ON THE GROUND: We took a car service from my home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, to Newark (about 50 minutes) as we would be gone for more than 10 days and could save on the parking. We probably had more luggage than necessary and both checked a bag. Check-in was swift, as was security, and we had time to stop by the United Club using our United Mileage-Plus Club Card from Chase for entry. We tried to sneak into Polaris, but it is limited to international business-class travelers; even though this is a long flight, it is still domestic.
Boarding was organized and the plane was filled to capacity. Everyone was excited to go to Honolulu, and as this was my annual birthday trip, I could not have been more thrilled.
PRE-FLIGHT: Remember this service is domestic first class (many of my industry friends insisted it would be Polaris, United’s relatively new business class), but it is a unique first-class service with a nearly fully flat bed. Attendants distributed Champagne and reading material, and I checked out the entertainment system, which seemed to offer a lot of options. Overhead space was plentiful, and I found room to place my briefcase under the seat in front of me even when the seat was fully deployed.
IN-FLIGHT: The entertainment proved plentiful, and I was proud to see United touting its win as Best Frequent-Flyer Program in the GT Tested Reader Survey awards. (United won this award for 16 consecutive years and is going for the 17th! Read though this issue and you will find the awards voting ballot for this year.)
I watched a few movies and enjoyed a documentary about the Apollo 11 space flight. Astronaut Doctor (he likes to be called that) Buzz Aldrin has attended many of our events over the years and has been supportive of our charitable endeavors.
The only improvement I’d recommend for this flight is more robust dining offerings. We had a small sandwich and various accoutrements, and the water was only poured from a large bottle to a glass — I specifically asked for a bottle of water but the flight attendant said they only had large ones for pouring, and he did not understand why they did not offer bottles in first class. Nonetheless, we had plenty of snacks such as bananas, crackers, cookies and other treats.
I made full use of the United WiFi during the flight and also took a little cat-nap. It is a long flight, and we were hitting the ground running with meetings and tours in Honolulu, so this was essential.
You cannot beat the non-stop service — better than transiting through the West Coast.
At the time, Southwest was flying to Hawai’i, and its service was a far cry from United’s first class.
Flight attendants were friendly and on their game.
Imagine waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee, a light breeze dancing on your face, and views so beautiful you begin to think it is a simulation. The United Kingdom is teeming with unique accommodations that will please your eyes. Check out these stays with stunning views on your next U.K. adventure.
AdventureWomen, the travel company specializing in adventure tours for women, announced a partnership with African Wildlife Foundation. The organization supports the conservation of Africa’s wildlife through education, community development and sustainability projects. As part of the partnership, the two organizations will host a women’s safari to Zimbabwe in May 2022.
Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, where innovative wellness and balanced indulgence come together in one extraordinary beachfront setting, recently partnered with First Responders Children’s Foundation, a non-profit organization providing financial support to children and families of first responders. This partnership formed the Carillon Cares: Summer of Heroes offers, including a donation to the foundation for each stay booked, which supports giving back to those who fought on the front lines during the pandemic.
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
Although much changed in the past year, Cancún still has the joie de vivre we need right now after months of cabin fever — even with safety measures in place. In fact, the first half of 2021 may be a good time to rediscover Mexico’s home-grown Caribbean resort town in a slower, more relaxed mode that contrasts its rollicking “spring break” reputation of old. One place to take in Cancún at its best is JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa, a mile up from the convergence of night clubs, chain restaurants, souvenir emporiums and shopping malls along Avenida Kukulkan.
June marks Pride Month, largely credited to bisexual activist Brenda Howard who organized Gay Pride Week and the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade in 1970, one year after the Stonewall Riots. The parade eventually become the New York City Pride March, leading to Pride Month and similar parades and marches around the world.
The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.
Haven Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa, an all-suite, adults-only, all-inclusive oceanfront resort, announces a new experience suited for epicurean travelers: The Chef’s Table. At Haven’s fine-dining restaurant Olios Mediterranean, The Chef’s Table offers the best seats in the house, right in front of the chef’s working station and open, top-of-the-line kitchen. And the actual table is beautiful in its own right: made from reclaimed wood and complemented by a turquoise glass chandelier.