On the Ground: The ticket agent was prompt and courteous. Within five minutes of lining up at the Cathay Pacific first-class check-in, I was en route to security. (30/30)
Pre-flight: Focused on televised news in the lounge, I’d lost track of time when a hostess reminded me it was time to board. After quickly passing through the First/ Business gate and into the Boeing 777-300ER, a lovely attendant led me to my First Class Suite, an impressive piece of airplane real estate stretching the length of three windows and enclosed by a waist-high wall. As she hung my jacket and stowed my carry-on in my suite’s floorlevel cupboard, I realized that with no overhead bin, the high-ceilinged space felt lofty. After proffering a flute of Champagne along with an embroidered pouch containing indigo blue Shanghai Tang pajamas and slippers, the attendant introduced the features of my seat. An ottoman doubles as a seat for visiting colleagues when not incorporated into this big bed in the sky. A drop-down armrest expands the seat width and serves as a side cocktail table. The fully adjustable seat with its four-way lumbar support and massage feature easily accesses techie gizmos, including a pull-out 17-inch TV with premium headphones to enjoy the on-demand audio-visual programs, 110-volt plugs for my computer, plus ambient mood and reading lights. (29/30)
In-Flight: Soaring over clouds while feasting on caviar and smoked salmon, fragrant mushroom soup, grilled lamb chops with mustard cream sauce accompanied by a heady Domaine Jacques Prieur Beune Champs Pimont Premier Cru, I began to feel slightly decadent, like a lord in my own condo in the sky, with servants. Satiated, I worked a while on my computer before donning the elegant pajamas and reclining into movie-watching mode. After three films and a snack of fragrant barbecued duck noodle soup, I transformed my seat into a cushy flat bed measuring 36 inches wide and 81 inches long — big enough for a 6-foot-3-inch guy.
Coddled by a couple of pillows and puffy duvet, I dozed off to wake six hours later to the aroma of brewing coffee. With 55 minutes to landing, I was willing to forgo the last refreshment. “Eat, you need energy for Hong Kong,” insisted the motherly attendant, reminding me that all meals are prepared to order as she fastidiously organized my choice of savory chicken.(39/40)
The Experience: After a 15 ½-hour non-stop flight that left me rested beyond belief, Cathay Pacific’s first-class service proved as perfect as long-haul flying gets. Passengers on connecting flights could refresh in the lounge with a shower or bath in a private cabana.
Total Score: (98/100)
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
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.
Starting in November, guests at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru enjoy new all-pool water villas that offer twice as much outside space as indoor space. The villa expansions bring outdoor space to nearly 2,000 square feet across multiple “zones,” including sun decks, social spots, over-water hammocks, al fresco showers and dining areas. A 40-foot pool extends into the lagoon; nearby, a shaded, ocean-side living and dining pavilion offers unparalleled views.