On the Ground: I was eager to experience EVA’s Royal Laurel cabin, upgraded last year. Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is one busy place; as the airline’s hub, many flights depart at the same time and even with several premium check-in counters, there was a wait. The staff was friendly, courteous and extremely helpful. Once I reached the counter, check-in was quick.
Pre-Flight: I did not see any priority security lanes, and the process was long and arduous — more a fault of the airport than the airline. After duty-free shopping, I headed to the EVA lounges, true oases of calm located upstairs. The Infinity lounge — recently renovated, clean and modern with twinkling lights in the ceiling — was crowded, but I found a seat and a plug and grabbed a drink from the large selection of beverages and food (Asian and Western options). I didn’t have much time there, but I got some work done and changed for my flight. With more time, I would have tried the shower facilities.
In-Flight: Each seat in Royal Laurel is private and personal, a step away from a suite with a high back and side. I was happy to be in a window seat in the 1-2-1 configuration, pleased with the ample storage and large ledge by the window. I stowed my bags, keeping my laptop, reading material and other amenities accessible from my seat. The brand-new Rimowa amenity kit, a comforter and pillow were all waiting.
My flight passed quickly. I kept busy with movies from the generous entertainment options, work and sleep in the lie-flat bed. Before dinner, I enjoyed a glass of Dom Perignon Vintage 2003. The menu offers two regular dinner options and a healthy choice. The appetizer was a stuffed egg with caviar served aside a pan-seared scallop with tomato salsa on asparagus and lettuce, followed by Italian minestrone soup and a salad. For my entrée, I selected braised pork spareribs wu shi style. Cheese, fruit and ice cream or mousse followed. I paired all with a Chassagne Montrachet Vielles Vignes 2010. Flight attendants provided snacks and small meals throughout the flight; I enjoyed a savory potato cheese tart when I woke up hungry. Before landing, another meal was served; I chose the Western selection: fruit, bread, penne with mushrooms in a pesto cream sauce with a chicken patty wrapped in bacon.
The Experience: EVA, now a member of Star Alliance, met all my expectations. From beginning to end, my flight was top-notch. It’s a good sign when a long flight seems to pass in the blink of an eye.
- 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 menu
- Self-serve in-flight pantry
- Amenity kits
- Lie-flat seat/bed
- Mattress and comforter
- In-flight menu with three entrée choices
- 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.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
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.