New York (JFK)–Riyadh (RUH)–Dubai (DXB
On the Ground: Check-in at JFK was swift and professional; as I had no luggage to check, I was quickly on my way to security. The lines at Terminal 1 can get quite congested, and this was one of those days. Once through security, I changed over some cash and went to the Korean Air lounge, which Saudia uses for its passengers. The lounge is separated into two sections: business-class passengers on the right and first-class passengers on the left. I found the offerings a little on the light side, but the selection of sandwiches was quite delicious. It served only bourbon and no Scotch, which I found a little odd, but the wine choices were top-notch. In no time we were walking to the gate at the end of the terminal, and a gentleman who seemed familiar to me from my years of travel escorted us onto the aircraft in VIP style. My colleague was over the moon with the two separate entrances on the Boeing 777, preventing first- and business-class passengers from getting caught up in the rush of economy-class passengers.
Pre-Flight: I was taken to the seat and was looking forward to my long flight for which I had mapped out a plan: work and enjoy the first-class service for about 30 percent of the time and then sleep during the remaining journey. Flight attendants distributed newspapers and magazines (though I brought a satchel of magazines to catch up on) and juices together with fine amenity kits complete with Salvatore Ferragamo-branded lotions, lip balms and other items. Everything required was in that tasteful kit. On the return flight, the kits were Porsche Design, a nice change. Crewmembers also distributed pajamas and blankets with duvets along with the in-flight menu, which offered a nice selection of meals. They served Arabian coffee with the tastiest dates fresh from the Middle East. I hooked up the power for my computer and phone and settled in to work and enjoy the entertainment system and meal service. Takeoff went like clockwork, and we were taxiing down the runway and airborne to Saudi Arabia.
In-Flight: Once we were airborne, the friendly flight attendants began their first-class meal service, including a mixture of Arabian and European favorites. Whenever I fly first class, I choose the caviar to start — this sets first-class service apart, and Saudia was no disappointment. Passengers can choose from various soups and three entrées which included lamb shank, lobster Thermidor and chicken biryani. When in Rome, do as the Romans do, so I went directly for the lamb, tender and generous — I found it impossible to finish. The meal closed with a selection of fresh fruit (which I chose), assorted desserts and ice cream. (I admit I had some ice cream, too.)
I opened my laptop and powered through a great many emails. These were all teed up to send when I arrived in Riyadh. Saudia offers WiFi, but as it was late, I figured holding them was the best option. While working I enjoyed some tea and watched a couple of movies. The screen is 23 inches wide and displays in HD, with many channels and programs to choose from.
Ready to sleep, I called the flight attendant to transform my first-class suite into my first-class bed. She reclined the seat fully flat, covered the seat with a mattress cover and laid out the duvet and pillows. I was in a happy place and went right to bed. The sliding doors shut; I did not wake until breakfast was served. Truly a restful flight, which I needed for our full week in the Middle East.
Connections were a breeze at Riyadh, where the lounge is spacious and comfortable. We were treated like VIPs during transfer, a benefit of the first-class service. Our departure to Dubai was on the same aircraft a few hours later, and in Dubai we were met by Bander A. Alfowzan, Saudia’s manager of operations – U.A.E. and Oman, based at Dubai Airport. Bander continued our first-class service and walked us through security to our waiting car.
◆ The key to the comfort and sleepability is the 100 percent cotton mattress pad, which allows the seat to breathe and keeps the bedding from getting too hot as you sleep.
◆ I left my computer charger on the Riyadh– Dubai flight. Bander received a call and the charger was brought to me. We laughed, and I said this was a test of the fine Saudia service!
◆ Best in-flight dates and Arabian coffee, hands down!
Though air travel slowed as airports temporarily closed and borders shuttered to stifle the spread of coronavirus, the airline industry — led by oneworld alliance member airlines — enacted enhanced protective measures to reduce risk and protect passengers.
I had just taken off my sandals, stepping onto the white-sand beach for a late-morning walk to a secluded spot I heard about from a front desk clerk, when I glanced down and saw the time on my phone. It had just turned 11 a.m., which meant it was only 7 am back home, the perfect time to call and say good morning to by husband before he left for work. Not quite ready to head back to my room, I decided I’d test the WiFi signal and made the call as I continued walking toward the shoreline.
San Antonio celebrated 300 years of progress in May 2018. With a clear vision following that anniversary year, the Texan city set its sights firmly on 300 more. While commemorating this milestone, the city underwent a major overhaul to prepare for the next phase in its history.
IHG® Business Edge provides small- to midsized enterprises with benefits and confidence to navigate the evolving business travel environment.
When you think of a relaxing spa day, mountains, rivers and view of gorgeous landscapes pop in your head; a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of any city’s booming music and honking taxis. SoJo Spa Club and Hotel gives you the relaxing feeling of being away while still staying close to the busy center of Manhattan.
Dance the night away with Grand Hotel’s Ballroom Dance offer, available May 16–18. Dancers of all skill levels will experience a diverse range of ballroom dance styles, alongside daily breakfast and dinner, a welcome reception and complimentary golf green fees.
Are you looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own refined adventure of a lifetime. You can custom order your new Volvo, tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.