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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.