On the Ground: I arrived at Heathrow Airport after a trip to London for the World Travel Market Conference. As I arrived at the Air Canada check-in counter, the helpful staff directed me to the security checkpoint. Once through the line, and a bit strapped for time, I walked quickly to my gate, where an extremely kind concierge service member greeted me. She asked how my trip was and said she had been watching for me so she could assist me with boarding early to ensure a calm and easy departure. She had assisted me earlier that week when I processed through security from Toronto to London, so it was nice closing my trip with a friendly face. She escorted me onto the plane and to my seat in the beautiful Signature Class cabin of the Boeing 787-8, introducing me to the flight attendant who would be directing cabin staff during my flight. I thanked the concierge for her hospitality throughout my journey. Experiencing what the Air Canada Super Elite-level members enjoy as features of their commitment to the brand helped me understand the appeal of retaining that status.
Pre-Flight: The Signature Class offers modern and spacious seating. The layout provided privacy and ample room to be comfortable whether one was seated at the inside or window side of the main aisles. The flight attendant offered juice, sparkling water or Champagne. (I opted for the Champagne.) I got situated in my seat and checked out the touchscreen menu and the provided headset and settled in for takeoff.
In-Flight: Once airborne we selected our main entrée. I opted for the lamb filet served with creamy fennel sauce, roasted potatoes, pumpkin and broccoli. The starters to this meal were delicious prawns and a garden salad, and for dessert I enjoyed the fresh fruit. Once I finished my meal, I checked to see if I could get started on some emails. Unfortunately, the WiFi was not functional on this flight. Air Canada was in the process of retrofitting these aircraft with the most up-to-date WiFi, but due to the MAX grounding over the past year could not take this 787 out of commission to update the technology. It all worked out, though, as I was able to still get some work done before taking a nap.
This flight departed mid-morning London time and would land in Toronto in late afternoon/early evening. I was quite comfortable during my nap, lying completely flat with a blanket and pillow of excellent quality. The restrooms in the business- class cabin were clean and spacious. Once we were about an hour or so from our arrival in Toronto, I enjoyed afternoon tea accompanied by delicious sandwiches. I spent that time watching a film and relaxing. After our smooth landing in Toronto, a concierge team member greeted me and directed me to the Maple Leaf Lounge, where I enjoyed a break and snack between flights. The flight, product and service were exceptional from start to finish. It is no wonder Global Traveler named Air Canada Airline of the Year in 2019. As Air Canada says in its advertisements, “Travel like a Canadian.” I can tell you, I will be again!
◆ Build loyalty and miles with this award-winning airline to become an Air Canada Altitude Super Elite 100K member. Receive faster check-in and boarding, assistance with flight changes and transfers, and escorts between terminals and gates to ensure a seamless journey.
◆ Dine on Demand gives travelers the option to schedule when they eat to best suit their needs. Simply inform the flight attendant when you order your meal at the beginning of the flight.
◆ Save room for the world-class catering on board. I skipped breakfast in order to be hungry for my flight; the culinary options are a taste bud delight!
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.