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]
Banyan Tree Group recently announced its first-ever expansion into Japan with five new properties across four concepts. The hospitality group’s partnership with Wealth Management Group saw Dhawa Yura and Garrya Nijo Castle launch in June, with two more properties slated to open now through 2026. Another partnership with Terraform Capital sees plans to build Cassia, a property in the ski resort of Niseko.
From 24-Hour Butler Service to a Sky Pool: Boutique Luxury Awaits at Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences in Los Cabos
Set on a seaside bluff overlooking Land’s End in Cabo San Lucas, Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences is a Baja paradise specializing in serene vistas and impeccable hospitality, offering a Pacific coast lifestyle with authentic Mexican touches. Guests can now earn a fourth night free at the stunning resort, plus a $100 resort credit, when booking through March 20, for travel through June 15.
American Airlines Mobile ID creates a more seamless, touchless travel experience for American Airlines customers with TSA PreCheck. Recently started at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, AAdvantage members with PreCheck can use Mobile ID at selected checkpoints to verify their identity. AA plans to deploy the technology at Miami (MIA), Phoenix (PHX), Washington, D.C. (DCA) and more later this year.
Global business travel is making its way back, even as the pandemic and other world events continue to challenge its return. In a recent poll from the Global Business Travel Association, more than four in five respondents (86 percent) from across the industry said they feel more optimistic than they did at the beginning of the year. Business travel bookings, the need to travel to do business and employee willingness to travel are all on the rise.
First opened in 1742 by George William Wilton, a seller of oysters, shrimp and cockles near Haymarket in London, Wiltons continued drawing diners with its delicious food for more than two centuries. This summer, Wiltons celebrates its 280th birthday and its place as one of London’s most beloved fine-dining establishments with a unique dining experience.
PONANT recently announced a new collaboration with Smithsonian Journeys for a series of co-branded sailings for 2023. Led by two Smithsonian Journeys experts, such as an art historian, solar astrophysicist or international relations expert, the 21 itineraries seek to deepen travelers’ immersion and knowledge of different destinations.
There’s no better time to plan the vacation you’ve been missing. Step aboard with your better half, your friends or the whole family and reconnect, reunite and rejoice with 25 percent off cruise fares for all guests. We’ll also help everyone get there with 25 percent off airfare from 20 major gateways across the country or $100 savings per person on flights from all other gateways when you book your air travel using Flights by Celebrity.*
In honor of its 20th anniversary, Four Seasons Hotel Prague celebrates the beauty and eternity of this historic city with a limited-time stay offer. The Eternal Beauty offer includes a stay in one of the Premier River rooms, which boasts unique views of Prague, a limousine transfer and breakfast.