I was lucky to be onboard TAP Air Portugal’s first flight from San Francisco to Lisbon, the first-ever route directly connecting the U.S. West Coast to Portugal. I enjoyed the fanfare at the gate, which included Portuguese cuisine, a cake, a fado singer and speeches. You could feel the buzz and excitement in the air, and it was palpable what an important moment this was for both the airline and the San Francisco and Lisbon communities. A baggage snafu at SFO, outside of the airline’s control, delayed us, but once boarding commenced, it was quick and efficient.
I flew LATAM Airlines for the first time on a recent trip to Chile. We arrived at Santiago International Airport with plenty of time for our overnight, direct flight to New York (JFK). I found the security process a bit disorganized. I went through security and my bag was screened. Then, once at the gate, gate agents again checked bags and, finally, my bag was checked a third time on my way to the aircraft since I had a laptop in my carry-on. Three separate checks felt excessive to me when my laptop could have been screened at the first security checkpoint.
Hong Kong Airlines’ recent entry into the United States allowed a great new innovator into this space, and I have to say this fresh and modern airline made quite an impression. After a week of meetings throughout Asia, I headed home from Hong Kong on a Sunday morning. HKG is always busy, and the Hong Kong Airlines check-in was to the right and a bit confusing to find at first. I was checked in within a few minutes at the business-class counter and received a VIP passenger pass enabling me to use a VIP line through security, easily cutting my time by 20 minutes.
Flying the more than four-hour trip from LAS to PHL was not exactly the highlight of my winter vacation — whether it was the return flight back to reality or opinions about the airline coming my way, I already had an earful about Spirit Airlines before boarding the plane.
My boyfriend stockpiled enough Amex points to reserve us two first-class tickets from Dubai (DXB) to Los Angeles (LAX) via Emirates on a recent trip. I never dreamt an overnight flight could be a highlight of any vacation, but our Emirates experience became just that.