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.
Once you’ve boarded Regent’s Seven Seas Grandeur, it is immediately apparent this recently launched cruise ship delivers what the name promises. Jewel box opulence dominates in most of the public areas, while quiet luxury teamed with clever function defines the cabins (save for the individually decorated top-tier suites). The ship, designed by internationally acclaimed Studio DADO and constructed by Ancona, Italy, ship builder Fincantieri, holds up to 746 guests and is serviced by a staff of 548 for optimal passenger-to-staff service.
Exclusive Sailing with Global Traveler
The St. Regis San Francisco recently debuted a Lunar New Year-themed The Art of Tea to celebrate the Year of the Dragon. Available for only a few more days, through Feb. 25, the afternoon menu boasts Asian-inspired sweet and savory items, a selection of tea and a complimentary welcome toast with Champgane Lallier R.018.
Learning more about our readers’ travel habits and preferences ensures Global Traveler delivers the content you desire. As the travel industry has adapted and changed over the last few years, it’s more important than ever to connect. To best meet your short- and long-term travel content needs, please help us!
After a stressful pre-holiday season and a busy work schedule, there was no better time for a relaxing spa experience than during my recent trip to Pasadena with the FXExpress Publications, Inc. team. We headed to The Langham Huntington, Pasadena for the 20th anniversary of the GT Tested Reader Survey awards, which meant a jam-packed trip, but I managed to carve a little time out of our busy schedule to visit Chuan Spa at the hotel.
Reconnecting the World: GBTA Convention 2023 Spotlights the Vital Role of Business Travel and In-Person Connection
In an increasingly digital and interconnected world, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Convention remains an indispensable platform for business travel industry professionals seeking to make the most of the power of face-to-face connections. Taking place August 13–15 in Dallas, the 2023 GBTA Convention provides the unique opportunity for professionals and companies to join visionaries, thought leaders and industry experts for meaningful networking, cutting-edge insights and inspiring innovation.
Keep New Year’s resolutions going with a stay at The Westin Tempe. The hotel recently launched a wellness stay offer in partnership with Lululemon. The limited-time Lululemon In-Room Fitness Experience includes accommodations in a guestroom equipped with a Lululemon-branded yoga mat and yoga block.