On the Ground: I was so happy to be out of the cold rain drenching the New York City area, I didn’t mind the 45-minute wait in the carrier’s line in JFK’s Terminal 8. The former Star Alliance partner officially began services as a oneworld member two days after my early-evening departure at the end of March, joining LAN Airlines, TAM’s partner in LATAM Airlines Group, and the 13 other current member airlines. When I reached the counter, check-in was quick, and a friendly TAM agent informed me I would be upgraded.
Pre-Flight: With less than an hour until scheduled boarding time, I gazed out the windows at the rain-spattered runway and spotted TAM’s Boeing 777-300ER, with “The Magic Red Carpet” slogan painted on its nose, that would transport me to South America, as well as LAN Airlines’ Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The procedure for boarding began shortly after, with families with small children and elderly people called first, followed by premium passengers. Priority boarding was slightly chaotic, as those of us flying first and business classes waited in an unorganized crowd for 20 minutes before having our passports and visas checked.
In-Flight: I settled into my business-class seat, upholstered in red floral-patterned fabric, and took out my laptop to get some work done while the remaining business-class passengers entered the cabin, which was arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration. Courteous flight attendants offered glasses of Champagne, a selection of publications mainly in Portuguese and amenity kits before taking our dinner orders.
In the air, I continued to work on my laptop before dinner was served about an hour into the flight. TAM worked with Chef Bel Coelho to create its “Sabor Que Faz Bem” (“Flavors That Make You Feel Good”) menu. My flight included dinner and breakfast prior to landing. A shrimp wrap appetizer on a bed of greens was served with my entrée choice of filet mignon cooked in a green pepper sauce with grilled vegetables and chateau potatoes. Other entrée choices included chicken fillet in a red wine sauce served with green beans and pearl barley, and cannelloni stuffed with cheese in an eggplant sauce paired with tomato concassé and mushrooms. Top-quality wines from different countries complemented the menu, as well as a variety of drinks, including traditional Brazilian caipirinha cocktails.
Following a slice of pear and almond pie, I explored the extensive entertainment system before getting a good night’s sleep in my angled lie-flat bed. I woke up to the smell of coffee and enjoyed a filling breakfast of fruit, cold cuts, yogurt, grilled Canadian ham and a crêpe stuffed with scrambled eggs before landing on time in São Paulo.
The Experience: From wheels-up to touch-down, my experience flying TAM’s “Magic Red Carpet” was comfortable and left me feeling relaxed and happy long after the flight, even while I endured a seemingly endless car ride in São Paulo’s notorious traffic. LATAM offers U.S.-based travelers from Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Orlando an extensive route network, including 40 destinations in Brazil and 69 in the rest of South America.
[item]Less than 10 minutes for check-in[/item]
[item check=yes]Friendly and helpful agents[/item]
[item]Priority tagged baggage[/item]
[item check=yes]Airport lounge[/item]
[item check=yes]Complimentary in-lounge food[/item]
[item check=yes]Priority boarding[/item]
[item check=yes]Helpful and courteous flight attendants[/item]
[item check=yes]Pre-flight beverage service[/item]
[item check=yes]Pre-flight newspapers and magazines[/item]
[item check=yes]Extensive on-demand entertainment[/item]
[item check=yes]Amenity kits[/item]
[item check=yes]Lie-flat seat/bed[/item]
[item check=yes]In-flight menu with three entrée choices[/item]
[item check=yes]Top-shelf wines and liquors[/item]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.