On the Ground: From Pennsylvania, my commute to New York JFK can be arduous, usually including at least three modes of transportation. When I arrive at the airport, I hope for prompt check-in and a comfortable chair in which to collapse in the lounge. My on-the-ground experience with Etihad Airways met those expectations. I enjoyed pleasant conversation with the attendant as I checked in, after zero wait in the priority check-in line. In about 15 minutes (my upgrade was being processed), my bag was tagged and I was escorted to the lounge.
Pre-Flight: I made my way to The Lounge, a shared lounge in Terminal 4 that hosts premium passengers from Air India, Air Jamaica, Arik Air, Avianca, Egyptair, Etihad and LOT Polish, among others, and is located before security. I caught up on emails using the complimentary WiFi, charged my electronics and enjoyed a glass of wine. Meals and snacks are made fresh-to-order; breakfast is served from 4 a.m. to 12 p.m., with an all-day menu available until 1:30 a.m. I always get a bit anxious when lounges are located before security, fearing a nightmarish security delay will cause me to miss my flight, so I made my way to the gate 45 minutes early. Of course, security was a breeze. The gate area was crowded and there was no separate line for first-class boarding, but, with a flash of my boarding pass, I bypassed the line to board. Once on board, I was escorted to my luxurious, private first-class suite.
In-Flight: I was nearly left speechless when I stepped on board. The first-class suites feature large leather seats, ample storage space and compartments, a 23-inch entertainment screen and sliding screen doors. Highlights of my onboard experience included a personal food and beverage manager, a stylish sleeper suit, a large lavatory/changing area, an in-suite closet and highly personalized service. The dining service is on demand, allowing passengers to decide when they would like to eat, with an extensive menu of options ranging from snack-type meals to more substantial courses. All my selections were tasty. When I was ready to rest, the flight attendants converted my seat while I was changing. When I came back, I had a bed that looked more inviting than my own, made with 600-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets, a comforter and pillows. I closed my suite doors and rested peacefully for several hours. I enjoyed three movies and was comfortable for the duration of the 14-hour flight.
The Experience: From beginning to end, my first-class flight was exceptional. I was treated like a VIP, and the airline certainly considers all the little extras that make passengers feel truly special.
- 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
The Franklin London Launches Afternoon Tea Inspired by Victoria & Albert Museum’s “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser”
The Franklin London – Starhotels Collezione, located in the heart of Knightsbridge, launched a new afternoon tea inspired by the “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser” exhibit at the nearby Victoria & Albert Museum. Diners booking the tea also have the option to book an offer including a pre-reserved ticket to the in-demand exhibition.
The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.
Pride Month is in full swing and to celebrate the community, make a colorful cocktail everyone will enjoy. These colorful ingredients will get the party started during Pride or any time of the year. Start this recipe the night before to create the rainbow ice cubes.
Up Norway, Norway’s travel curator, partners with sustainability experts to offer travelers a new tour. The Discovery Route, called the “world’s most sustainable journey,” combines personal wellness with the wellness of the environment.
Driving into Dallas during a rainstorm, we were eager to arrive at our destination. The valet parking at Marriott Dallas Uptown is underground and ideal for inclement weather. We took the elevator to the lobby and made our way to the registration desk. The staff wore masks, but still managed to convey a warm greeting. On the wall behind them hung a colorful piece of art made partially from reclaimed wood that depicts neighborhood scenes. The new hotel covers an entire block in a residential area and opened earlier this year.
Business travel is on the brink of returning, according to three new reports. The latest monthly Traveler Confidence Index developed by Travel Again shows business traveler confidence soared in May, with 42 percent now fully ready to travel, up from just 20 percent in April. An additional 31 percent are planning some type of business travel for summer, with 74 percent willing to travel domestically for business in the next 90 days. However, employers may not be as ready, with only 22 percent of business travel respondents with current business travel plans.
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
Although travel restrictions are beginning to lift, many Americans aren’t ready to travel yet, but still want to get out and explore something new. WalletHub, a personal-finance website, recently conducted a study to find out the best cities for a staycation this summer.