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The sleek gadgets operate on an Android platform, and come with all the accoutrements you’d expect: A shiny touch screen, USB plug-ins (for keyboards and joysticks), and apps for watching movies and catching up on YouTube videos.
I recently had the pleasure of flying business class on Cathay Pacific from New York to Hong Kong. Everything about the flight was superlative, from the friendly service to the tasty Chinese cuisine and Murad toiletries.
In light of this experience, I was very intrigued to hear about what Cathay changed when it unveiled its new business class in March. When I flew with them in February, the best part, in my opinion, was the seats, which are each individually situated in “herringbone fashion” and surrounded by privacy partitions. This set-up is especially appreciable when trying to sleep: There’s no getting distracted or woken up by your neighbor moving around, turning on lights, or flipping through movies. The comfy seats also feature plenty of intuitive nooks and crannies in which to store your items close at hand. And, of course, they lie flat come bedtime.
As a flight attendant topped off my glass of champagne before the flood of economy passengers filed into the main cabin, my seatmate and I couldn’t help but reference that classic Seinfeld episode – the one where a schedule snafu forces Elaine into coach and bumps Jerry up to first class; he sits next to a supermodel and spends the St. Louis to New York trip flirting and dining on hot fudge sundaes, while Elaine roughs it in the back of the plane.
Although exaggerated on-screen – I didn’t spot any Zoolander types on my November flight from JFK to Madrid’s Barajas Airport – life in the front of the plane does have a certain sheen to it. Specifically, American’s business class excels at what is perhaps the biggest benefit of upgrading: Providing peace of mind. There’s no jostling for laptop space or worrying that you stashed your earplugs and pashmina in the overhead compartment. Instead, all the tools you’ll need for a comfy trip are tucked in the seat-back drawer (many of them in a handy, take-home amenity kit).
If you’re considering splurging on a business class ticket (February sample fares from NYC to Madrid cost about $2,700, compared to $780 for the same trip in coach), here’s what to expect behind American’s curtain.
EL AL Airlines customers can get round-trip, non-stop business class fares to Tel Aviv, Israel from New York City starting as low as $2,821 and from Los Angeles starting at $3,605. Customers can also fly out of Chicago and Miami, via New York or Toronto, with rates as low as $3,475. Passengers will enjoy the many amenities of EL AL business class, which include sleeper seats and a digital entertainment system at each seat coupled with a bevy of in-flight entertainment. Travel is valid now through December 31, 2010.
THE VALUE: New York City fares are at 45 percent discount while the fares from Los Angeles are at a 40 percent discount.
THE CATCH: Taxes, which can exceed $100, are not included in the ticket price.
THE DETAILS: To book your flight, visit www.elal.com.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search Comparison Tool to find other great flight deals.
Check out our Israel Travel Guide.
Read about Israel’s under-the radar Upper Galilee and Golan Heights in our Top Ten Off the Path Wine Regions.
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As I write this, I am en route from JFK to Zurich on the new SWISS Airbus A333, recently added to the SWISS fleet of 78 aircraft. This award-winning airline has three new top-quality classes of service (SWISS First, SWISS Business, and SWISS Economy) on its long-haul flights.
While I’m not among the lucky eight passengers on the plane to enjoy the new “Suite Above the Clouds”, the First Class cabin just added to the fleet – a milestone in the ongoing quality drive with exclusive design, top in-flight comfort, and extensive privacy – I’m still pretty lucky. I may not have a full-blown suite above the clouds but I do have a lie-flat bed above the clouds in my Business seat. Read more
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