On the Ground: I spent a few days in Honolulu on business and, like many travelers, extended my trip for a little R&R on the neighboring islands. This trip, I was heading to Maui for the first time. Honolulu Airport, the major hub for airlines into the islands, lies just 20 minutes from downtown Waikiki. Hawaiian Airlines’ interisland connections allow travelers to experience every island easily, with more than 20 flights per day out of HNL for a convenient price. Check-in and TSA screening were busy but moved quickly, and I was headed to the Plumeria Lounge in the Interisland Terminal within 10 minutes.
The Plumeria Lounge is reserved for international businessand all first-class passengers and Pualani platinum members but is accessible to others for a modest fee. The Plumeria Lounge includes everything you could ask for in a business-class lounge: lots of seating; complimentary WiFi; a sleek, modern design; and aloha hospitality. Mai tais, local beers and juices are offered along with light snacks, which I enjoyed while taking care of last-minute emails before my weekend. My gate was just a short breezeway away from the lounge, and I headed there a few minutes before pre-boarding.
Pre-Flight: Boarding my mid-afternoon flight was quick, and our flight attendant for our first-class cabin was friendly and attentive. We were offered guava juice, Champagne or mai tais before takeoff along with macadamia nuts. We took off on time and started the short, 41-minute gate-to-gate hop to Maui.
In-Flight: The Boeing 717 is a perfect fit for the interisland hops, as it seats 128 passengers and is meant for high volume and lower altitudes. First class includes only eight seats with 37-inch pitch, comparable to a plush premium-economy seat with plenty of room. The actual flight time to Maui is only about 25 minutes and thus there was no meal service, but attendants quickly topped off refreshments. Since we never reached cruising altitude, the up-close views of the islands were a marvel to see from both sides of the aircraft. The captain asked passengers to keep the shades open and gave a guided tour as we flew over and around islands, volcanoes and other landmarks. Before we knew it, we were landing at Maui and swiftly disembarked.
OGG is still a tiny airport with a true island feel, but the infrastructure is growing to help passengers prepare before heading to either side of the island, including a Target and a Starbucks. The island has many beaches to explore, and the Road to Hana is a must for crossing the island, so I recommend renting a car for your trip. Hawaiian Airlines offers bundle packages for some extra savings.
◆ Hawaiian Airlines’ interisland routes give passengers more than 70 options to all the islands, making it easier to hop around.
◆ Hawaiian Airlines’ flight attendants and gate agents embody the aloha spirit and are ready to help with any issues or offer ideas and advice on island hot spots.
◆ Hawaiian Airlines’ new firstclass, lie-flat seats and nonstop service from the United States mainland make it easier than ever to get to Hawai’i, especially from the East Coast.
Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.