On the Ground: British Airways check-in at Newark is located on the bottom level, near baggage claim. It was a bit difficult to find, as it is far removed from most check-in counters, but the process was quick. Security was a nightmare, which was not in any way British Airways’ fault, and as soon as I was behind the closed doors of the dedicated lounge, all the chaos from outside was soon forgotten. I had a drink, checked some emails (with free WiFi) and made my way to the gate for boarding. (28/30)
Pre-flight: BA has a unique configuration of 2-4-2. Starting left to right, the individual pods face opposite directions, except for the two middle seats, which sit side-by-side, facing the same direction. On this particular flight, I was on the outside of the middle, and with the privacy screen up I was in my own little world. (Unfortunately, on my return flight I was in one of the two middle seats — this offered less privacy and required crafty maneuvering and climbing to access the aisle and overhead bin when the aisle passenger seat was in the lie-flat position.) I was impressed by the lie-flat seats and was thrilled with all the storage space, including a drawer that perfectly fit my laptop, shoes and reading material. I settled in as flight attendants hung coats and passed out welcome beverages. Shortly after take-off, they distributed menus and amenity kits. (28/30)
In-flight: The power outlets, tray table and added storage space made doing work a cinch. The entertainment options included movies, TV programming, games and music. Throughout the flight, passengers can help themselves to snacks at a station in the galley, which is a nice feature. I chose the Indian dining option on the outbound leg and found myself picking at it with disinterest. The food on my return flight was much better: chicken breast with vegetables and potatoes, followed by a second meal service of traditional English tea — scones and clotted cream included. The breakfast service, served shortly before landing, was plentiful, with fruit, yogurt, pastries and breakfast sandwiches. (39/40)
The Experience: The premium service does not end when passengers disembark at Heathrow. I received a pass to access the fast lane at customs, a fantastic service that helped me navigate the process in mere minutes. In addition, I was invited to freshen up in the Arrivals Lounge. Time constraints prevented me from taking advantage of that perk, but it’s a nice thought. I was quite pleased with my experience on British Airways. If I had been able to combine my seat to London with the cuisine I enjoyed on the return trip, I would have been hard-pressed to find a single complaint.
Total Score: 95/100
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 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.
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.
The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.
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.
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.