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
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Lufthansa is starting an innovative new carbon offset program, Compensaid, which will allow customers to purchase CO2 neutral aviation fuels. The platform allows customers to replace the fossil fuel of their flights with sustainable aviation fuel.
The Luxury Collection again teamed with artist Sofía Sanchez de Beta to unveil an exclusive capsule collection, this time with 54 pieces inspired by the Arabian Desert and Emirati culture. The ready-to-wear line includes an array of separates created with Dubai’s climate in mind, such as lightweight blouses and tunics, flowing jumpsuits, long skirts and dresses.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Google announced last month it added additional features to its price comparison tool. The tool helps users plan trips and compare rates. The new features include one that shows whether the price of a planned flight plus accommodations is low, average or high.
Singapore Airlines launched its non-stop service between Singapore (SIN) and Seattle (SEA), Sept. 3. Seattle is Singapore Airlines’ fourth U.S. destination following Los Angeles (LAX), New York (EWR) and San Francisco (SFO) to receive non-stop service to and from Singapore.
For those without accessibility issues, going to the beach can be simple. There’s nothing to do but pack up your gear, head to the shore and walk out onto the sand. For those who may be inhibited, however, the beach poses more of a challenge.