On the Ground: The Emirates check-in desk at JFK’s Terminal 4 is a step above the rest. A helpful and friendly agent at the business-class counter had me heading to the lounge in no time while a second attendant, looking after business- and first-class passengers, helped take my checked luggage through the mandatory security screening at JFK.
Pre-Flight: The Emirates lounge in JFK is the best I’ve seen in the country, offering plush leather chairs for relaxing and a full business center for any IT needs. A buffet was nicely displayed; I had a few snacks but wanted to save my appetite for the flight. My favorite amenity was boarding the behemoth Airbus A380 from the lounge. A direct passageway connected us to the upper deck of the aircraft, straight into business class.
In-Flight: The A380 is a special experience for those who love to fly. I especially enjoyed the way Emirates outfitted its business class. In the 2-4-2 configuration, every seat has access to the aisle, so you never have to bother another passenger. Each seat also has a spacious side table and minibar. The digital wide-screen TV and ICE entertainment system is one I wish I had in my own home. I could control it by touch screen, remote control or detachable mini-remote that controlled my seat as well.
The lounge in the A380 is an added bonus. I opted to have my dinner served to me, but if you don’t want to wait for the full dinner service, you can get small snacks at the lounge bar, which opens about 45 minutes into the flight. The snacks are available throughout the flight, and it’s a great place to get some extra space and stretch, or strike up a conversation with the global clientele of passengers.
For dinner, I started with smoked tuna and veal Carpaccio. Carrot and ginger soup followed; and I chose the chicken breast with rosemary-flavored jus, grilled ratatouille and a spinach polenta pancake. I took the Godiva chocolates served with my tea but passed on the raspberry panna cotta and the chocolate cherry brownie with mousse topping, although they looked delicious.
After the meal service, the flight attendants came around with mattresses for the full-flat seats. I was ready for bed and slept a solid eight hours. I woke up, grabbed a snack at the lounge and did some work back at my seat until breakfast was served. WiFi was available on board, making my connections with home seamless.
The Experience: It’s hard to find any flaws in the first leg of this flight. The crew was outstanding; the seats were comfortable; food was better than good; and the entertainment system had thousands of hours of TV, movies, audio and language possibilities to explore. Arriving at Dubai Airport Terminal 3 was equally as grand. Before I flew on to Hong Kong, I stayed a few nights in Dubai for business. My flight to Hong Kong had an equally great crew. On my return to New York, I transited in the Dubai Airport and had less than three hours to wait in a huge, business-class lounge with all the amenities a traveler could need. For travels to Asia from the East Coast, I highly recommend Emirates as a carrier if you’re not flying direct. It’s an opportunity to get a great flight experience, easy connectivity and a chance to explore Dubai if you choose to stop over.
- Less than 10 minutes for check-in
- Friendly and helpful agents
- Priority tagged bags
- Airport lounge
- Complimentary in-lounge food and beverages
- Priority boarding
- Helpful and courteous in-flight staff
- Pre-flight beverage service
- Pre-flight newspapers and magazines
- Amenity kits
- Lie-flat seat/bed
- Mattress pad and comforter
- In-flight menu offering choice of three entrées
- Top-shelf wines and liquors
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 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.
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 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.
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
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.