ranging from coral atolls to volcanic mountain peaks. Privacy comes naturally in The Islands of Tahiti and offers visitors the space to relax and reconnect and to be Embraced By Mana. Mana is the life force and spirit that connects all things in The Islands of Tahiti.
Nevada-based The Spa at Green Valley by Well & Being and The Spa at Red Rock by Well & Being celebrate the start of 2022 with new health, wellness and spa treatments available through March 31. Both spas offer an array of treatments for guests wanting to relax and unwind before 2022 kicks into full gear.
Now through Jan. 28, JEOPARDY! and Lindblad Expeditions team up for a viewer promotion, the JEOPARDY! Explore Alaska Sweepstakes. The contest will award 10 winners and their guests with an eight-day, small-ship cruise of Alaska’s coastal wilderness.
Go ahead, take a nice, deep breath. Because a Seabourn voyage is all about this moment you’ve come so far in life to embrace. It’s not an escape, it’s an arrival.
It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Santorini, Greece, with us.