On the Ground: It is safe to say John F. Kennedy International Airport on New York’s Long Island is typically a madhouse. My flight’s departure time of a brisk 1:15 a.m. meant my commute to the airport was pretty light once I reached the subway.
I arrived at the terminal a little late, with just about 25 minutes until my priority boarding began. Luckily, the late hour gave me the opportunity to check in and pass through security with no wait whatsoever.
At JFK, LATAM Airlines cooperates with American Airlines to offer lounge access for business passengers. Unluckily for me, the lounge is open only until 10:30 p.m., so taking a trip to the lounge to unwind wasn’t in the cards, even if I weren’t running late. I arrived at the gate just as boarding began, got in line for Premium Business access and took my seat on the plane.
Pre-Flight: I was immediately impressed with the space afforded the business-class cabin. On the Boeing 787-9, LATAM employs a 2-2-2 layout for the business class. My aisle-access seat significantly reduced the stress I might have felt getting up in the middle of the night.
Less than two minutes after finding my way to my seat and stowing my carry-on luggage, a crew member offered to take my jacket for me. A few minutes after I sat down and began to get settled, the same crew member (I never got his name) brought over a tray of Champagne and mineral water with bowls of assorted nuts. I opted for the Champagne and set it aside to investigate my amenities kit. The fully stocked kit includes all the standards — a toothbrush and toothpaste, facial lotion, an eye mask, earplugs and socks. Before I knew it, we were pushing off from the gate and beginning our takeoff.
In-Flight: Due to the late hour, crew members began taking stock of the meal situation nearly as soon as our initial ascent was behind us. I did not get to look at the full menu for dinner because of my early designation to the airline as a vegetarian. The crew paid attention to my dietary restrictions and brought out a delicious spread, including fresh and warm bread, vegetables and rice, a delicious garden salad with a balsamic vinaigrette and a tasty fruit salad for dessert.
While I waited for my meal to arrive, I investigated the entertainment options. A large screen with a hand-held controller gave me access to a large number of new and older movies. I settled on something I had seen before because I knew there was no way I was going to make it through an entire movie.
I ate dinner while Kong: Skull Island delivered a killer backdrop. Following dinner, the crew quickly removed my plates and silverware. I opened up the pillow and blanket, set my seat to its lie-back configuration and turned off the movie. In a matter of minutes, I was out. Crew members joked with me shortly before landing that I was sleeping so deeply they were unable to wake me for breakfast. I might have missed breakfast; but if the rest of the flight was any indication, it would have been excellent.
There was plenty of space to situate myself and organize my luggage after landing. I was not fighting other passengers for access to the overhead compartments because everyone had such ample space.
The end result was a service, clocking in at just under eight hours, that went by in the blink of an eye.
◆ The crew members were extremely attentive to my needs. Whenever I had any question or concern, it was addressed within minutes or, more often, seconds.
◆ The lie-back seat was exceptionally comfortable. Combined with earplugs and a cozy blanket, I slept like a rock through most of the flight.
◆ An expansive entertainment library ensured I had a way to pass the time while waiting for the dinner service to arrive.
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.
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 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.
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.
The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.
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.