On the Ground: I arrived at the Etihad counter with time to check in, but not much time to spare. I did not have to wait long in the business-class line, but when the ticket agent started to check me in, I needed a little patience. Midway through the process the agent stopped working. I asked if there were a problem, and he said the supervisor froze the flight for a few minutes and we would just have to wait. Not having much control over the situation, I followed my agent’s relaxed example, and within a few minutes the computers were running and I was on my way through security. (27/30)
Pre-flight: Without enough time to go to the lounge, I proceeded to the waiting area. When the flight was called, all passengers went to board, with no separate line for first- or Pearl- (business) class passengers. (26/30)
In-Flight: Once I was aboard, the service picked up, and I couldn’t help but smile when I saw this Airbus A340-500’s beautiful new galley and my window seat, which looked more like a mini-suite than an airplane seat.
My Pearl Class seat reclined to a 180-degree bed. The cabin had back-to-back seat configurations, so I had almost total privacy from the rest of the cabin and a proper bed to sleep through the night. The aisle seats did not offer as much privacy but still allowed for comfort. A menu of more than 74 movies and other entertainment options viewable via a 15-inch TV screen kept me busy during my meal.
From the extensive dinner menu I chose the citrusrubbed lamb loin with Arabic espresso fig jus, lime yogurt and curried buryani, which was tender and flavorful. My favorite part of the meal was the second appetizer: three small portions of traditional Arabic mezze. Snacks were available on request throughout the flight, and breakfast consisted of an equally full menu of juices, smoothies, cereal and a main course of an omelet filled with Roma tomato, cheddar cheese and Spanish onion. (39/40)
The Experience: Etihad’s service kinks on the ground were far outweighed by the superior product on board, where the ambience was conducive to sleep or work. The service aboard was friendly, but the crew appeared to still be new to the aircraft and the airline.
Total Score: (92/100)
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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.
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