On the Ground: Just into my fifth week with Global Traveler, I was fortunate to experience my first business-class trip to Dubai — one of my bucket-list destinations. The day of the trip, my colleague and I met at GT headquarters and headed to Washington Dulles Airport via car service. The three-hour road trip delivered us to the airport right before check-in time for our 10:15 p.m. direct flight to Dubai. The self-check-in was painless; we checked our bags and headed to the United Club lounge to relax with some snacks and drinks prior to boarding.
Pre-Flight: Staff at the United Club lounge offered service with a smile. Unfortunately, I only had time to enjoy a single Bloody Mary, some hummus and cheese before heading to the gate for boarding. I know — there is always next time. I shamelessly took some fruit with me to enjoy later, of course.
In-Flight: After an on-time takeoff, food service started with a chilled appetizer of smoked salmon with chive crème fraîche and a fresh salad with vinaigrette dressing. Both were delicious and a great start for what came next. From the three entrées offered I chose the fillet of turbot simply because I had never heard of it and it certainly made sense to be adventurous. I made the right choice as the dish was tasty. During dinner service I couldn’t help but wonder how I could ever go back to flying coach; I had a slight moment of anxiety but came to my senses before the cheese plate arrived. I am not sure which cheese it was, but one bite warned me not to eat it. I thought everyone near me would appreciate it if I avoided eating what seemed to be the smelliest cheese of all time. I was certain that was going to be it for me since I was watching my diet . . . until I saw the ice cream cart pull up. The attendant didn’t have to do any convincing. I was on board for some vanilla ice cream with fudge and chocolate sauce. I don’t think I left a drop behind.
I always say I’m going to sleep on flights but then realize the movies are too good to ignore, and that’s exactly what happened on this trip. I watched three movies: Man Up, The Clouds of Sils Maria and Max. I started watching Max right after takeoff, so I was in tears right away. Although I was determined to watch as many movies as possible, I also was determined to give the lie-flat bed a try. I’m glad I did; I slept great for at least four to five hours.
The Experience: This rates as one of the best flying experiences I had in my 20-plus years of traveling. Those 13 hours didn’t faze me one bit, and I enjoyed the entire flight. I’m looking forward to my next business-class trip in the near future.
[item check=yes]Less than 10 minutes for check-in[/item]
[item check=yes]Friendly and helpful agents[/item]
[item check=yes]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]Turn-down service[/item]
[item check=yes]In-flight menu with three entrée choices[/item]
[item check=yes]Top-shelf wines and liquors[/item]
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 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.
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 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.