On the Ground: Having spent the better part of 50 years traveling by air, I have grown to dislike airports. Security checks are absolutely necessary; but even if one uses the fast lane, they can be frustrating. Virgin Atlantic Airways has done its best to make check-in as easy as possible by having its own dedicated check-in channel. On this journey I arrived on foot rather than via the transport provided by the airline, and it was only a matter of minutes before I was through the security check and on my way to the lounge.
Pre-Flight: There are lounges, but without a doubt, Virgin is top-of-the-class. The Clubhouse, as it is called, cannot be bettered anywhere, in my experience. As soon as I was seated, I was approached and asked if I would like a drink. It was morning, so I ordered a tomato juice and a light breakfast — delicious. Plenty of magazines and newspapers were available, and the decor was relaxing. I did not use a fraction of the services on offer. Any regular traveler must try the Virgin Clubhouse at least once in their traveling life.
In-Flight: Upper Class passengers board the plane via their own entrance, which avoids the endless standing around. I was greeted by cheerful staff who immediately showed me to my seat and were on hand to explain where the various seat controls were. Although the seat was long enough for my 6-foot, 6-inch frame, I have to say I found it too cramped. Frankly, I dislike the herringbone pattern. I happen to be a non-drinker these days — especially important when flying — so the ever-helpful cabin staff brought me sparkling water, and there was an endless supply. Both the food served and the cabin staff were excellent — no complaints. I can’t comment on the entertainment offered, as I never use it but prefer to work or read a book, which I did in perfect peace!
◆ After a fraught journey through London traffic, the Clubhouse is a real haven of peace. Well worth flying with Virgin for this alone!
◆ Excellent and cheerful service and, above all, a good safety record
First opened in 1742 by George William Wilton, a seller of oysters, shrimp and cockles near Haymarket in London, Wiltons continued drawing diners with its delicious food for more than two centuries. This summer, Wiltons celebrates its 280th birthday and its place as one of London’s most beloved fine-dining establishments with a unique dining experience.
United Airlines remains firmly committed toward sustainability in aviation. The latest development in its eco-conscious goals includes working with Oxy Low Carbon Ventures to commercialize the production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) with biotech firm Cemvita Factory. Cemvita looks to develop a revolutionary new way to produce SAF by using carbon dioxide and synthetic microbes. Additionally, United Airlines Ventures (UAV) recently announced an equity investment in Fulcrum, and United has invested more in SAF production than any other airline in the world.
Resting on the edge of Reykjavik’s Old Harbour next to the soaring, sparkling glass edifice of Harpa concert hall and conference center, the brand-new Reykjavik EDITION brings a new level of swish lodging to Iceland’s capital city. Steps from Laugavegur — the city’s main shopping street — and an easy walk to a wide selection of museums, restaurants and cafés, the newly opened hotel delivers high on luxury and service in a location ideal for becoming fully engaged in the energy of this spirited capital city.
Recently, more than 345 million people globally watched OMNIYAT light up the sky for the launch of AVA at Palm Jumeirah, Dorchester Collection, Dubai thanks to more than 500 drones. Now, OMNIYAT will once again illuminate the sky with one light to signify the groundbreaking of AVA at Palm Jumeirah Dorchester Collection, Dubai.
When American travelers make plans to visit Portugal, Lisbon is usually their first stop.
In time for summer, the recently opened Palacio Provincial hotel in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, launched a new exploration-driven offer. The Sip & Savory Summer offer includes a mixology tour for two adults, a sweet or savory welcome amenity and a hotel-branded gift.
Start planning that long-awaited trip to the island of Ireland. With all travel restrictions now lifted, there has never been a better time to visit.
Monticello, New York, population 6,400, is an old Catskill town in Sullivan County that thrived from the 1950s–70s, with hundreds of country resorts. Although the town lies just a two-hour drive from Manhattan's cultural attractions, Monticello always seemed light years away in terms of cultural ambiance.