On the Ground: I arrived at Cointrin International Airport, delivered by Geneva’s unfailingly punctual bus system, in plenty of time for my noon flight. Cointrin is petite, and lines are typically quite short, even on weekends. From check-in, I proceeded through security to the Swiss business lounge, which United shares as a Star Alliance member. I checked my email on the computer terminals (gratis), snacked on cheese and croissants from the hot and cold buffet, and read the paper in the calm of that sanctuary. But I nearly missed it entirely — the lounge isn’t well marked, and it’s easy to pass through customs before you realize your mistake. (29/30)
Pre-flight: I was booked in business class for the roughly nine-hour direct flight, and I was looking forward to the ride. In addition to launching the daily, non-stop service between Geneva and Dulles, United had given the Boeing 767 aircraft flying the route a multimillion-dollar makeover. The best part: true flat beds in all 26 business-class seats and six first-class seats (ahhhh …). And though United cannot guarantee this, you may well find yourself, as I did, seated next to an employee of the Geneva-based Nestlé Corporation with 20 kilograms of milk chocolate in his carry-on luggage. Needless to say, we made fast friends. (30/30)
In-flight: The superb service that began on the ground — my jacket removed, my Champagne in hand, all within seconds of boarding — continued into the sky. When it was discovered, for example, that my seat would recline a mere 150 degrees rather than the 180 advertised, an exceedingly friendly flight attendant named Paul insisted that I move to the only first-class seat still available. And, purely in the name of research, I did. With the press of a button, full flatness was mine, along with the unrivaled comfort of the United First Suite, a kind of living-room-in-the-sky: Backcycler Motion system for lumbar support, power outlets, WiFi and high walls for privacy. Fruits and cheese were offered up with a long list of wines and steaming Starbucks coffee, and the five-course meal — I opted for the tenderloin, which was moist and cooked to perfection — was served on china with silverware and cloth napkins. (39/40)
The Experience: From the food to the service to the entertainment system, United seems to have turned a corner. Arriving in Washington, I wished I could stay aboard. Nine hours flew by, probably because I did more work and slept as well as I ever have in the air. You can’t ask for much more than that in a trans-Atlantic flight.
Total Score: 98/100
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.