On the Ground: We arrived at the dedicated Top Executive check-in counter at EWR too late for the Lisbon flight we were booked on and without our baggage, which had not arrived on our delayed incoming flight. Since the ticketing was separate, TAP was not responsible for fixing either of these problems, but that didn’t stop the charming agent. “I’ll find them,” she assured us, as she rebooked us on to that night’s flight to Porto and the onward to Lisbon. Skeptical, we went off to the lounge. Several hours later, this same agent met us at the gate and handed us our baggage tickets. “They’re on the plane,” she told us — and they were. A TAP agent told us as we boarded that previous agent had been all over the terminal tracking down our bags, locating them only minutes earlier. (30/30)
Pre-flight: With that impressive introduction to TAP, we boarded the Airbus and found our seats in the Top Executive cabin. Our coats were immediately on hangers, and we each had a glass of sparkling white Portuguese wine in hand seconds after sitting. A flight attendant explained how to adjust the seats and use the entertainment system. (30/30)
In-flight: While the menu offered no surprises — the usual choices of beef, chicken or fish — the wine list was something to savor. Portuguese wines are not as well known as they deserve to be, and this list was an excellent introduction to the various appelations. During the flight we asked for half-pours of wines from the Alentejo, Douro, Ribatejo, Tras o Montes and Bairrada. After dinner an attendant passed through the cabin with a cheese cart that included several labeled varieties accompanied by orange slices, grapes and vintage Port. Between the wine and the fully reclining angled seats, sleeping was easy. Had insomnia beset me, my entertainment system included an individual video screen, DVD and a laptop plug. I was offered the option of breakfast served 45 minutes before landing, which I accepted before falling asleep. (38/40)
The Experience: Maybe I’m just easy to please, but the ground and cabin crew on this flight really took an interest in making it a good experience. The real test of an airline is how they do when things go wrong — how well, how quickly and how graciously do they make it right? And in this case, they made it right when the problem had nothing to do with them. A top-flight experience.
Total Score: (98/100)
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across 24 key metrics to determine the best destinations for an upcoming Oktoberfest celebration. The brand’s study found the estimated cost for an American to attend Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, is $5,000. Munich boasts a $1.43 billion annual economic impact on Munich. During Oktoberfest, nearly 2 million gallons of beer are consumed and more than 510,000 whole roast chickens eaten.
Qantas will start using a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on its Sydney–Santiago route starting in late June 2020.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
On Location Experiences makes it easy for travelers to head to London or Mexico City for upcoming NFL games. Tottenham Hotspur Stadium hosts the Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiders Oct. 6, and the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers Oct. 13; Wembley Stadium hosts the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams Oct. 27, and the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars Nov. 3; and Estadio Azteca hosts the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers Nov. 18.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Hotel brands all over the world have pushed for sustainability. For many, it began with reducing single-use plastics, like straws. InterContinental recently announced the end of in-room miniature toiletries.