On the Ground: Because it was a late flight, I avoided the stress of dealing with the usual traffic from Manhattan to JFK. And as expected, only a few people stood in line for Saga Club check-in. I had checked in online, so I just needed to drop off my suitcase at the counter. It was taken care of without any delays, and I headed straight to the security line.
Pre-Flight: I was directed to the Galleries Lounge to briefly relax before my flight. Overall, the space was clean, with multiple counters offering different light snacks and drinks. Although I was not too hungry, I grabbed a few pieces of fruit and a soft drink and made some calls. I was excited about my first trip to Iceland and ready for my surprisingly short flight — a little more than five hours. Right at boarding time, I walked to my gate, eager to start my adventure.
In-Flight: The seats were spacious in business class, although they only reclined and did not lie flat. There were plenty of entertainment options as well as WiFi. I was ready to eat my dinner and take a quick nap. I ended up skipping the Parma ham and blue cheese starter. Although I expected some seafood options for the main course, I was delighted with my Indian chicken breast entrée. I reclined my seat and rested under the warm blanket while watching two consecutive movies and staying in contact with the world 30,000 feet below.
◆ You can stay connected the entire time you’re on board.
◆ I highly recommend Icelandair’s stopover promotion. Plus, the duty-free purchase of alcohol during your stay is smart and cost-effective.
◆ Book your flight earlier in the day if possible. Otherwise, you arrive early in the morning and your hotel may not accommodate an early check-in.
◆ Look for Icelandair Hotels throughout the island for clean, comfortable and convenient locations.
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As part of Germany’s climate package, a plan to reduce emissions, the country will raise departure taxes at German airports. Taxes will go up as much as 60 percent, and are expected to raise up to €740 million. The funds will then be used to lower VAT on rail fares from 19 percent to 7 percent.
Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of its newest ship, Norwegian Encore, ahead of its naming ceremony Nov. 21. The 1,100-foot-long ship boasts a guest capacity of nearly 4,000. Since Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of the shi, Oct. 30, Norwegian Encore sailed from Germany to England before making its way to New York City, then Miami, where the christening ceremony takes place next week.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Swiss-Belhotel International boasts an impressive portfolio throughout 22 countries, including 10 ASEAN member countries. This growth is continuing with the group’s new plans to debut four properties in Thailand.