On the Ground: I was especially excited to have my first experience flying the United Boeing 787 Dreamliner. For this trip, I flew into Denver International Airport from Los Angeles International Airport on an early-morning flight to catch the noon departure of the 787 to Tokyo. I arrived at Denver a few hours early and took advantage of the United Club lounge. The club was conveniently situated in the middle of the terminal, and I was happy it held a full-service counter to help United MileagePlus Premier members since I’d lost my connecting flight ticket. The lounge was spacious, with a light and airy feel. Although the breakfast items were basic, the coffee was strong and the many club chairs in the lounge offered multiple electrical outlets for my many tech gadgets. The previously scheduled 787 had service issues, so a large crowd of passengers was trying to get seats on my flight. Although it was sad to see the Dreamliner have problems, the gate agents looked like they were in control and getting everyone on flights.
Pre-Flight: BusinessFirst passengers were the first to board, and I was quickly shown to my window seat and offered a pre-flight beverage. Unfortunately, we sat at the gate more than an hour as issues from the previous 787 flight were still being worked out. Although the delay caused me concern about my connecting flights in Japan, I took advantage of the time to observe the new innovations on board United’s 787, including the larger window with tint control, mood lighting, roomier cabin height and more.
In-Flight: United’s BusinessFirst has a 2-2-2 configuration, with the outer seats facing toward the windows. This gave a bit more privacy and better views. My second-row seat was a spacious 180-degree lie-flat seat/bed with all the bells and whistles. The seat controls were constantly lit, so I could easily change seat positions in the dark. The entertainment system, with a personal 15-inch screen, offered current American movies just out of the theater and a great music selection for all genres and languages. I took advantage of being a woman away from home and listened to Alanis Morissette’s new album and watched Twilight. The standard blue and gray of United’s color concept was understated yet comfortably familiar.
Dinner was served a few hours into the flight. Although they ran out of the Japanese-style meal, the appetizer of sushi and the grilled salmon with clumped crab were tasty. The 2012 Henri Bourgeois Sancerre Les Baronnes Sauvignon Blanc – Loire Valley complemented my fish main course well. By far, the highlight of my meal was the dessert: custom-built ice cream sundaes for each passenger. I selected Bailey’s and lots of caramel to go with my vanilla ice cream — perfect for my sweet tooth.
After dinner I usually get ready to sleep and dig into the amenity kit. United’s kit showcases one of my favorite beauty brands, Philosophy. The chapstick, hand lotion and facial wipes kept me refreshed throughout the flight. The 787 woke passengers with good-morning lighting, which represents the colors of dawn in the overhead lighting. It was a pleasant way to wake up, along with a simple breakfast.
The Experience: I have never had such a nice group of flight attendants on a U.S.-based airline as those on my United flight. They were friendly, unobtrusive, accommodating and ultimately created a good environment. On either end of my flight from Denver to Tokyo, I enjoyed the United Club lounges. It’s great to see United so proud of the 787, and I liked trying out the new product. It’s a must-try for the travel enthusiast.
- Less than 10 minutes for check-in
- Friendly and helpful agents
- Priority tagged bags
- Airport lounge
- Complimentary in-lounge food
- Priority boarding
- Pre-flight beverage service
- Pre-flight newspapers and magazines
- Extensive on-demand entertainment
- Amenity kits
- Lie-flat seat/bed
- Turn-down service
- In-flight menu with three entrée choices
- Top-shelf wines and liquors
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.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
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.