On the Ground: SWISS began flying nonstop six days a week between San Francisco and Zurich in June. I took the first flight to Zürich, Switzerland’s financial center and largest city. SWISS, a member of Star Alliance and the Lufthansa Group, shares United Airlines’ Red Carpet Club. The 10-year-old lounge, located just past security to the right in the International Terminal, has aged fairly well, though it doesn’t match offerings from top international carriers. Two drink coupons are available, and there are plentiful power outlets and work stations with desks. Food offerings are sparse; two of the five options on a coffee-making machine were out of order. Happily, the sparkling, two-level SWISS lounge in winningly modern Zürich Airport, 10 minutes from downtown, more than compensated on my return flight. (25/30)
Pre-flight: The Airbus A340 used on our premiere flight was the first aircraft to feature SWISS’ new business class, which will be rolled out across the airline’s 77-plane fleet this year and next. It is superb. Boarding was fast, overhead bins ample. I relaxed with a glass of mild, Swiss-made Chardonnay. The seasoned cabin crew members were crisply efficient without ever being officious, anticipatory but not intrusive. SWISS’ new business class alternates rows of 2-2-2 and 2-2-1 configurations. There are power outlets at all seats and plenty of personal space for working or chilling out. I occupied a single seat by the window, giving me both a window and an aisle — ideal. (30/30)
In-flight: Once we took off, food and beverage service commenced promptly. I sipped a nicely rounded Swiss-made Pinot Noir from hilly lakeside vineyards. Alas, the tender veal in cream sauce, one of Switzerland’s national dishes, was gone. But this was not deeply tragic; my salmon was moist and flavorful. For dessert, I nibbled choice cheeses and, of course, creamy Swiss chocolate. I read and surfed the in-flight entertainment system during the 11-and-a-half-hour flight, enjoying the wide range of movies and TV shows, games, music CDs and radio channels, as fellow travelers beavered away on laptops and electronic devices. Late in the journey, I opted for slumber. SWISS has a 180-degree flat-bed seat with adjustable air cushions, making it one of the best beds in the sky. (38/40)
The Experience: The long-haul business class on SWISS is better than some carriers’ first class, and most elements under the airline’s direct control tick like a Swiss watch.
Total Score: 93/100
Once you’ve boarded Regent’s Seven Seas Grandeur, it is immediately apparent this recently launched cruise ship delivers what the name promises. Jewel box opulence dominates in most of the public areas, while quiet luxury teamed with clever function defines the cabins (save for the individually decorated top-tier suites). The ship, designed by internationally acclaimed Studio DADO and constructed by Ancona, Italy, ship builder Fincantieri, holds up to 746 guests and is serviced by a staff of 548 for optimal passenger-to-staff service.
One affordable plan can protect an entire year of trips: business or pleasure, short or long, domestic or international.
The St. Regis San Francisco recently debuted a Lunar New Year-themed The Art of Tea to celebrate the Year of the Dragon. Available for only a few more days, through Feb. 25, the afternoon menu boasts Asian-inspired sweet and savory items, a selection of tea and a complimentary welcome toast with Champgane Lallier R.018.
Reconnecting the World: GBTA Convention 2023 Spotlights the Vital Role of Business Travel and In-Person Connection
In an increasingly digital and interconnected world, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Convention remains an indispensable platform for business travel industry professionals seeking to make the most of the power of face-to-face connections. Taking place August 13–15 in Dallas, the 2023 GBTA Convention provides the unique opportunity for professionals and companies to join visionaries, thought leaders and industry experts for meaningful networking, cutting-edge insights and inspiring innovation.
After a stressful pre-holiday season and a busy work schedule, there was no better time for a relaxing spa experience than during my recent trip to Pasadena with the FXExpress Publications, Inc. team. We headed to The Langham Huntington, Pasadena for the 20th anniversary of the GT Tested Reader Survey awards, which meant a jam-packed trip, but I managed to carve a little time out of our busy schedule to visit Chuan Spa at the hotel.
Known as one of the best airports in the world and voted Best Airport in the Middle East by Global Traveler readers, Hamad International Airport aims to set new standards for the airport industry that exceed the expectations of travelers through its facility.
Keep New Year’s resolutions going with a stay at The Westin Tempe. The hotel recently launched a wellness stay offer in partnership with Lululemon. The limited-time Lululemon In-Room Fitness Experience includes accommodations in a guestroom equipped with a Lululemon-branded yoga mat and yoga block.