On the Ground: I arrived at JFK early, excited to experience KLM’s new World Business Class. One passenger was ahead of me in line, but I was immediately ushered to another counter, where I picked up my boarding pass. Another agent kindly accompanied me to the lounge, where I enjoyed some light snacks and water. Since I was so early, I had a chance to finish some work before heading to the gate.
Pre-Flight: As I found my way to my seat, the flight attendant took my jacket and I placed my belongings in the storage space. Before getting settled, I went to the upper deck of the business-class cabin to visit one of my travel companions. I had trouble returning to my seat, as other passengers were filtering into the aircraft. A flight attendant noticed my confused look and ushered me through the pantry area so I could make my way to my seat.
Dutch designer Hella Jongerius is responsible for the redesigned cabin interior. Each element was thoughtfully designed to embody sustainability, simplicity and personal comfort. Unique details include the new carpet using yarn made from old KLM flight attendant uniforms; cloth curtain pattern designs mimicking a beaded curtain; and a double-sided pillow matching the curtain pattern on one side, with a crisp white fabric on the other meant for sleeping.
Following the pre-flight drink service, the crew served light snacks. I opted for the seared scallop with avocado and salsa instead of the tomato and mozzarella salad. Once all the passengers in the cabin were seated, the flight attendant distributed amenity kits. I slipped out of my shoes and into the provided socks, finally ready to settle in for the flight.
In-Flight: Since I had time to answer emails while in the lounge, I chose to relax on my overnight flight. I reclined my seat and covered my legs with the blanket. After browsing the in-flight entertainment options, I switched on The Way Way Back. The pleasant flight attendant addressed me as “Ms. Skrzek” during the flight, apologizing for mispronouncing my difficult-to-pronounce last name — a problem that no longer fazes me. Top Michelin-awarded Dutch chefs prepare KLM’s in-flight meals. I enjoyed the braised short ribs in Milanese sauce with mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts and caramelized butternut squash. A mixed green salad with cherry tomatoes and a cheese selection accompanied the main course. The flight attendant helped me select the Aaldering Lady M Pinotage; the wine paired perfectly with my meal. I opted for a berry cheesecake for dessert.
After dinner, I decided to get some sleep. I employed the privacy screen and easy-to-operate fully flat seat. I slept peacefully and woke up shortly before landing. Still full from dinner, I skipped breakfast and had a glass of water as we smoothly landed in Amsterdam.
The Experience: My first time flying KLM was a pleasant experience. I felt completely at ease during the overnight flight, taken care of by the helpful and friendly staff.
Since the 1950s KLM has presented World Business Class passengers with a parting gift: a Delft Blue miniature traditional Dutch house filled with Dutch gin, also known as genever. Modeled after houses situated along the canals in Amsterdam, the keepsake reminds me of KLM and my trip every time I look at it.
[item check=yes]Less than 10 minutes for check-in[/item]
[item check=yes]Friendly and helpful agents[/item]
[item check=yes]Priority tagged baggage[/item]
[item check=yes]Airport lounge[/item]
[item check=yes]Complimentary in-lounge food[/item]
[item check=yes]Priority boarding[/item]
[item check=yes]Helpful and courteous flight attendants[/item]
[item check=yes]Pre-flight beverage service[/item]
[item check=yes]Pre-flight newspapers and magazines[/item]
[item check=yes]Extensive on-demand entertainment[/item]
[item check=yes]Amenity kits[/item]
[item check=yes]Lie-flat seat/bed[/item]
[item check=yes]In-flight menu with three entrée choices[/item]
[item check=yes]Top-shelf wines and liquors[/item]
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 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.
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 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.