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Business Traveller UK - April 2018

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A P R I L 2 0 1 8 �30
BUSINESS LOUNGES
How the rules for admittance
are changing
LONG HAUL, LOW COST
Why the new business model
for airlines is taking of
SECOND PASSPORT
NAVIGATING
TOKYO
Making sense of the city
Brexit options
for EU citizenship
PLUS
Tried and Tested ? Munich
? Singapore Airlines? A380
Like to stretch out in style? Then opt for Economy Delight.
Enjoy Premium Check In, priority boarding and extra legroom.
Enjoy a complimentary 3 course meal, drinks and entertainment. Be choosy.
Find out more at virginatlantic.com
CONTENTS
APRIL 2018
R E G U L AR S
10
UPFRONT
Airline and hotel news
from around the world
18
INBOX
Your letters and online
comments
ON THE C OVER
F E AT U R E S
36
38
A P R I L 2 0 1 8 �30
BUSINESS LOUNGES
How the rules for admittance
are changing
LONG HAUL, LOW COST
Why the new business model
for a rl nes is taking of
SECOND PASSPORT
Brexit options
for EU citizen hip
PLUS
Tried and Tested ? Munich
? Singapore Airlines A380
ALL IN A NAME
N AV I G AT I N G
TOKYO
Hotel brands are proliferating.
But does this signal boom or bust?
Using tech
to ind your way
NAVIGATING
54 4 H O U R S I N . . .
MUNICH
A whistle-stop tour of
Bavaria?s cultural capital
62
OPINION
he golden age of airline
travel, sustainability and
getting an EU passport
90
44
22
SUITED & BOOTED
Sartorial success: how to stay smart
when travelling
EDITOR?S LUNCH
TOKYO
Making sense of the city
Our well-travelled readers discuss
how they choose their airline
60 C E L L A R S I N T H E S K Y
AWARDS
he wines were blind-tasted, their
labels revealed. We then celebrated
the best in-light wines with the
winning airlines and wine experts
DEPARTURE S
A look back at business
travel in spring 1976
70
WATCH E S
Breitling reveals its soter side
3
28
T H E R EP O R T
TRIED AND TESTED
FLIGHTS
80
A QUESTION
O F L O Y A LT Y
he rules are changing
for lounge access
80
Singapore Airlines? new A380:
business class SIN-SYD, and
premium economy SIN-LHR
84 T R I E D A N D T E S T E D
HOTELS
Hyatt Regency Sydney; and the
Mandarin Oriental, Munich
86 T R I E D A N D T E S T E D
LO N D O N R E S TAU R A N T S
Sabor; Hoppers; plus three fun
places for eating at the counter
84
CROSSOVER CARS
SUV sales are soaring. Here?s
our pick of the year
SMART TRAVELLER
TIPPING
87
56
How to avoid gratuity gafes
from Tokyo to Texas
88 S M A R T T R A V E L L E R
H E AT H R O W TO G AT W I C K
he best way to transfer between
the UK?s two main airports
businesstraveller.com
86
APRIL 2018
WELCOME
elcome to the April issue of Business Traveller, and one where we have a focus
both on aviation and hotels, the result of a spate of long-haul travel and also
a trip to two events in Berlin in March ? the annual trade fair ITB, and the
International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF).
hese are just two of the many events during the year at which we get the chance to
learn what the industry is planning for us travellers, and what we can expect to change
in the months and years ahead. Some developments will be welcomed, some met
with a shrug, and some are likely to prove annoying. You can have a look through our
Upfront section to learn about new slim-line seating on aircrat and what that means
for how much room and comfort we will have on lights. hen there?s the advent of
long-haul hand baggage only (HBO) fares continuing a trend of making life more
complicated for travellers, although perhaps that?s what the airline industry means
by ofering us ?choice?.
Meanwhile, it will soon be easier to name every country in the world and its capital
than it will be to remember every hotel brand. One useful by-product of the seemingly
unstoppable expansion of the hotel chains is that I am discovering the existence of
previously unknown cities as a result of these brands opening in second- and third-tier
destinations in developing countries.
Rest assured we will continue to provide travel news, and our analysis of it, both in
the magazine and through our website. I?d like to give a plug to our YouTube channel
this month, where you?ll ind entertaining short video reviews of our travels around
the world. Next month, get set for a very exciting development which will have positive
beneits for your social life...
W
4
Tom Otley Editorial director
IN THIS ISSUE
RIGHT LINES
HOT CROSSES
WATCH THIS SPACE
Contrary to negative press, new
investment and innovation is
moving the rail network forward.
(Page 46)
he popularity of SUVs keeps
growing and growing. his year?s
crossover models show why...
(Page 56)
Known for its macho advertising,
Breitling is ringing the changes
with an image overhaul.
(Page 70)
APRIL 2018
b u s i n e s s t r a v e l l e r. c o m
ILLUSTRATION: BENJAMIN SOUTHAN
LOUNGE ACT
Should entry to airport lounges
be a reward for loyalty or for
which class of ticket you buy?
(Page 28)
CONTRIBUTORS
CRAIG BRIGHT
ALEX MCWHIRTER
Online editor of the Business Traveller Asia-Paciic edition
and a resident of Hong Kong for more than two decades,
Craig Bright is an expert on the region. When he?s not
indulging in the myriad food options Asia has to ofer, he?s
keeping up to date with the latest developments from the
region?s airlines ? in particular, their newest aircrat and seat
products. In this issue, he lew with Singapore Airlines to try
its redesigned business class seat on board the Airbus A380
from Singapore to Sydney. Read all about it on page 80.
With 50 years experience in the world of travel (including
more than 35 years at this magazine), Alex is a leading
authority on all sorts of issues related to the subject matter.
He has a wealth of stories, particularly about his early days
in the industry, when travelling by aeroplane was for the
few. hough air fares were high, airports were uncrowded,
economy class was comfortable and food was good. He is also
an expert on rail travel, and in this issue he summarises the
changes afoot on the UK?s network on page 46.
6
N AT B A R N E S
Rob Goss is a British writer living in Tokyo. His most recent
books include Japan Traveler?s Companion and Japanese Inns
and Hot Springs. He has also written for National Geographic
Traveler, Time, he Economist?s 1843, and other publications.
When he?s not in Tokyo, you might ind him traipsing around
the Japanese countryside, island hopping in the Seto Inland
Sea or exploring the old alleyways of Kyoto ? but in this
issue, he shares his expert tips for getting around the Japanese
capital; on page 22.
Nat Barnes is the motoring editor of the Daily Express and
Sunday Express, and has been writing about the motor
industry for more than 25 years. From ice-driving in the
Arctic Circle to steering through Death Valley, there?s not
many places in the world he hasn?t explored on four wheels.
He keeps us up to speed here at Business Traveller as he
follows the annual global motor show circuit. his month,
he reports on the recent boom in crossovers of all shapes and
sizes that?s dominating the car industry; on page 56.
APRIL 2018
businesstraveller.com
ILLUSTRATIONS: BENJAMIN SOUTHAN
ROB GOSS
Managing director Julian Gregory
Group publisher Rania Apthorpe
EDITORIAL
Editorial director Tom Otley
Managing editor Michelle Harbi
Art director Annie Harris
Consumer editor Alex McWhirter
Chief sub editor Guy Dimond
Online editor Mark Caswell
Deputy chief sub/staff writer Becky Ambury
Contributors Nat Barnes, Dominic Bliss, Craig Bright,
Alex Freeman, Rob Goss, Chris Hall, Olivia Hultgren, Jeff Mills,
Derek Picot, Jenny Southan, John Stepek, John Strickland
ADVERTISING
Head of sales Chris Davies
Head of luxury and lifestyle Edith Collins
Sales manager Rebecca Fraser
ADMINISTRATION
Circulation and production manager Jamie Halling
Head of events Emma Gordon
Marketing executive Kirsty Clark
8
CONTACT
Editorial tel +44 (0)20 7821 2700
Email editorial@businesstraveller.com
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Facebook.com/businesstraveller
Advertising tel +44 (0)20 7821 2734
Email advertising@businesstraveller.com
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APRIL 2018
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businesstraveller.com
businesstraveller.com
UPFRONT
BAG A
S E AT
VIRGIN ATLANTIC AND BRITISH AIRWAYS have introduced hand baggage only
(HBO) fares on long-haul lights. Virgin will ofer three classes: Economy Light for
HBO; Economy Classic, with free seat assignment, priority check-in and boarding;
and Economy Delight, for seats with an extra four-inches legroom. Other changes
include renaming ?Premium Economy? ?Premium?. On British Airways, the HBO
fare will launch on selected routes, does not include seat selection, and is called Basic
on AA, BA and Iberia, and Light on Finnair. virginatlantic.com; britishairways.com
10
MAKING A
COMEBACK
QATAR AIRWAYS IS TO RETURN to
Gatwick ater a gap of seven years with
a new twice daily service from
May 22. he lights between
Doha and London
Gatwick will be
operated by a Boeing
Dreamliner 787,
featuring 22 seats in
business class and
ofering passengers
direct aisle access
with its 1-2-1
coniguration,
and 232 seats in
economy class.
qatarairways.com
APRIL 2018
businesstraveller.com
UPFRONT
BA PLUS ONE
BRITISH AIRWAYS HAS RELEASED IMAGES of the
revamped B777 interiors that will serve the carrier?s routes
from Gatwick and some routes from Heathrow from
autumn 2019. he new seats follow the industry trend of
having ten-across seating in economy class, as opposed to
the current nine-across.
he new World Traveller
(economy) seating has larger
IFE screens (ten inches
compared to the current
six inches) which feature
?gesture control to navigate
the interface like using a
tablet?, six-way headrests
with ?adjustable ears?, and
moveable middle arm
rests. New World Traveller Plus (premium economy) seats
have IFE screens of 12 inches (compared to the current six
inches), as well as new leg and footrests, ?an improved fully
adjustable six-way headrest?, and ?a table at the front and
in-arm tray tables?. here are USB ports at every seat, and
World Traveller Plus seats have sockets for UK, US and EU
plugs. britishairways.com
Four new
Dubai hotels
SWISSOTEL AL GHURAIR
Situated ten minutes away from
Dubai International Airport,
Swissotel Al Ghurair lies
within the Al Ghurair Centre
Complex. It contains 428
rooms and 192 apartments,
from Dhs 359 (�) for a
classic king, as well as a 6,100
sqm spa and fitness facility.
swissotel.com
ALOFT PALM JUMEIRAH
Housed on Dubai?s artificial
Palm Jumeirah archipelago,
Aloft Palm Jumeirah ofers 206
loft-inspired guestrooms from
Dhs 510 (�0) a double. All
rooms feature SPG keyless,
allowing guests to use their
mobiles as room keys. The hotel
contains seven restaurants and
bars including a Mexican cantina that
overlooks the Arabian Sea. starwoodhotels.com
RADISSON BLU DUBAI
WATERFRONT
Located in the Dubai Water
Canal district in Business
Bay, the Radisson Blu Dubai
Waterfront contains 432
rooms and suites, starting from
Dhs 560 (�0) if you book in
advance. Alongside a spa, pool and
fitness centre, the hotel features three
restaurants plus four bars. radissonblu.com
GEVORA HOTEL
When it opened in February,
the Gevora claimed the title
of the world?s tallest hotel. At
356-metres high, the 528room hotel has five dining
venues, a business centre
and health club, but no alcohol
licence. Room rates start at around
Dhs 650 (�8). gevorahotels.com
businesstraveller.com
APRIL 2018
11
UPFRONT
AIR MILE S
Travelling with your equipment must
be dificult?
EMILY SARSFIELD
IS THE UK?S TOP
FEMALE IN SKI
CROSS, the snow sport
12
discipline that pitches
four downhill skiers
against each otherat the
same time, racing over
bumps and jumps. She
competed in the recent
Winter Olympics in
South Korea. Flying
around 30 times a year,
she mostly travels from
her home in London to
Geneva, for access to
the Alps.
I book lights based on an airline?s luggage
policy, as the charges for skis and boots soon
add up. Even my local taxi company has now
started charging extra for skis. I?ve threatened to
wear my ski boots on the plane to save on excess
charges. It wouldn?t be comfortable, but at least
they wouldn?t get lost. I?ve had my fair share
of delayed bags ? frustrating, as so much of my
equipment can?t be replaced quickly.
Sometimes, upgrading my ticket to premium
economy or business class ? with the extra bag
allowance ? is cheaper than the excess baggage
costs in economy. here are also companies that
collect your skis from home and transport them
to the Alps.
What?s the most unusual destination
you?ve flown to?
I went to San Diego for warm weather training,
but had to go via Mexico City and Tijuana.
he journey involved walking across the
US-Mexico border.
Indispensable travel gadget?
I wear my made-to-measure Kurio compression
tights to make sure my legs are fresh. My huge
Douchebag backpack its everything in it and
rolls down so it its in the overhead lockers.
�
In-flight reading material?
I?m a fan of a podcasts or audiobooks. It?s much
easier on the eyes to keep them closed and not
focus on a screen or page.
Loveliest souvenir?
I try to buy a postcard from every ski resort I
visit. One day, hopefully, I?ll build up a montage
of my Freestyle Skiing World Cup career.
Pipe-dream destination?
I?m lucky to travel to awesome places with my
skiing, but it?s mainly mountains. So my pipe
dream is somewhere by the ocean.
NEVER BEEN TO... MONGOLIA
MONGOLIA IS THE MOST SPARSELY
populated nation on the planet. Covering an
area six times the size of the UK, it contains only
three million people, nearly half of them in the
capital Ulaanbaatar. Overall, that?s fewer than
ive people per square mile so that, in some areas,
especially the enormous Gobi Desert, you?re more
likely to bump into a camel than a Mongolian.
But that?s the attraction. Head out to the vast
steppes, stay in a ger (what we used to call yurts),
drink yak?s milk, and gaze at more stars than you
knew existed. Or for real cultural immersion,
visit a Naadam festival where you?ll witness
wrestling, horse racing and archery. he biggest is
in Ulaanbaatar in July.
Mongolia?s most famous (or infamous) son
is of course Genghis Khan, who established
the Mongol Empire. Ater his death in 1227,
the empire grew exponentially, eventually
stretching from central Europe to the Sea of
Japan, and from Siberia to Vietnam.
APRIL 2018
businesstraveller.com
UPFRONT
ON A GRAND SCALE
Now opened, Muscat?s new terminal will allow capacity
to rise to 12 million a year and coincides with national
carrier Oman Air?s expansion. New routes with Oman Air
scheduled to commence from the airport are Casablanca
( June), Istanbul ( July) and Moscow (October). he new
Oman Air premium lounge will be six times larger and
there are two other lounges available for international
passengers, while stopover passengers can rest their heads
in a 90-room hotel. omanairports.co.om
Flight upgrade
Emirates? US$150 million refit of its fleet
of ten B777-200LR aircraft will see new
and wider business class seats introduced
in a 2-2-2 configuration. The seats are
two inches wider than those on the new
B777-300ERs, which continue to offer a
2-3-2 layout in business class, including
an undesirable middle seat without aisle
access. The revamp will also see the centre
overhead bins removed, and business class
passengers will have access to a ?social
area?, also referred to by the carrier as a
?mini lounge area?, offering snacks and
beverages throughout the flight. Economy
seats on the aircraft will also be refreshed.
Note that the ten B777-200LRs represent
only a small proportion of Emirates? fleet
of around 250 aircraft ? it also has over 100
A380s and 140 B777-300s. emirates.com
W E I R D W E AT H E R
RAINBOWS
MOONBOWS
They?re like rainbows, except they?re caused by moonlight
rather than sunlight refracting through water particles in the
air. Moonbows (sometimes called lunar rainbows) are fainter
than their daytime equivalent, which means they appear
to the human eye as white, not coloured, bows in the sky. For
the best chances of seeing them, you need a full moon that?s
low in the sky, and ? in the opposite direction ? rainfall, mist or
water spray.
It?s water spray, and a great deal of it, that causes moonbows
every full moon over Victoria Falls, on the border between
Zimbabwe and Zambia. The best time to witness the
spectacle is between April and July when the Zambezi River
is at its highest.
businesstraveller.com
APRIL 2018
13
UPFRONT
This time next year we?ll all be visiting...
ST HELENA
14
THIS TINY BRITISH ISLAND, 1,200 miles off the
coast of south-west Africa, has a new airport and
an even newer commercial air service, linking it to
South Africa and Namibia.
Visitors to the ?secret of the South Atlantic?, as
governor Lisa Phillips likes to call her remote rock,
will get to know St Helena (and its hiking trails,
mountain peaks, and diving and fishing spots)
intimately since planes connect it to the mainland
only once a week.
This island was once the perfect penal colony.
Indeed, Napoleon resided here at His Majesty?s
pleasure until his death in 1821. Boers and a Zulu
king were also banished here at one time.
Today?s most famous (and longest-serving) St
Helenian is Jonathan, the giant tortoise who,
according to the tourist board, is more than 180
years old. ?He?s blind from cataracts, has lost
his sense of smell, but he has retained excellent
hearing,? says the island?s vet Joe Hollins. This
might explain Jonathan?s slight confusion over his
regular mating partner Frederika who, it turns out,
is not a female tortoise as previously thought,
but a male tortoise.
COMPETITION
WIN T WO
NIGHTS ? STAY
IN A DELUXE
SUITE AT
S T ERMIN?S
HOT EL ,
LONDON
APRIL 2018
This month, one
lucky reader (and
friend) can win two
nights? accommodation
in a Deluxe Suite at
St Ermin?s Hotel,
Westminster, London,
sterminshotel.co.uk.
he prize includes full
English breakfast and
seasonal aternoon
tea. For more details
and to enter, visit
businesstraveller.com/
competitions
businesstraveller.com
UPFRONT
FLIGHT NEWS
FRENCH
FANCY
16
HYATT?S NEW
COLLECTION BRAND ?
The Unbound Collection
? will have a new member
next month when the
iconic Hotel Martinez in
Cannes on the French
Riviera emerges from its
restoration. Home to the
renowned two Michelinstarred restaurant
La Palme d?Or, the
renovations to the hotel?s
409 guest rooms were
designed by Parisian firm
Pierre-Yves Rochon. UK
fans of Hyatt will wait
until the end of this year
for the new 153-room
Great Scotland Yard
Hotel in the old London
Metropolitan police
station. hyatthotels.com
FEELING
BLUE
LUFTHANSA MANAGEMENT HAS
RESPONDED to negative feedback of its
new livery (see Business Traveller, March
2018). Management have reportedly
become concerned with the intensity of the
blue, which, although acceptable in bright
conditions, may appear almost black in
poor lighting or in winter months and are
considering lighter shades. luthansa.com
APRIL 2018
ASCENT
VIRGIN ATLANTIC
is adding extra frequency to its
London to Johannesburg route
from October 2018.
HAINAN AIRLINES now flies
from London to Changsha,
the capital of China?s Hunan
province, using a B787
Dreamliner.
AMERICAN AIRLINES is
replacing 40 main cabin
economy seats with 24
premium economy seats on
its 67-strong B777-200 aircraft,
with completion expected by
December 2018.
DESCENT
SOUTH AFRICA AIRWAYS
will operate its newest A330300 aircraft between Heathrow
and Johannesburg, but will cut
frequency on the route to just
one flight per day.
IN-FLIGHT FLATULENCE
sparked a fight on a Transavia
Airlines flight between Dubai
and Amsterdam. The jet made
an emergency landing at Vienna
International Airport.
QANTAS may reduce frequency
or stop its A380 service between
Sydney and Dallas/Fort Worth
if its joint-business application
with fellow Oneworld carrier
American Airlines does not get
the necessary approval.
businesstraveller.com
WE?LL STAY WITH YOU
See meetings in a different light
The Principal London is a grande-dame, listed hotel that?s been re-imagined for the 21st century. Flexible meeting and event
spaces, as well as plenty of room for break-outs and brainstorming, mean that work rarely feels like work. And it?s not just about
smart technology, high-speed Wi-Fi and great food, but the people who provide it, too.
Launching 16 April
To book, visit theprincipalhotel.com/london
The Principal London, 8 Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 5BE | 020 7837 6470
@ThePrincipalLondon
INBOX YOUR LETTERS
BRING BACK THE BLINDS?
Star letter
STAR LET TER
PRIZE
TAP HAPPY
18
I enjoy reading your magazine and always turn to the
letters page. Ater 45 years travelling the world working in
airline catering for three major airlines, I am continually
shocked by the poor customer service that I read about.�
he February issue of Business Traveller featured a
complaint letter about TAP, as well as letters about poor
service from other airlines. All the letters seem to indicate
that many staf on the ground and in the air basically
could not care less. Airlines, with a few exceptions (such
as Emirates) don?t seem to appreciate the fact that,
while they ofer lat beds and good food in irst class and
business class, the image of the airline is damaged if frontline customer service staf are disinterested and surly. he
only answer airlines have is to throw air miles or money at
the problem.
Oten, because of the cost, it seems that staf aren?t
trained for long enough; though many of the incidents I
read about seem to be simply a question of poor manners.
We live in a faster, more competitive world, but a pleasant
helpful approach and a warm welcome pays dividends.
In 1969 I had a job as a student with a company that
catered TAP from LHR. On occasion, I went to the
Boeing 727 Europa-Jet to check catering on-board. he
food was well prepared, the staf charming and the menu
cards had Portuguese themes on them. As Jef Mills says
in his article in the same issue, the lights were ?an event?
? and everyone was pleasant and helpful, even to me, a
lowly catering assistant.
George Banks, West Sussex
THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM?
I?m a reader of Business Traveller and I typically ind it
super good. hank you. Yet in the February issue, in the
feature about ?future trends?, I was appalled to see you had
a picture of an elephant ride in jungle.
Even if this is something a hotel is ofering, you
should not be making it desirable. It is a very bad practice
for Indian, and now even African, elephants. hey are
wild animals, and not built for nor supposed to have
interaction with people. An elephant can only be
?tamed? by an awful process. I?d suggest you Google
how to break or crush an elephant spirit ? a process
called phajaan. Most companies have stopped advertising
the very disturbing ?fun? event.
Furthermore, to protect natural resources, we are inally
realising we should all distance ourselves from hotels or
agencies ofering activities like elephant rides, swimming
with dolphins and walks with lions.�
Andrea Holbova, Netherlands
APRIL 2018
This month?s Star
Letter winner
will receive one
of the Business
Traveller branded
cabin-size
suitcases爁rom
Timothy Travel
Essentials
(timothytravel
essentials.co.uk).
For your chance
to win, email us
at talktous@
businesstraveller.
com and
include爕our full
postal address
and daytime
telephone
number. We
reserve the right
to edit letters.
I ind the dimmable window technology
on the Boeing 787 to be impressive; but
alas, it has not improved things.
First, even at their darkest, the windows
do not block out light in the way a
simple shade would. Secondly, they can
be centrally controlled. On a recent long
light with Royal Air Maroc over the
Sahara, the sun was streaming directly
through my window. As the dimming had
been centrally disabled, I had no way of
blocking the light for the irst few hours
of the light.�
Removing window shades has been
a step backwards, not forwards, for
passenger comfort, whatever Boeing
may claim.�
Christopher Ruane, Lanark
BOEING REPLIES:
The windows can be either centrally or
individually controlled, and the airline
crew decides which functionality to
switch on, and when. In this instance,
we would recommend you ask Royal Air
Maroc?s crew [to dim the window].
WHAT ARE BA?S PRIORIT Y
LABELS FOR?
I am bound to ask what is the point of BA
labelling luggage with the orange priority
tag. I have lown ive times with BA over
the last seven months, three of them in
Club World and two in economy. On
each of the occasions I have travelled Club
World, my luggage has been among the last
to be delivered at my destination. In May
in Abu Dhabi one of our two suitcases
came of halfway through, yet the other,
checked in at the same time, was the very
last of. On the return trip, both were in
the last dozen to be oloaded.
his week, on arriving in Tampa, the
only passengers let waiting for their
luggage ater everyone else had departed
were the 30 or 40 passengers who had
travelled either irst class or Club World.
I cannot repeat the comments made
by fellow passengers, but we were all
commenting on the value of the orange
priority tags. Incidentally, on our two
economy trips to Budapest and from
Amsterdam, our luggage was among the
irst of.
Surely, it?s not beyond the wit of BA
to design a system whereby our luggage
businesstraveller.com
receives the same treatment as we do.
Ater all, it charges enough.
Philip Thomas, Oxted, Surrey
B R I T I S H A I R WAY S R E P L I E S :
We were sorry to hear about Mr
Thomas? recent experiences, and are
investigating why we weren?t able to
ofer the service that he expects to
receive and we expect to deliver. We
know our customers are eager to head
out of the airport as soon as they land,
which is why we ofer priority baggage
for our customers sitting in First, Club
World and Club Europe, as well as our
Gold Card members, regardless of
which cabin they travel in.
TAP POR TUG AL : ?A BIG
DISAPPOINTMENT?
I recently lew from Toronto to LHR via
Lisbon with TAP. he business class fare
was attractive but, as it turns out, did
not represent good value.�
he irst sign of trouble was in
Toronto, where boarding was chaotic
and boarding zone signs were concealed
behind crowds of passengers. When
I sought assistance from a TAP agent, I
was told as a business class passenger
I ?should have boarded already?, and
was directed to line up behind economy
class passengers. his isn?t an acceptable
?priority boarding? experience.�
he weakness in TAP?s boarding
process is something I noticed again
before my light to London the next day,
where passengers were waiting in the air
bridge for about 15 minutes because the
crew was not ready.�
My light from Toronto to Lisbon
was on an A332 aircrat with TAP?s old
coniguration, which is not comfortable
for business class in 2017. I know TAP
is in the process of upgrading their
cabins, so I can forgive this. But the big
disappointment was the food and service
quality. My food was cold and closer to
an economy meal than a business meal.
For such a basic meal service, it took
an absurdly long time for the service to
complete and the lights to be dimmed
for sleeping.�
When I awoke, I was not ofered
breakfast (only fruit and yogurt), but
had to seek it from the galley. he TAP
crew didn?t seem to be very interested in
providing proactive good service.
he European business class
experience with TAP was not much
better. Despite my requests, no blankets
or pillows could be provided. In
addition, there was no entertainment,
despite the large screens for each
passenger! I was told this was a
?rights issue?.
TAP markets Lisbon as an easy
connecting point with priority services
for business class passengers. When
connecting in Lisbon on a business class
ticket, priority security is not ofered,
and the line is very long.�
he TAP lounge was closed on the day
of my light. A TAP agent directed me
to the Blue lounge, but here they told me
there was no lounge ofering entry for
TAP business class passengers that day in
Lisbon. TAP did not communicate this
to me beforehand. It would have been
good of them to ofer me a voucher for
the contract lounge used by other Star
Alliance airlines in Lisbon; instead I had
to pay to use the lounge.
All in all, I wouldn?t recommend TAP
to others.�
Sam Hancock, Canada
TA P A I R P O R T U G A L R E P L I E S :
We are sorry for the inconvenience
and the issues with the customer?s
experience. Unfortunately, TAP?s
Premium lounge at Lisbon airport was
closed between December 7 and 23,
due to construction work. TAP did its
best to directly inform all passengers
with business class tickets and through
our website, flytap.com. The customer
can request a refund for the lounge
access via our complaints department.
Passport control gates at Lisbon are
not managed by the airline but by the
airport, thus we are not able to ofer a
fast security service.
TAP is committed to ofering
convenient connections via our Lisbon
hub, which allows connections to nearly
70 destinations in Europe and the
Americas. We are making significant
upgrades to our fleet. The A330 aircraft
is going through a retrofit programme,
which will see new business class seats
with new IFE monitors. The A320s are
also undergoing a retrofit, including new
seats. Both aircraft types will benefit
from the new interior styling, with
changes completed by March 2018.
T E L L U S A B O U T Y O U R T R AV E L S AT TA L K TO U S @ B U S I N E S S T R AV E L L E R .C O M
businesstraveller.com
APRIL 2018
19
?
INBOX YOUR COMMENTS
Join the debate
READERS SHARE FIRST-HAND KNOWLEDGE, EXPERIENCES AND IDEAS
BUSINESSTRAVELLER.COM/FORUM
? P O L LY
QATAR AIRWAYS REWARD
SCHEME CHANGES
The Qatar Airways loyalty scheme,
called Privilege Club, is deservedly
popular with our readers, and so some
changes to the operation of the Qmiles
scheme provoked a reaction among
our forum users...
? BPP
20
An email from Qatar Airways informs me
that all claims for award seats must be
made online after March 11. This sounds
okay for single seats, but how does a
member then get two seats on the same
aircraft using two diferent accounts?
This is particularly critical if asking for
seats in J [full fare business ticket] as
we do. In the past, I have simply either
emailed or telephoned them (on behalf of
both of us), and they have done the rest.
Being flexible with dates and times has
usually worked for us; they would even
issue the tickets.
All Qmiles can ofer as of today is to
?maybe? ring them, ask what is available
and then attempt to book online, one
after the other. If one seat is booked and
then a second suddenly not available,
then what? Even Qmiles admits that it
is unsure how it will work. This is surely
trying to fix something that is not broken.
We have travelled exclusively with Qatar
in J for many years in order to accrue and
use the Qmiles... Maybe this is the end of
a long relationship.
? CS KOK
What I have done on another airline?s
system is to put in a request for two seats
to check availability; then once I know
those two are available, change to one
seat, and book that one. Then I quickly
log in using the other account and book
the second seat. Of course there is still a
chance that somebody else would have
taken the other seat during that interval.
APRIL 2018
Agree, why fix something that is not
broken. It wants you to pay to transfer
miles over to the one account. It?s an
income generator policy l think. Then
you make the online booking from one
account. It needs less call centre staf
then on its Privilege line.
? BPP
Hi Polly, that thought had occurred to
me! It?s quite expensive to do that. I
did wonder later if it would be possible
to use two laptops simultaneously to
achieve the same thing at no extra
cost. When I get back from BKK I may
give this a try. Just might crash the
whole system!!
? P O L LY
Wish you luck with that plan. The most
we ever found available was a business
award seat. Quite often my other half and
l would each be in J on one leg for four
sectors; ie one of us in J, the other in Y
[economy]. Not good. So we ended up
doing just what l mentioned, so we could
at least try to be seated together for a
couple of sectors.
Once Qatar Airways joined
Oneworld, we jumped ship immediately
and credited all our miles and tier
points to our British Airways Executive
Club account. The family account does
work with BAEC; it really is the best
one out there.
? SWISSDIVER
I did the same. From BAEC, it is quite
easy to book QR reward flights. As for
your current situation, BPP, you don?t
even need two laptops: two diferent
browsers would do the same. Now there
is always a risk you might see only one
going through, in which case you would
depend on Qatar Airways? goodwill to
accept that you made a mistake?
?EMIRATES CUSTOMER
SERVICE IS A JOKE?
The Dubai-based airline is usually toprated ? but dissenting voices do exist,
as our forum users demonstrate...
? MITCH288
I am surprised that Emirates is rated so
highly. I am guessing these awards are
paid for. How can you be rated so highly
when there is no customer service line?
I have submitted two complaints
regarding the level of service in business
class from Houston to Bahrain via
Dubai. One complaint was because I
received no service (none at all) on the
flight from Dubai to Bahrain until I asked
for some 30 minutes before landing. The
service from Houston to Dubai was also
mediocre at best.
The second complaint was that my
flights back from Bahrain were changed
by the airline and getting them corrected
was a complete nightmare. I submitted
my complaints by email and online
a month ago. I have yet to receive a
response other than an email with case
number saying the matter is being
investigated. I tried to follow up on what
the latest status is, but I can?t get a
hold of anyone. There is no number for
customer afairs. You can only write to
them by email, and no one responds to
the email. The comical part is that the
email says to refer to my case number in
future communications, but there is no
one there to communicate with.
This has been the worst business class
experience I?ve had. I?d think a minimum
requirement for a ?5 star airline? would
be having a customer service department
that is readily available.
? AJDC
Yes, the ratings are paid for and yes there
is no consistency of service. I recently
flew Emirates from NYC to New Zealand
in business and back. Only the Dubai to
NYC leg was any good. Its prices might
be competitive in coach, but I find it is
businesstraveller.com
just the same as any other airline for
premium cabins.
? LUGANOPIRATE
I use Emirates from MXP [Milan] to JFK
in New York as I don?t like US airlines. It?s
very convenient for me as it sends a car
to collect me for each leg and is half the
price of LX/LH [Swiss/Lufthansa] without
the bother of having to change plane
in ZRH or FRA [Zurich or Frankfurt].
However, its first class is not as polished
as Swiss or Lufthansa. No car or escort
to the plane, and no lounge at JFK as
it?s refurbishing the current one. I?m
not even able to use another lounge
unless I pay. I got a US$55 voucher, and
my colleague in business got a US$40
voucher. A starter, a burger each, two
glasses of wine and a bottle of water
came to US$125. Pretty cheapskate-ish of
Emirates, but then I paid a third of what I
would have had to pay flying with Swiss.
? CLEANCABINAIR
? LUGANOPIRATE
Sadly, Emirates management seems
to care less about its customers than
the crews, who I find to be quite good.
However, as soon as something goes
wrong its customer complaint process is
hopeless. Even as a premium member
of Skywards for nearly 16 years, I
found that getting responses was like
extracting blood from a stone. Customer
representatives are not provided with
the discretion to respond to complaints
or even acknowledge them, and have to
be referred upwards to a manager who
then ignores the issue. Every Emirates
staf member is scrutinised, as most are
expatriates, and therefore dispensable by
the airline. Thus nobody will ?stir the pot?...
I?m not doubting anyone?s experiences
here, but I had cause to call Emirates
three times in the last two weeks. On
each occasion I received fast, eficient
help which resolved my problems. One
concerned a car which did not arrive in
NY. Within 15 minutes it had arranged
another car for me, but said I?d have to
pay and it would reimburse me. Halfway
to JFK the driver took a call and told me
the matter is settled and Emirates would
pay him directly. I was impressed by that.
Maybe I was lucky, I don?t know, I do
know, however, that it handled things
far better than Swiss did for my son,
who had a seven-hour wait at Zurich
due to a cancelled flight. Swiss was very
unhelpful, and all it ofered him was a
CHF6.50 drink and sandwich! BT
? JPNU
I want to echo what Cleancabinair says.
That describes my experience. This style
of management is typical of the region.
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21
SEE THE LATEST
NEWS AND
REVIEWS
businesstraveller.com
APRIL 2018
22
b u s i n e s s t r a v e l l e r. c o m
D E S T I N AT I O N S
The latest tech is
making it easier to
find your way around
the Japanese capital
N AV I G A T I N G
O T�
K
Y
O
WORDS ROB GOSS
okyo has always been
notoriously diicult to get
around, from its confusing
address system (based on
areas rather than streets)
to a mind-boggling train
network. Wii hotspots
and English-language apps have
also typically been lacking. Short
of a personal guide, a good GPS
system used to be the only hope for
foreigners. However, with the 2019
Rugby World Cup and the 2020
Olympic and Paralympic Games on
the horizon, Tokyo is seeing a swathe
of tech infrastructure and service
industry upgrades that promise to
make the city more accessible and
easier to navigate for overseas visitors.
App-ropriate solutions
Tokyo has one of the most eicient
public transport systems in the world
? a train company?s recent apology
for a 20-second-early departure
made headlines ? but its size and
complexity can be confusing. his is
especially true at major stations such
?
as Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Shibuya or
b u s i n e s s t r a v e l l e r. c o m
APRIL 2018
23
D E S T I N AT I O N S
24
Tokyo Station, where the crowds and vast number of exits
and platforms are overwhelming.
Service providers are also upping their game to help
people navigate Tokyo and beyond. he Japan National
Tourism Organisation ( JNTO) recently launched the
Japan Oicial Travel App (jnto.go.jp/smartapp/eng) in
Chinese, English and Korean, ofering a mix of content
such as travel articles with practical information on how
to get around, route mapping and guides to customs.
Another new app useful for anyone aiming to get out of
Tokyo is the Tokaido Sanyo Shinkansen Reservation App
(smart-ex.jp/en/lp/app), which ofers train bookings in
English ? in this case for the bullet train (shinkansen) ?
and also allows you to change bookings up to four minutes
before departure. It?s currently available for download in
the US, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia as
well as in Japan, although the company hopes it will soon
be rolled out in other countries.
Getting connected
Of course, apps aren?t much good if you can?t access them.
Despite Japan?s high-tech reputation, wii accessibility
has long been extremely patchy in the capital. However,
that appears to be changing. he Tokyo Metropolitan
Government?s Free Wi-Fi & Tokyo (wii-tokyo.jp) delivers
connectivity in an increasing number of locations. It still
isn?t perfect, but it is a move in the right direction.
APRIL 2018
You will
soon be
able to pay
for and
access a
range of
services
with the
tap of a
inger
If, however, you want guaranteed data during your stay,
sort out pocket wii when you arrive at Narita or Haneda
airport, from the Japan Rail Pass counters. Pocket wii
uses the phone network to connect you. High-speed
broadband and unlimited downloads are oten part of the
package. You can also book it in advance (at japan-railpass.co.uk/services/pocket-wii). Prices vary, but around
�per day is usual.
Alternatively, a free SIM card courtesy of new start-up
Wamazing was rolled out in February 2017. Foreigners
can pre-register for the service before arrival, and then pick
up their free SIM from vending machines at Tokyo Narita
airport. he SIM also comes with 500MB of data or usage
for 15 days ? whichever you hit irst. Additional data can
be bought through the Wamazing app (apps.wamazing.
jp), plus access to services such as hotel reservations, taxis
or booking activities. So far the app is only available in
traditional Chinese (for visitors from Hong Kong and
Taiwan), but Wamazing plans to ofer English, simpliied
Chinese (for visitors from mainland China) and Korean
in the future.
Finally, there is another app ofering free wii, called
Travel Japan Wii (japanfreewii.com) from Wire &
Wireless Co. A recent partnership with lag carrier Japan
Airlines ( JAL) has also seen the launch of an upgraded
version, the JAL Explore Japan Wii app, available for
both Android and Apple devices (ar.jal.co.jp/world/
b u s i n e s s t r a v e l l e r. c o m
25
en/jalwii/). With this app, travellers can automatically
connect to more than 200,000 wii hotspots operated
by the company across Japan in public areas such as
airports, major train stations, restaurants and key tourist
locations. he app is speciically designed to cater to
foreigners ? residents in Japan are not even able to
download the programme. It?s available in English,
traditional and simpliied Chinese, Korean and hai,
while Japanese is not supported.
rolled out at hotels and tourist sites across Tokyo. By 2020,
it should allow travellers (ater registering passport, credit
card and ingerprint data at the airport or a tourist oice)
to check in to hotels, buy tickets and use lockers across
Tokyo using inger scans or e-passport scans.
Plain sailing
Future-tech
Given Japan?s reputation for robotics, it comes as no
surprise that Tokyo is also turning to automatons to help
visitors. In November Tokyo?s governor, Yuriko Koike,
unveiled ive multilingual and anthropomorphic robots
at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building as a
test run before the 2020 Games. he ive ? all of which
can communicate in Japanese and English, with some
able to use Chinese and Korean, too ? were in place until
February 2018 to see how well they could assist visitors
with such things as tourist information and directions.
Taking things even further into the future, you will
soon be able to pay for and access a range of services with
the tap of a inger. he new ?Touch & Pay? authentication
system is part of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and
Industry?s eforts to promote biometric identiication
services, and since October 2017 it is gradually being
b u s i n e s s t r a v e l l e r. c o m
Wii
access has
long been
extremely
patchy in
the capital
If trains, buses and taxis aren?t your thing, and you have
spare time between meetings, Tokyo has another mode of
transport: water buses. Aiming to ofer an alternative to
the city?s highly congested roads, a number of companies
have launched services around Tokyo Bay, mainly
operating routes around Odaiba and up the Sumida River
to Asakusa. Tokyo Cruise Ship company (suijobus.co.jp/
en) ofers the most frequent daily services, with scenic
journeys lasting between 20 minutes and an hour, and
starting at �0 (approximately �.
If the schedules don?t suit, there?s also a lexible
on-demand service. Tokyo Water Taxi (water-taxi.tokyo)
began operating its irst diesel-powered vessels in mid2016 around Tokyo Bay?s waterways and it plans to have
a total of 60 iconic yellow boats operating by the time
the 2020 Olympic Games roll around. Some landings
welcome passengers who haven?t made a reservation,
but it?s best to book just in case (there?s a maximum
capacity of six people). Journeys cost around �000
(approximately �).
APRIL 2018
?
D E S T I N AT I O N S
26
Room for growth
he yen was relatively weak during 2016 and 2017,
prompting headlines declaring Tokyo as the best-value
long-haul destination. Tourism was on the increase even
before this; Japan?s target of 20 million inbound travellers
annually by 2020 was reached four years early in 2016. he
Japanese government has revised that target to 40 million
visitors in 2020. To cater to that growth, an additional
10,000 rooms are slated for the capital before the Games.
One of the best is from the Aman group, which has
a sleek, relaxation-focused property in the prestigious
Otemachi district: the Aman Tokyo. Looking at the
newest oferings, Hoshino Resorts opened the Hoshinoya
Tokyo early in 2017 in Otemachi, not far from Tokyo
Station, ofering a blend of high-end resort and traditional
Japanese inn. Hoshino Resorts has also launched the new
more lifestyle-oriented Omo brand in the outlying Otsuka
district, designed to appeal to millennials.
In November 2017, Marriott introduced the group?s
millennial-focused brand with the opening of Moxy
Tokyo Kinshicho, and also has a pair of Marriott Edition
properties scheduled for 2020, one in the Toranomon
business district and another in the prestigious Ginza area.
Luxury serviced residence Oakwood Apartments NishiShinjuku is scheduled to open in the summer.
Accorhotels will make a brand debut in the Japanese
capital when it opens its 143-room Pullman Tokyo
Tamachi in autumn 2018. A 190-room Four Seasons
property is also planned to open in Otemachi by 2020. BT
APRIL 2018
ESSENTIAL APPS FOR NEGOTIATING JAPAN
Google Translate
This app allows you to translate to
and from multiple languages by typing
or pasting in text or by speaking into
your phone?s microphone. Its finest
feature, however, is the camera input.
With it, you can scan Japanese text,
such as a menu, and a fairly accurate
translation will appear over the top of
the words it detects.
Hyperdia
Free for 30 days after you first install
it, this app makes navigating public
transportation easy, providing timetable
information
i f
ti and detailed route searches for trains,
subways and planes nationwide. The Hyperdia by
Voice app is similar, but uses spoken instructions
in either English or Japanese.
ABOVE LEFT:
Robots were
trialled for
helping visitors
ABOVE RIGHT: The
Tokyo Water
Taxi is another
transport option
GuruNavi
Type in parameters such as location, the food
you want or your budget, and this will list options,
including information on whether or not the restaurant
has an English menu or English-speaking staf.
b u s i n e s s t r a v e l l e r. c o m
WINNER
WINNER
Best Corporate Social
Responsibility Programme
Business Airline of the Year
28
APRIL 2018
b u s i n e s s t r a v e l l e r. c o m
LOUNGES
29
Should airline
lounges be
a reward for
revenue, or
for loyalty?
A QUE STION
O F L O YALT Y
WORDS ALEXANDER FREEMAN
b u s i n e s s t r a v e l l e r. c o m
?
APRIL 2018
LOUNGES
LEFT: Swiss first
class lounge,
Zurich
30
A
irlines used to mainly be in the business
of getting passengers from A to B. And, of
course, they still are. However, as part
of running proitable and sustainable
businesses in a highly competitive global
market, the airlines have also become
focused on something else: passenger loyalty,
embodied in things such as frequent lyer schemes.
Many of us who travel frequently will agree that a
key part of managing customers? loyalty is managing
their expectations. We customers are a demanding lot,
particularly those of us who travel frequently as part of
our work. No longer content with just getting to our
destination, we expect the travel process to be seamless,
well supported, comfortable and perhaps even a little bit
special. We also expect to be recognised and rewarded, not
just in the sky but on the ground as well.
Getting customer loyalty right is important for any
airline that wants to attract and maintain those lucrative
corporate and premium customers. In fact, most full
service airlines rely on this higher yielding business to
counter the poorer returns back in economy. Lounges
are a crucial part of maintaining loyalty, both in terms of
reward and recognition.
he lounge revolution started with the rise of the
major airline alliances back in the 1990s. For most
business travellers, a key beneit of holding a higher tier
membership of Oneworld, Star Alliance and/or Skyteam
is cross-airline lounge access, especially when travelling in
economy where lounge access isn?t included in the fare.
APRIL 2018
To cope with constantly growing passenger volumes,
ierce competition and customer expectation, airline
lounges have slowly evolved from cosy spaces with
armchairs, magazines and a cofee machine into vast
spaces that rival good hotels, restaurants, bars or clubs in
terms of their food, drink and service.
Lounges have become major projects in their own
right, taking up a growing chunk of many full service
airlines? capital and operational expenditure. Airlines are
continuing to invest hundreds of millions of dollars for
the beneit of their most high-spending customers. Doha,
Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Istanbul and London
Heathrow contain many lounges, which cover signiicant
amounts of the available loor space.
Is this spending justiied? Taking a look
Airline lounges have
at Business Traveller?s online forum, one of
evolved into vast
the most talked about aspects of business
spaces that rival good and premium travel is what the airlines are
doing (or in some cases not doing) with
hotels, restaurants,
their lounges. he pre-light experience
bars or clubs
has become a key part of the business
traveller?s journey. A change in the brand of
champagne or biscuits provided can lead to
protests. Nevertheless, for business travellers,
basic requirements such as fast and reliable
access to wii and power can make or break
our productivity in the hours before a light.
Get that wrong and the airlines risk frustrating
their most loyal customers before they even
get on the plane.
b u s i n e s s t r a v e l l e r. c o m
?
LOUNGES
LEFT: Cathay
Pacific?s The
Pier first class
lounge, Hong
Kong airport
32
And then there?s the question of comfort. With
lounges now being heavily marketed as a key part of the
travel experience, most eligible customers arrive looking
forward to the lounge. We?ve paid a lot for that business
or irst class ticket and circled the planet multiple times
to reach super elite frequent lyer status. So, we expect
to be recognised and rewarded. We want spa treatments,
premium food and drinks, and high-quality facilities and
services akin to those in a four- or ive-star hotel.
his sort of pre- and post-light pampering doesn?t
come cheaply for the airlines, especially when access is
granted even to those in economy through their frequent
lyer status. With some lounge visitors consuming more in
value than they generate in proit, this begs the question:
should lounges be a reward for revenue or loyalty?
REVENUE VERSUS LOYALTY
I recently lew from Sydney to London on Qatar Airways
in economy class. But as I?m a loyal Oneworld Emerald
frequent lyer (ie the top tier), before the irst light
to Doha, I was able to spend two hours at the Qantas
irst class lounge at Sydney International airport. his
is because I was able to gain access to any Oneworld
member?s irst class lounge before departure, an
Emerald privilege. I arrived early, and so ater a threecourse gourmet lunch in the restaurant, several glasses
of champagne, a complimentary 15-minute massage
followed by a shower and then more champagne, it felt
like I?d consumed a quarter of AU$1,500 economy ticket?s
value in pure lounge extravagance.
APRIL 2018
Next stop was Doha before the four-hour transit to
London. I?d been looking forward to enjoying Qatar
Airways? lagship lounge at their hub in Doha, so I was
surprised to be politely told that I wasn?t eligible for entry.
he Al Safwa lounge, described as ?an oasis of luxury?
complete with lowing waterfalls, a ine dining restaurant
and spa, is available only to Qatar Airways customers
holding a irst class ticket. I was directed to the smaller
but completely acceptable Qatar Airways irst class lounge
(there were no waterfalls) or invited to pay an additional
450 Qatari Riyals (about US$150) for access to the much
larger Al Mourjan lounge where Qatar Airways sends its
business class passengers free of charge.
What had just happened? In Sydney, despite lying
economy, Qatar Airways had invited me to the lagship
Qantas irst class lounge. Now in Doha, despite being
Oneworld Emerald, I was denied access to Qatar?s own
lagship lounge. his, mind you, was in accordance with
the terms and conditions on the Oneworld and Qatar
Airways websites.
NOT ALL LOUNGES ARE THE SAME
Qatar Airways is one of a growing list of premium airlines,
including Singapore Airlines, Luthansa and British
Airways, which are distinguishing between revenue and
loyalty when allocating lounge access, particularly at their
busy hub lounges.
For example, even where a passenger holds a top-tier
Star Alliance gold card, if they have an economy or
premium economy ticket, they?re not eligible to enter the
b u s i n e s s t r a v e l l e r. c o m
?
A D V E R T I S E M E N T F E AT U R E
The
Fullerton
Heritage
A world-class destination
offering luxury hotel
accommodation, dynamic
dining and lifestyle
entertainment choices
A
waterfront development whose
architecture combines both the
historical and contemporary,
The Fullerton Heritage comprises
a myriad of dining, hospitality and lifestyle
establishments across The Fullerton
Hotel Singapore, The Fullerton Bay Hotel
Singapore, The Fullerton Waterboat House,
One Fullerton, The Fullerton Pavilion,
Cliford Pier and Customs House.
Together with the two hotels? nine dining
destinations, an array of 29 restaurants,
bars and caf閟 in the precinct make it a
vibrant focal point of lifestyle oferings for
both hotel and city guests to enjoy.
The precinct is strategically positioned in
the heart of Singapore?s Central Business
District, minutes from the city?s iconic cultural
landmarks and close to the main shopping
belts of Suntec City and Orchard Road. It
is also well linked to various transportation
hubs, with Changi International Airport less
than half an hour away and Rafles Place
MRT Station within a few minutes? walk.
A graceful and modern two-storey
waterfront development, One Fullerton
features an exciting tenant mix with some
of Singapore?s best restaurants, bars and
entertainment concepts, from chic caf閟
to fine-dining alfresco destinations serving
international cuisines. Located on a unique
urban promenade, the destination is also
directly adjacent to the historic Merlion
Park that attracts over one million visitors
every year.
For intimate fine dining, The Fullerton
Waterboat House houses the restaurant
1919, while Cliford Pier ? a 1933 historic
landmark that was once Singapore?s first
businesstraveller.com
port of call for immigrants ? ofers The
Fullerton Bay Hotel?s flagship restaurant,
The Cliford Pier.
Customs House, a stunning celebration of
Singapore?s past, has been transformed into a
dining and entertainment complex featuring
leading establishments such as Kinki,
Super Loco and Sabai Fine Thai on the Bay.
Perched at the apex of the 23-metre-high
tower of Customs House is The Lookout ? a
dining destination that boasts 360-degree
views of the city skyline and Marina Bay.
For captivating views of the bay,
The Fullerton Pavilion is where guests can
indulge in Italian cuisine at Monti.
Of the historic buildings along the precinct,
The Fullerton Hotel is perhaps the most iconic.
Transformed from a 1928 neoclassical General
Post Ofice, the luxury hotel was gazetted as
Singapore?s 71st National Monument in 2015.
Carefully designed to provide travellers with
a sanctuary to retreat and rejuvenate, each
of the hotel?s 400 rooms and suites overlooks
the sunlit lobby atrium, scenic Singapore
River or Marina Bay. With its unique blend
of rich heritage and contemporary style,
it is consistently recognised as one of the
best hotels in the world.
Moreover, within the hallowed hallways
of this iconic building is The Fullerton Spa,
1 Fullerton Square, Singapore 049178
Tel: +65 6733 8388
an urban oasis featuring signature therapies
that deliver visible results. Located on the
mezzanine level of The Fullerton Hotel,
The Fullerton Spa creates a passage to
allow you to escape, renew and relax.
Across the road, The Fullerton Bay Hotel
is the latest addition to the precinct. Built
on the waters of Marina Bay, the awardwinning hotel makes a striking impression
with breathtaking architecture, glamorous
interiors and legendary service. Presenting
100 rooms and suites replete with private
balconies and double-glazed floor-to-ceiling
windows, guests are treated to stunning
vistas of Singapore?s cosmopolitan skyline.
In 2018, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore
celebrates the 90th anniversary of the
Fullerton Building in which it is sited, with a
repertoire of events, encapsulating the iconic
building?s rich heritage and the brand?s
passion for luxury hospitality and lifestyle.
A highlight of the celebrations is the debut
of Fullerton Concours d?Elegance from 29
June to 1 July 2018. A line-up of over 90
vintage, classic and super cars will take
centre stage, alongside charity car drives,
gourmet food oferings, family carnival, music
performances and more. Guests and the
public are invited to join in the celebrations
and be part of history in the making.
80 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049326
Tel: +65 6333 8388
APRIL 2018
33
LOUNGES
LEFT: Virgin
Atlantic
Clubhouse.
Los Angeles
RIGHT: Singapore
Airlines?
Silverkris
lounge, Changi
34
Silverkris and Private
Room lounges at their
Changi hub (see reviews
at businesstraveller.
com). Instead they?re
invited to the Krislyer
Gold lounge, which
doesn?t provide showers
or even dedicated
toilets. Similarly, at London
Heathrow T5, top-tier
Oneworld Emerald
cardholders don?t get
access to the Concorde
Room, which is for those
holding irst class tickets.
In Frankfurt, Luthansa?s
irst class terminal is limited to customers travelling
in irst class or HON Circle members. Top-tier Star
Gold cardholders don?t get access.
What this shows is that many airlines are now moving
towards a model where, despite your frequent-lyer status,
perks such as premium lounge access are provided based
on the price you paid for your ticket, rather than your
overall loyalty to the airline or alliance.
his arguably makes some sense. It corrects the injustice
of a top-tier frequent-lyer status passenger who has
paid $2,000 for an economy ticket getting a signiicantly
better pre-light experience in the irst class lounge than
the $8,000 business class ticket holder without frequent
Top-tier frequent
lyers may feel
neglected, or that
their loyalty seems to
be downgraded
APRIL 2018
lyer status who can only use in the inferior business class
lounge down the hallway.
In the United States, however, there?s an opposite
trend. When travelling domestically using the three main
US carriers ? Delta, United or American Airlines ?爄n
most cases (excluding certain trans-continental lights),
top-spending irst and business class ticket holders don?t
get any lounge access included in the fare. Only those
with eligible tier frequent lyer status can enter the lounge
before the light. Here, loyalty truly trumps revenue.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR LOUNGES?
Qatar Airways recently announced they won?t be
providing complimentary lounge access to certain pointsupgraded business and irst class customers, at the same
time ofering a ?pay-per-visit? option for those passengers
without free access. Other full-service airlines such as Air
France and Emirates already ofer a similar scheme.
While ruling the feathers of some frequent lyers, this
new pay-per-visit strategy addresses the enormous cost
of providing complimentary lounges and provides all
customers the opportunity to have a luxurious pre-light
experience. Top-tier frequent lyers may feel neglected, or
that their loyalty seems to be downgraded or ignored.
Will the changes alter purchasing behaviour? Perhaps.
What is certain, however, is the growing importance of
lounges to airlines and airports. he growth of Priority
Pass and similar products show that lounge access ?
however it?s obtained ? is likely to remain a key part of
many passengers? pre-light experience. BT
b u s i n e s s t r a v e l l e r. c o m
GET THE LOOK
PUT A KNOT IN IT
Turnbbull & Asser make some of the
inestt ties in the world. Turn your
back on casual and look better than
the coompetition with some of the
exclusive patterns from their spring/
summ
mer range. �5.
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1
SHIRT TALES
36
Turnbull & Asser?s new Journey
Shirt is made in collaboration
with fabric mill, homas Mason.
here?s a choice of 11 creaseresistant shirts in four varieties ?
traditional twill, twill 2-fold 100,
linen and Oxford ? available in
white, pink, lilac and blue, plus
pattern variations of plain, check
and stripe. �5.
turnbullandasser.com
5
IF THE SHOE FITS
his Italian-made laceup shoe by Hugo Boss
has high-shine patent
leather, subtle Blake
stitching and a durable
leather lining and
outsole. �0.
hugoboss.com
APRIL 2018
Suited &
booted
3
Stay smart when travelling
CUFFLINKS TO DIE FOR
British jewellery company Longmire has culinks
at all prices, but at the top end, statements don?t
come much stronger than these. Each is a solid 18k
rose gold skull with black, rhodium-plated 18k
bowler hat and large faceted ruby eyes. �700.
longmire.co.uk
4
SMOOTH MOVE
Launched in 2015, these
Paul Smith travel suits
called ?A suit to travel
in? are tough and creaseresistant, and there?s a new
range for this season. he
Classic-Fit Navy Wool
option above costs �5.
paulsmith.com
38
HOTEL BRANDS
ALL
IN
39
WORDS TOM OTLEY
l
panies
inue
pand
e
ly
ching
ds.
is this
od
for
ts?
T�
he big news in 2016 in
the world of hotels was
the merger of Marriott
and Starwood to create
a company with 30-plus
hotel brands. Although
there were many reasons
for the merger, streamlining the
number of hotel brands wasn?t one of
them. Sheraton and Marriott, Four
Points by Sheraton and Courtyard
by Marriott, Luxury Collection with
Autograph Collection all continue as
before, with no amalgamation.
Roll on to 2018, and the number of
brands increases weekly. It?s fair to say
that no business traveller wakes up in
the morning and says to themselves,
?I really wish someone would invent a
new hotel brand.? However, the hotel
chains keep on creating them. At a
recent Global CEO panel where the
bosses of Wyndham Hotels Group,
Intercontinental Hotels Group
(IHG), Accorhotels, Hilton and
Choice Hotels were represented, they
alone had more than 90 hotel brands
between them, and no one disagreed
with the assertion that there would
probably be 100 between them
within the next year.
S閎astien Bazin, the forthright and
sometimes outspoken chairman and
CEO of Accorhotels, said that he
had been ?dead wrong? in believing
brands would gradually become less
important. In fact, he thought they
were ?more important than ever.?
he reason? ?Brands are like a
group of friends. For every occasion
you can count on them for a diferent
purpose, and that?s what people want.
It?s a shortcut in a very crowded
world. Brands matter.? Bazin added,
?You talk to the Online Travel
Agents (OTAs) and they will tell
you that the conversion factor is
twice as much for a branded hotel
than a non-branded hotel, because it
matters to customers. hey recognise
APRIL 2018
?
HOTEL BRANDS
it, they feel more comfortable, they
know what to expect. Whether
you have too many brands isn?t the
point, you just have to make sure
you diferentiate the experience, the
promise between each of the brands,
because they have to be diferent.?
his approach seems to be
spreading. For many years,
Intercontinental Hotel Group
(IHG) had comparatively few
brands ? Holiday Inn and Holiday
Inn Express, Crowne Plaza and
Intercontinental being the best
known. But IHG currently has 15
brands, having launched Avid last
year in the US (75 newly built hotels
have signed up to join), buying the
Regent Hotels luxury brand in March
2018 and announcing plans for what
hoteliers call a "conversion brand".
with a ?development pipeline? of
lesser-known brands, such as Hualuxe
(seven hotels opened so far, with 21
in that pipeline) and Even hotels
(eight so far, 12 in development).
Kenneth Macpherson, IHG?s chief
executive oicer of Europe, Middle
East, Africa and Asia has nearly 1,000
hotels open in his region alone. He
told me the expansion wasn?t just
about new brands. It was also about
?strengthening core brands? we know
well, such as Crowne Plaza.
?We?ve been working very hard
with leading designers such as Conran
[Design Group] to create a Crowne
Plaza to meet the needs of modern
business and leisure travellers. When
people travel, their down time is so
important. hey don?t want a stufy
hotel, they want it to be engaging,
to allow them to live when travelling
and to have a lexibility for when they
want to work,? Macpherson says.
As far as the new brands are
concerned, like the ?old? ones, ?hey
are all targeting diferent guests
on diferent occasions. It?s not just
about having lots of brands, it?s about
having distinctively positioned brands
BRAND POSITIONING
40
A conversion brand is typically a
brand that can be used to ?relag?
an existing hotel ? Doubletree by
Hilton would be an example. IHG
has yet to announce the name of this
new brand, but it is coming, and
great things are predicted for it along
COMING TO
HILTON
Hilton
showcased
a number
of products
and
innovations
at a media
event at the
annual travel
trade show,
ITB Berlin
Beam
NuCalm
Nightingale
Allows guests to
project their own
entertainment, or
visually receive
information about
the hotel. The pico
projector runs from a
light bulb socket and
can create a full-screen
theatre experience.
A device that puts
travellers into a
recovery state, said
to give users the
equivalent of two
hours sleep in just 20
minutes; for use in spas
and meeting rooms,
not guest rooms.
Emitting a range
of noise-masking
sounds, this plug-in
socket device combats
common disruptive
noises such as trafic,
voices or construction
work, helping to
improve sleep.
b u s i n e s s t r a v e l l e r. c o m
that meet a set of needs for guests,?
Macpherson says. Of course, this begs
the question, ?How many brands
are too many?? he answer from the
hotels is that the limit is less about
what the customer can understand
and more about the internal resources
of the hotel chains.
?he brands are a promise to
guests,? says Macpherson. ?So you?ve
got to have the resources to invest in
those brands so they provide a return
to investors ? those people who put
their capital into them ? and to meet
the needs of guests.?
If brands are a promise, why do
we so oten feel let down by that
promise? According to the hoteliers,
that?s more of a legacy issue, and
one which brands are dealing with,
irstly by expelling properties
whose owners will not pay to keep
up standards, and secondly by
improving branding. he CEO
of IHG, Keith Barr, says that the
hotel industry has become better
at branding than it was ten years
ago, and that part of the reason is
technology and the beneits it has
brought consumers.
?We have had to get better because
of the transparency brought on by
social media, but also because if we
introduce a new brand, we work
with owners and developers to make
sure we are ofering something of
interest to them. With Avid we had
an advisory committee [helping
establish] what are the core issues we
are trying to solve [such as] how is the
room going to be cleaned, how is it
going to be maintained?? Barr says.
IHG exited a number of contracts,
with Barr saying the company
had removed more hotels from its
portfolio than some chains currently
have in their entire portfolio.
GROWTH INDUSTRY
For Carlson Rezidor, the importance
of branding was demonstrated by
renaming itself Radisson Hotels, and
also adding consistency across its
brands. Its luxury ?Collection? brand,
Quorvus, has now been renamed the
Radisson Collection (with properties
such as the Strand Stockholm in
Sweden, the Royal Copenhagen
in Denmark and the Royal Mile
Edinburgh in Scotland). It also
Meural
Pilot
Allows you to
customise your
room with a digital
art screen that can
display anything ?
a favourite artist or
even family photos.
A wireless translation
earbud that will allow
Hilton employees to
communicate with
guests no matter what
language they are
speaking.
Ava Mobile
Telepresence
Video-conferencing
on wheels, this
device allows anyone,
anywhere, to be present
for a meeting without
leaving their location.
The person who dials in
can control the device?s
movement, and see
and hear what?s going
on in real-time.
announced an intention to ?rebrand
or reposition? some 500 properties
in the 1,400-strong group. Federico
J Gonz醠ez, president and CEO,
told me that ?over the next ive years
[we will increase] from 80,000 to
100,000 hotel rooms;
a net gain of 20,000;
If brands are a
but actually we will see
more than 10,000 exit
promise, why do we
if they are not in good
so oten feel let down shape, or the owner has
no plans [to invest].?
by that promise?
Radisson is the
11th largest hotel
group in the world
and has eight hotel
brands, with more than 1,400 hotels
in operation or under
development. In the
next ive years, the group
says it will expand ?only
organically?, meaning not
by acquiring other hotel
companies; but that then
creates a suspicion that it will in turn
be acquired. he prospect doesn?t
seem to worry Gonzales.
?It?s very good in life to be a
moving target. We need to play with
certainties. We have a huge business
potential, we can grow signiicantly,
and, in parallel, we will have time to
see if someone wants to buy us, but
I can?t worry about it. With the iveyear plan we have got at the moment
there is so much to get on with. I
think the shareholders will say ?Show
us what you can do?,? Gonzales says.
For all the talk of having brands
for diferent ?guest occasions?,
they also help power the growth of
the hotel companies themselves.
hat?s important, according to
Geof Ballotti, CEO of Wyndham,
the world?s largest hotel company
with 8,400 hotels across 20 brands,
including Ramada and Days Inn.
?he cost of keeping up with
technology, or cyber security ? the
money you have to spend to make
sure you have the best system, that?s
why platform matters and size
matters,? Ballotti says. ?Size and scale
helps in terms of how much leverage
CONTINUED ON PAGE 74
b u s i n e s s t r a v e l l e r. c o m
APRIL 2018
41
Why is Vin Dor� 24K
the favorite drink of the stars?
縋or qu� es Vin Dor� 24K la bebida preferida de las estrellas?
M
arcar la diferencia hasta convertir un producto en
una experiencia 鷑ica, es el prop髎ito de Vin Dor�
24K, erigiendo La Gama de Lujo Gastron髆ico m醩
importante del mundo. Apostando por la innovaci髇,
nos encontramos con productos 鷑icos 100% elaborados
en Espa馻, con las mejores materias primas, un dise駉
muy cuidado y el glamour del polvo de oro de 24 quilates
comestible, logrando sorprender a los m醩 sibaritas.
Brut Imperial 24K, elaborado artesanalmente, tiene una
calidad excepcional y ha sido premiado en numerosas
ocasiones, apoyado por grandes chefs estrella michel韓
como Paco Roncero o Dani Garc韆, y bebida favorita de
grandes personalidades - Floyd Mayweather, Brad Pitt y
Cristiano Ronaldo entre otros-. Su ina burbuja impulsa
el polvo de oro 24K para que dance indeinidamente en
la copa, mientras la combinaci髇 de Air閚, Macabeo y
Sauvignon Blanc lo hacen perfecto para brindar gracias a
su sabor fresco y afrutado.
Sin embargo, lo realmente sorprendente es la utilizaci髇
de oro comestible de f髍mula 鷑ica. Y es que, aunque
es de producci髇 muy escasa a nivel mundial, ya existen
cavas y champagne en el mercado con oro comestible.
Vin Dor� 24K se diferencia aportanto la m醲ima calidad
sin modiicar el sabor y sin advertir el paso del oro en el
paladar, ya que la mayor韆 de productos de otras marcas
utilizan escamas o virutas que pueden hacer desagradable
la experiencia en boca.
Vin Dor� 24K se posiciona con fuerza en el sector Premium
a nivel mundial. USA, M閤ico, Angola, Singapur, Australia,
,
Han骾
a
ia
Portugal y Espa馻 son algunos de los lugares donde ya
puede deleitarse algo tan cercano a lo 鷑ico.
M
aking the diference to turn a product into a unique
experience, is the purpose of Vin Dor� 24K, erecting
the most important Gastronomic Luxury Range in the
world. Betting on innovation, we ind 100% unique
products made in Spain, with the best raw materials, a
very careful design and the glamor of edible 24-karat gold
powder, surprising the most gourmets.
Brut Imperial 24K, handcrated, has an exceptional quality
and has been awarded on numerous occasions, supported
by great michelin star chefs such as Paco Roncero or Dani
Garc韆, and a favorite drink of great personalities - Floyd
Mayweather, Brad Pitt and Cristiano Ronaldo among
others- . Its ine bubble drives the 24K gold dust to dance
indeinitely in the glass, while the combination of Air閚,
Macabeo and Sauvignon Blanc make it perfect to give
thanks to its fresh and fruity lavor.
However, what is really surprising is the use of edible gold
with a unique formula. And it is that, although it is of
scarce production worldwide, there are already champagne
and champagne in the market with edible gold. Vin Dor�
24K diferentiates the highest quality without changing the
taste and without noticing the passage of gold on the palate,
since most other brands use lakes or chips that can make
the mouth experience unpleasant.
Vin Dor� 24K is strongly positioned in the Premium sector
worldwide. USA, Mexico, Angola, Singapore, Australia,
Hanoi, Macau, Malaysia, hailand, Laos, Taiwan, Italy,
g and Spain
p are some of the places
p
Portugal
where somethingg
so close to the unique can be enjoyed.
BUSINESS TRAVELLER READER EVENT
Food for
thought
Business Traveller lunches bring
readers together for enjoyable food,
drink and entertaining conversation.
This March, we discussed the key
factors that influence our airline choices
WORDS GUY DIMOND
44
F�
or the business traveller, it?s not just a matter of the
lowest fare or convenience that determines choice
of airline. here are a number of other competing
factors, from timetables to gut feeling. he subject
was discussed during a recent editor?s lunch in a
private dining room at the Royal Automobile Club on
London?s Pall Mall, hosted by sponsor Aerolot.
On brand
A reader, who regularly lies to Iraq and oten in economy,
kicked of the discussion with a telling point: ?he brand
of a nation is very much associated with the brand of an
airline, and so your airline will be associated with political
developments.? A British travel manager added: ?When
I was working in the Middle East I always wanted to ly
back home on a British Airways light. South Africans will
prefer to be with South African Airlines. And so on.?
Giorgio Callegari, deputy CEO for strategy and
alliances at Aerolot, gave an airline?s perspective: ?his is
something that every airline deals with; inding the balance
between tradition and innovation. For example, Luthansa
has just changed the character of its airline by rebranding,
but the key thing is that it is still a German airline.?
Personal space
So an airline?s nationality ? or even the association with it
? is a really big factor in the inal choice. But, curiously, the
next issue raised was not price or destination, but passenger
APRIL 2018
ABOVE: Crab salad
BELOW: The private
dining room at the RAC
in Pall Mall
room and its attendant attribute, privacy. One traveller
spelled it out: ?he most important thing for me is space.
I am a 50,000-plus tier point BA traveller with Gold
membership for life. But I won?t ly with them business
[class]; I just don?t think that eight across [seating] is
acceptable in business class, especially when other IAG
airlines have four across. Most other airlines are four to
six. So I will go Swiss or Luthansa.?
One young participant said: ?We would all take a
Singapore Airlines suite if we could; but I think privacy
is king over space. As much as I like Virgin from an
emotional point of view, Virgin doesn?t give much privacy,
and I don?t know how many people I can make eye contact
with at the same time when I?m lying in an Upper suite.
As much as BA might not be the world?s favourite airline
any more, if you are in a window seat, especially 64A
or 64K on the
upper deck [in
Club World on a
B747], privacy is
pretty good.?
Callegari
added: ?Space
has come up as
a strong point
whether you
are travelling
economy or
b u s i n e s s t r a v e l l e r. c o m
ABOVE LEFT:
The Royal
Automobile Club
ABOVE: Roast rack
of lamb; dessert of
Paris-Brest
LEFT: Aeroflot?s
Giorgio Callegari
with Business
Traveller?s editor
Tom Otley
business. [As an airline you have to] make eicient use of
your space. We have ixed business class seats, only four
across, two and two, in all our narrow bodies ? but we
maximise eiciency by having the same leet lying
domestic and international. hat builds a diferent
kind of loyalty, not through points, but through
being in a position to rely on the same quality across
the network.?
Wine and dine
Lounge act
Business Traveller?s editor Tom Otley wanted to
know how important lounges are to travellers, and
the response was unanimous. One reader said: ?Really
important, especially if you?re delayed. I don?t want to
ly 14 hours to Bangkok. I?ll stop in Dubai, have a twohour stopover, shower, shave, use wii, and it?s fantastic.?
Another added: ?I go to the airport early to make use of
the lounge.? A third said: ?Some people skip the food on
the plane and prefer to eat in the lounge. You get to know,
using certain websites, which are the best lounges.?
Price points
Conversation was steered to the issue of price, which
so far the lunch group had been politely reluctant to
discuss. One traveller, who lies from Manchester to
London and back ?one hundred times per year?, said: ?My
favourite airline is Easyjet. It?s not the most luxurious, but
it is consistent. I don?t have high expectations, but you
b u s i n e s s t r a v e l l e r. c o m
know what you?re going to get. It?s not over-promising.?
Another reader chipped in: ?I live ten minutes from
Stansted airport, so if I ly with Ryanair for � to
Dublin, I?ll save myself 40 per cent [on the onward
long-haul leg of the journey].?
Comparison and booking websites have clearly been
a disruptive force too. A frequent traveller said: ?I got
a BA light for 50 per cent of by going through a
third party. People don?t go directly to airlines
now, as they won?t tell you what the best price is.?
Another pointed out that: ?You are prevented
from getting the prices [tickets are sold for]
abroad, as some websites are blocked. In the US
you are limited to about three airlines to get out of
the country. he EU is a better place to buy a light.?
Aerolot?s spokesman Callegari was well aware
of this. ?Our lights [to the US] are about 40 per cent
cheaper, even though we have a better service than the
US airlines. But we are 45 per cent less expensive in the
[running] costs. So in terms of Skyscanner?s site, and so
on, we come up in irst place, but we can sustain this.?
Nationality and identity; space and privacy; access to
good lounges; pricing and online deals, all these are key
factors, but not the only ones. Food and drink came up
as a topic, perhaps not surprisingly as the assembled table
had by now moved on from a starter of crab salad to roast
rack of lamb. ?Let?s be honest, that?s why we?re here,?
someone wisecracked to a roomful of laughter.
IF YOU
WOULD
LIKE TO
ATTEND
A FUTURE
EDITOR?S
LUNCH
email events@
panaceapublishing.
com, stating your
name, job title,
company and topics
of interest.
?On Easyjet, it?s a panini. But on a long-haul light, does
it matter?? asked Otley. ?hat depends on the duration
of the light,? one reader said, to a murmur of
agreement. ?If the food is great, you?ll remember it;
if it?s atrocious, you won?t go back.?
Aerolot?s Callegari added that ?he cost of a
good meal is not much compared to the cost of
good in-light entertainment [IFE]. he movie rights
and so on are very expensive. But not many people are
prepared to do without the IFE.?
Editor Otley pointed out there are other important
reasons for good meals and IFE: passenger control.
?One of the reasons that airlines give food and wine to
passengers, particularly in economy, is because once the
passengers stand up, it?s chaos. Make them put their tray
table down, then put something on it. hat?s why the
stewards don?t rush to pick it back up. Once the tray goes
up, the passengers get up and move around. A two-hour
ilm does the same thing; it keeps them in their seat, and
allows the crew to get around.?
So it seems the future of a good meal and decent IFE looks
secure. Add that to the long list of other expectations that
our readers have, including: a decent amount of space,
good lounges and competitive pricing, and it sounds as if
Giorgio Callegari and his colleagues at Aerolot will have
plenty of priorities to keep them occupied. BT
APRIL 2018
45
RAIL
Wheels in
motion
WORDS ALEX MCWHIRTER
The headlines may be
dominated by bad news
about the UK rail network,
but behind the scenes
there?s still investment
and innovation
46
APRIL 2018
b u s i n e s s t r a v e l l e r. c o m
47
?
b u s i n e s s t r a v e l l e r. c o m
APRIL 2018
RAIL
ALL CHANGE FOR HEATHROW TRAINS
48
R
ail travellers using two of the UK?s
busiest mainlines are soon to experience
new and faster trains ? but right now, they
are travelling on rolling stock that is 30 to
40 years old. GWR (Great Western Rail), the
train company that operates from London
Paddington to Wales and the West Country,
uses 40-year-old HST diesel trains exclusively for
mainline services. Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC),
which links London King?s Cross to Yorkshire, the
Northeast and Scotland, has a leet of the same 40-year
old HST diesel trainsets, with the addition of 30-year-old
electric trains.
In the months and years ahead, these train operating
companies (TOCs) will introduce state-of-the-art
Hitachi electric trainsets. hese new trains are no
faster than the current British Rail era rolling stock,
but their greater acceleration
provides more scope for dealing
with delays, and can make more
Rather late in the
en route stops without impacting
day the rail industry
on schedules; this in turn can help
has woken up to the
train travel compete with air travel
for convenience and speed. hey
issue of passenger
are also bi-mode (electric and
seat comfort
diesel power), allowing them to
switch to diesel power when not
on electriied tracks.
BEST OF BOTH WORLDS?
GWR?s Hitachi-built IEPs (Intercity
Express Programme) trains are now
on trial, and will gradually be extended
across the network. VTEC will have
similar trainsets, but these are rebranded Virgin
APRIL 2018
Travellers taking surface trains to Heathrow
airport from London will see major changes
in the months and years ahead. From May 20,
Heathrow Connect (currently operated by GWR
and Heathrow Express) is being taken over by
Tfl. Then in December 2018, Crossrail (to be
renamed the Elizabeth Line in the same month)
will run from east London to Paddington. From
here, travellers can change to Heathrow Connect
or Heathrow Express to continue their journey.
From December 2019, the Elizabeth Line will
be completed, and run right through from east
London to Heathrow. There will be two trains per
hour to T5 and four to T4, so in total six trains
serving T2/3 per hour in Heathrow?s central area.
In addition to the Elizabeth Line, Heathrow
Express will continue with its existing four trains
per hour frequency. Since the Elizabeth Line
will be priced in line with other services across
the Tfl network (�.20 peak time), it will be
significantly cheaper than the Heathrow Express
standard single fare (currently �). However,
the Heathrow Express is geared towards
airline users, providing a faster journey of just
15 minutes, while the Crossrail trip will take 10
minutes longer. Heathrow Express say their
prices will be ?competitive? with the Elizabeth
Line, but have not divulged future prices. New
ticket barriers are currently being installed at the
Heathrow Express terminals at the airport and
Paddington to accept Oyster and contactless
payments. They will come into use at Heathrow
from May, and at Paddington from September.
Azuma (?azuma? is the Japanese word for ?east?).
he plan is for them to enter service in December
2018 and, as we reported on businesstraveller.com
last November, to operate from London to Scotland
in March 2019.
But all is not perfect. Critics say bi-mode is ineicient.
It means that, when running over electriied track, the
b u s i n e s s t r a v e l l e r. c o m
?
THE FAMOUS FIVE � 2017, Hodder & Stoughton Limited. All rights reserved.
RAIL
50
trainsets are burdened with non-operating diesel engines,
and this is wasteful.
he other concern is the traction power. It remains to
be seen whether the smaller diesel engines have the power
to cope with the gradients found in the West Country
and the Scottish Highlands. Trains today have air con and
more electrical equipment to run than earlier models, and
so they consume more energy.
Hitachi?s trainsets may have state-of-the-art
engineering, but on-board comfort for
standard class passengers has not been
the top priority. Rather late in the day the
Much new train
rail industry has woken up to the issue of
investment is on
passenger seat comfort. As we see with
hold in a ?wait and
today?s airlines these new trains have thinner
slim-line seating in standard class, with less
see? scenario as
padding. And whereas that might be bearable
franchises expire
on an aircrat lying for a couple of hours,
these trains undertake journey times of up
to six hours or more. VTEC?s Azumas will
operate north of Edinburgh to Aberdeen and
Inverness; the longest run for GWR?s IEPs will
be London-Penzance.
SITTING COMFORTABLY
he issue of seat comfort is not conined to longdistance trains. hameslink, which operates the capital?s
outer suburban services, operates a �8 billion leet of
new Siemens? trains with similar slim-line seating, which
some commuters have likened to sitting on an ironing
board. Crossrail will have them, too.
Referring to the hameslink trains, Rail magazine
quoted a train driver as saying: ?he seats are only part
of the cock-up. here?s also a lack of tables, cup holders,
charge points. It?s the whole low-spec base model feel.?
APRIL 2018
he BBC?s Tom Edwards says: ?What has
happened is the train company has been given
grief by commuters and the train company has
then blamed the Df T?s [Department for Transport]
regulations. So we end up in a blame game with
little accountability.?
Now, says industry magazine Rail, ?he RSSB
(Rail Safety and Standards Board) is calling on
the rail industry to develop a more scientiic
approach to measuring and specifying seat comfort
in train seating.?
All of which calls into question how well
politicians understand passengers? concerns. Quoted
in Rail, the rail minister Jo Johnson told a fellow
MP: ?We do not want [passengers] to feel that they
need to bring their own inlatable cushions and my
honourable Friend will take comfort in the fact that
seats normally become more comfortable over time,
through use.?
his statement was, however, ridiculed, for example
by rail engineer/manager Ian S Derbyshire, who said
on Twitter (@iansderbyshire): ?Having run a railway
and as a former rolling stock engineer, I do agree ?
these new train seats are as hard as boards and will
get worse, not better, with age/use. Please have them
replaced asap.?
INVESTMENT DELAYS
Much new train investment is currently on hold
in a ?wait and see? scenario, particularly because
the franchises of East Midlands Trains (EMT) and
Virgin Trains West Coast (VT) both expire at the
end of March 2019. No train company will plan huge
investment in a network that may soon not be theirs.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 76
b u s i n e s s t r a v e l l e r. c o m
Connecting business
across the UK
Arriva UK Trains? network reaches far and wide;
CrossCountry, Chiltern Railways, Grand Central,
Arriva Trains Wales and Northern operate a range
of services, from rural commuter lines to long
distance and inter-urban journeys. Arriva UK Trains
connects the three countries of Great Britain and
collectively runs 4,186 services each weekday.
Aberdeen
Connecting people and
communities to what?s
important to them.
Glasgow
We will always go the extra
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Delivering great service,
on great journeys across
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We provide great value and
enjoyable journeys that help
remove the limits on where
businesses can go.
Birmingham
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Penzance
Explore ways to make your business rail travel more effective ?
connect with us at: arriva.co.uk/uk-trains
Aylesbury
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London
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We are passionate about
making sure that your journey
with us is a great experience.
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BUSINESS TRAVELLER COMMUNIT Y
TRAVEL
NEWS
REVIEWS &
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BUSINESS TRAVELLER:
THE GLOBAL VIEW
52
BUSINESS TRAVVELEERR
US
Weekend in Denver
New in-flight dining optionns
Top Asian spas
Bengaluru, India
Airport lounges
Singapore Changi T4
Bangkok dining
NETHERLA D
DSS
Street food around the w rld
spots
Dubai hot sspo
p
Culinary guide
to South Africa?s
Western Cape
There are 14 editions of Business Traveller. Global reach with local knowledge
AVA I L A BL E I N: U K Q A S I A PA CI F I C Q I N D I A Q M I D D L E E A S T Q G E R M A N Y Q R U S S I A Q CH I N A
APRIL 2018
businesstraveller.com
RUSSIA
New Russian airports
Berlin by tthe locals
Weekend in Helsinki
Boston guuide
Moscow
w?s hidden
hidd bars
b
53
AFRICA
Johannesburg guide ? with
recommended restaurants
New Cape Town runway
Serviced apartments
throughout the continent
24 hours in South Africa?s
Eastern Cape
MIDDLE EAST
Muscat?s new airport
terminal
Dubai?s tallest hotels
Los Angeles guide
INDIA
ASIA-PACIFIC
Time out in Vadodara, Gujarat
Frankfurt?s hotel bars
The complexity of tequila
Colombo for tourism and business
UAE resorts
Skiing in Niseko, Japan
A guide to Seoul
Serviced apartments in Asia-Pacific
Hokkaido hotspot
Dallas ? the gateway to Texas
QUSA QDENMARK QHUNGARY QPOLAND QAFRICA QISRAEL QNETHERLANDS
www.businesstraveller.com
businesstraveller.com
APRIL 2018
3
2
1
Munich
54
3
WORDS BECKY AMBURY
APRIL 2018
1
Lenbachhaus
Start your tour at Lenbachhaus, an
art gallery north-west of the centre.
Originally built as a Florentinestyle villa for painter Franz von
Lenbach, it was acquired by the city
in 1924 and opened as a museum
in 1929. A gleaming modern wing
has been added to the ochre villa,
encapsulating a more widespread
trend in Munich: the juxtaposition
of old and new ? a consequence of
damage during World War II. Do
take the time to view the artworks
inside if you can. he main focus is
artists associated with Munich ? the
Blue Rider permanent collection,
featuring works by Franz Marc,
Wassily Kandinsky and Alexej von
Jawlensky, is a real treasure. Should
you be peckish, the gallery?s Caf�
Ella serves excellent Italian meals in a
lovely light setting. lenbachhaus.de
2
Pinakotheken
Walk towards Konigsplatz to
continue to the impressive cultural
hub that is the Pinakotheken area, a
cluster of several diferent museums
housing the Bavarian State Painting
Collections. Be sure to pop into the
Pinakothek der Moderne, a vast,
striking contemporary building, where
you?ll ind four galleries: modern art,
architecture, works on paper, and
design (it houses the largest collection
of industrial design in the world).
Exhibitions change regularly, with
an exploration of Paul Klee?s oeuvre
?Construction of Mystery? currently
running until June 10, 2018. Another
highlight is the Alte Pinakothek ? one
of the oldest art galleries in the world,
dating back to 1836 ? which has a
dazzling collection of works by Old
Masters, such as Durer, Rubens and
Monet. pinakothek.de
3
Englischer Garten
If the sun is shining, whether it?s
winter or summer, continue east to
the Englischer Garten ? one of the
world?s largest urban parks. Runners,
cyclists and walkers throng the
78km of paths that wind through
the greenery, beside rivers and lakes.
You can enjoy the views from the
Monopteros, a circular colonnade
with pillars that resembles a Greek
temple. he turrets, towers and
domes of the city?s older buildings
(many of which were reconstructed
ater World War II) peep above the
tree tops and make a particularly
mesmerising spectacle at sunset. he
park also ofers ample opportunity
for raising a stein of Munich?s most
famous product: beer. Join the
crowds in the huge beer garden at the
Chinesischer Turm, an ornate folly.
chinaturm.de
b u s i n e s s t r a v e l l e r. c o m
PINAKOTHEK DER MODERNE & DIE NEUE SAMMLUNG THE
DESIGN MUSEUM, MUNICH PINAKOTHEK DER MODERNE (2)
It?s not
all beer
gardens
? this
Bavarian
city also
has great
food and
fine art,
all within
an elegant
cityscape
4 HOURS IN...
4
5
3
2
1
5
4
MUNICH
55
5
4
Residenz Schatzkammer
Just south-west of the park is the city?s
old town (altstadt), where you?ll come
to Residenz Munchen. hese striking
buildings were formerly a palace,
once the seat of government and
home to Bavarian royalty from 1508
to 1918. While you?d be pushed to
see all of the royal collections ? there
are ten courtyards and 130 rooms,
plus gardens ? the contents of the
treasury in Residenz Schatzkammer
are both manageable and riveting,
with medieval crowns, swords and
tiny, exquisitely crated curiosities
such as games sets. To get a true
taste of Bavarian cuisine, nearby
Spatenhaus an der Oper, just opposite
the Bayerisches Nationaltheater,
serves traditional dishes in a pristine
period building replete with beautiful
frescoes. residenz-muenchen.de;
kuler.de/en/restaurant/spatenhaus
b u s i n e s s t r a v e l l e r. c o m
5
Viktualienmarkt
Head south towards heatinerstrasse
and continue past the Frauenkirche,
a Gothic church with mighty domed
towers. You?ll come to Marienplatz,
a square in the centre of the altstadt.
his is the location of the Neues
Rathaus (new town hall), with its
splendid glockenspiel; the old town
hall, now home to a toy museum, is
just east. Make your way south to the
Viktualienmarkt. his daily market
sells food, drink, lowers and more.
Most eye-catching are the butchers?
shops with pigs heads, trotters and
white sausage (weisswurst) piled in
the windows. In summer, return
north towards ritzy shopping
street Maximilianstrasse and stop
for a sundowner and 360-degree
views at China Moon Roof
Terrace at the Mandarin Oriental.
mandarinoriental.com/munich BT
APRIL 2018
SPORTS UTILITY VEHICLES
56
APRIL 2018
b u s i n e s s t r a v e l l e r. c o m
SUVs will account for more
than one-third of all new car
sales in Europe by 2020 ?
these 4X4s and crossovers
are leading the way
CROSSES
WORDS NAT BARNE S
BMW X4
CITROEN C44 CACTUS
From �,900
From �,265
Est mated from �0,620
BMW is embracing the
crossover and 4x4 boom a
launching seven models by he
end of 2018. It?s hard to ar ue
with the irst-generation X s
lobal sales s ce
arger X6 ha
popular too
neration X
is the latee
geny resulti g
from a 4xx
sports cou
spendingg
ng in a cup oaard
at a drunk
rty. his X s
longer, w
nd lower th
its predecc
, and will o r
two M pee
ance mode
well as, evv
lly, two- an
four-whe
e and small
petrol en
? the latter l
to prospee
the downturn of
diesel salee
ss Europe. With
more nich
h
ing carved out in
the crossoo
lass, the market
may well
dy to adopt this
new X4.
Citroen CEO Linda Jaccks n
is on record
d as saying th
hat he
likes ?Maarmite? cars, tthos
that cau
use a love-it-oor-hateit reaaction. he irm
rm?s C4
Cac
actus certainlyy did that when
itt arrived in 20014 with its
quirky lookss and rubberised
?airbumps?
s? built into the
doors. he
h problem was that
for all iits clever touches,
buyerss stayed away. As a re ult,
this facelited
lit d version
i now
w
looks more conventional and
has arguably lost some off i s
character but should ind
d ore
been
e not
so good) and new suspension
is promising much improved
on-road comfort levels too. he
new C3 and forthcoming C5
Aircross models should also
help to raise its proile.
A child of Ford
Fo s worl
world car
policcy that sees the same caar
solld in London or Los Angele
les,
B
Birmingham
m or Bu
Buenos Aires,
t Ecospoort was orriginally a
the
p
product
foor South America
A
and
d
d
didn?t
meeet Europeaan tastes.
A few major tweaks later and
things have improveed, with
this Ecosport ofe
fering fourwheel drivee for the irst tim
me,
a new, morre economical 1.55litre diesel engine and a sporty
ST-Line model. An improved
interior also sees better
equipment levels with
h a heated
steering wheel, reversing camera
and B&O stereo all avvailable.
Whether it?ll be enouugh for the
Ecosport tto seriously compete
with the exp
plosion oof rivals in
th
he small crossover market is
anoother matter.
irmly in tthee
W h diesels i
a d
do house at ppresent, and
d 4x4s bein
ng hot
h
hy rids and
th petrol-engiined
pr perty, the
exus RX4550h
hy rid Lex
h been l
lying out
o
sh uld have
wrooms fastter than
na
of how
ng hot
sel ctioon of pipin
he
ca s. Yet despitte all of th
i RX450hs
0h?s talent
talents, it
or inal
wa
fa
rivals Unt
Until now
by ome of its rivals.
me
th is. As the L in its nam
su gests, this is a 11cm
(4 nch) longer version of
th Lexus of-roader thatt
bo sts a third row of seatts.
l hl h h h
Si
th
re
beyond teenage years, but
the extra practicality they
ofer should boost the RX?s
appeal considerably.
bmw.co..
citroen.co.uk
ford.co.
co.uk
lexus.co.uk
businesstr
r. c o m
FORD ECOSPORT
HL
LE US RX 450H
?
APRIL 2018
SPORTS U
MERCEDESS-BENZ G-CLASS
M
Estimated froom �0,000
Like the Laand Rover Def
L
Defender, fe
a
among
4x4 enthusiasts as thee Me
G
G-Class
brings it into the 21st cce
and a host of new features. Longge
the new G -Class is, crucially,
c
alsoo
interio sp
interior
pace than beefore thanks
buyers, the irst G-Class into sho
AMG G63 version arriving this s
autumn 2019. Expectt high equip
pprice,, and excellent of
f-roading a
venture beeyond the w
wilds of Kens
ch adoration
. his all-new
y revised looks
its predecessor,
d boasts far more
kaging. For UK
sporty Mercedesby a diesel in
with its high
mercedes-benz.co.uk
s-benz.co.
R
Rover.
he ttwo famous British
brands are about to take the auto
ive world byy storm with the
Jaguar I-Pace (see below) and, irs his new Ran
nge Rover
over P400
P400e
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle.
is JLR?s irstt pplug-in, as the
ry
previous Range Rover hybrid was
ng with an
hybrid. he P400e combines a 2.0 re turbo-petrol engine
bhp and a 0-660mph tim
ime of
85kW electric motor to produce
R
on salle. While
6.4 seconds making it the second- est Range Rover
there?s a 50km all-electric range, c pany car driivers are surre to like
the tax advantages of the 64g/km issions. A hoost of updates to
the entire Range Rover line-up m s that it?s eveen more luxxurious
assage system,
syste wider
inside with airline-style seating op ns, a new massage
seats and 17 connectivity points.
58
landrover.co.uk
Available winter 2018
From �,495
Whether traditional car enthusi s
he Coventry irms
irm?s ?Pace? fam
mi y is already starting to dominate. In
retail terms, the F-P
Pace is sellin
ing lmost as many vehicles as the rest
of the range combbined, whilee th re?s the new E-Pace (see Business
Travellerr Februaary 2018), and
a n w this latest all-electric I-Pace.
With 400bhp ffrom its 90kkWh b ttery and four-wheel drive, the
I-Pace can racce from 0-600mph in just 4.5 seconds, while boasting a
480km rangee. Realisticaally speak ng that will be enough for many
drivers, alth
hough a 15-minute ra id charge gives around 100km of
range. Jagu
uar is curren
ntly only ta king about the I-Pace as a single
ive-door hatchback,
h
although it not hard to imagine a family of
diferent body styless and power nits in the future.
aguar.c
co.uk
APRIL 2018
b u s i n e s s t r a v e l l e r. c o m
INFINITI QX50
Availabble Decembeer 2018
Estimatted from �9,000
Not so lo
longg ago
ag the idea of l
would have been commeercia
p
popularity
of diesel, th
he mar
of this new Ininiti QX500. B
turbo petrol
p
eng
ngine that usees
econoomical than
n a standard
good looks, excelllent build q
as rei
ined on-roaad manners.
Ininiiti, and this QX50 dese
likely to achieve against the p
alternaative choicce.
ching a petrol 4x4 to the UK
icide. But with the ever-decreasing
could be heading towards the likes
ting a new technology 2.0-litre
riable compression ratio to be more
rol motor, this QX50 also boasts
lity and plenty of space inside as well
is
sf
m
infiniti.co.uk
co.uk
en
fun to drive with the original R
be a natural next step. Eye-catchi
rear doors, diminutive dimension
out in what?s become a busy and
makes the C-HR really stand out
of 1.2-litre petrol or the same 1.8
in the Prius are available, but on t
engaging, fun and surprisingly en
been built and engineered by ent
the C-HR easy to recommend.
59
toyota.co.uk
VOLVO XC40
From �7,905
Can Volvo d
do no wrongg when itt comes to family cars at the
momen
nt? Itt certainly seeems that w
way. Its history in estates is well
known and
d continues w
with the V990 and the latest V60, while its
XC60 aand XC90 4x4ss are arguably some of, if not the best, in
their claasses. he Swed
dish irm willl be hoping that its reputation
continu
ues with
w this babby XC40. W
With obviously similar styling to
its larger stablemates, tthe XC40 certainly has the looks to stand out
in the prem
mium sector.. Better yet, its on-ro d manners are equally
impressive w
with the pootential for pplug-in and hybrid models in the
future. A neew Care by Volvo scheme will also be available that can
combin
ne all of car?s cossts (includi
ncluding servicin
ng and insurance) into
one monthly payment..
volvocars.com/uk
ars.
b u s i n e s s t r a v e l l e r. c o m
BT
APRIL 2018
CELLARS IN THE SKY AWARDS EVENING
Tasting
success
The winners of our Cellars in the Sky
Awards gathered at London?s Trinity
House to celebrate their success
CELLARS IN THE SKY is an
annual competition run by
Business Traveller. For more
than 30 years it has answered
that essential question ??Which
airlines serve the best wines??.
The wines are blind-tasted by
wine experts, many of them
Masters of Wine, and rated and
ranked before the wines or the
winning airlines are revealed.
The results were announced
to the airlines at an event in
February at Trinity House at
Tower Hill, a stunning 18thcentury building that is home to a
charity devoted to the lighthouses
and the welfare of mariners.
A further event took place the
following month in March for
readers to sample some of the
wines in a tutored tasting by
the head of the judges, Charles
Metcalfe. To read more about
the awards and to see the
results of previous years, visit
businesstraveller.com/awards.
RICHARD GRAY @ RUGFOOT PHOTOGRAPHY
60
Head judge of
Cellars in the
Sky, Charles
Metcalfe (pictured
right), presented
the awards at
Trinity House.
Representatives
from the winning
airlines enjoyed
the evening and
a tasting of the
award-winning
wines.
Present were
Aeroflot, Air France,
All Nippon Airways,
American Airlines,
British Airways,
Cathay Pacific,
Eva Air, Finnair,
Icelandair, Japan
Airlines, Jetstar,
Korean Air, Malaysia
Airlines, Oman Air,
Singapore Airlines,
Sri Lankan Airlines,
Qantas and Qatar
Airways; plus the
airline alliance
Oneworld
APRIL 2018
b u s i n e s s t r a v e l l e r. c o m
61
CELLARS
IN THE SKY
WINNERS
find the results at
businesstraveller.
com: "Cellars in
the Sky 2017 award
winners revealed".
b u s i n e s s t r a v e l l e r. c o m
APRIL 2018
OPINION
A passport
to the future
Worried about Brexit? Here?s how to hedge your
bets with an EU bolthole�
JOHN STEPEK
E X E C U T I V E E D I TO R O F M O N E Y W E E K M A G A Z I N E
A
62
APRIL 2018
specialist Henley & Partners, approval is
typically received within three months, which
?makes Cyprus one of the fastest destinations
in which to obtain a second citizenship?.
Furthermore, while you need to own the
residence permanently, your other investments
can be sold ater three years. So over the
longer run, only the ?500,000 you pay for the
property is locked up.
he second option is Malta. Under Malta?s
Individual Investor Programme, you can
acquire a passport, but all in, it is both more
expensive and time-consuming than for
Cyprus. Firstly, you have to make a ?650,000
contribution to the Maltese government?s
national development fund. You also need
to invest ?150,000 in government-approved
shares or bonds. hen, you need to buy a
property worth at least ?350,000 and agree
to own it for at least ive years, or commit to
renting a property for at least ?16,000 every
year for ive years. here are also additional
costs for each family member of ?25,000
which goes into the development fund (or
?50,000 for ?dependent children aged 18 to
26? or parents over the age of 55), and hety
legal fees on top of this ?爐ypically in the
region of ?60,000 for a medium-sized family.
Finally, unlike Cyprus, you need to be resident
in Malta for 12 months immediately before
obtaining citizenship. However, while it?s not
cheap or quick, it is popular.
If you are interested in either of these
schemes, it?s worth taking advice given the
signiicant sums involved. Also, just bear in
mind that the substance of these schemes can
change rapidly ? many EU politicians have
expressed unease about ?golden visa? schemes,
and the Cypriot one in particular has come
under a great deal of scrutiny. BT
businesstraveller.com
ILLUSTRATION: BENJAMIN SOUTHAN
second passport can be a
(ie you have some knowledge of the language
useful accessory for all sorts of
and culture), then you?ll be well on the road to
reasons, but it has acquired an
getting a passport. Of course, the tricky part is
almost totemic importance for
uprooting yourself for ive years if you are just
some in the wake of Britain?s
doing it to get hold of an EU passport.
2016 vote to leave the European Union. We
PASSPORTS FOR CASH
don?t know exactly what sort of deal we?ll end
he other option is to buy your way in.
up with, but many are keen to hedge their
Several EU countries ofer so-called ?golden
bets, just in case. So whether you?re a British
visa? schemes that allow a non-EU citizen to
citizen who wants to ensure your continued
gain citizenship in return for investing there,
freedom of movement, or you?re from outside
without spending a lot of time in the country;
the EU but are keen to own an EU passport,
but most of these require existing EU citizens
what?s the easiest way to go about it?
to pursue the residency route instead.
Unless you are attached to gaining
he good news for potential Brexit
citizenship of a particular EU country, then
refugees is that two EU
the irst thing to check
countries ofer citizenshipis your family tree. Most
Unless you are
by-investment schemes to
nations make it relatively
attached to gaining
those with suicient high
straightforward (if time
citizenship of a
net worth. And while you
consuming) to acquire
citizenship if you have a
particular EU country, need to own a property there
to qualify, both are very
parent or grandparent who
check your family tree pleasant places in which to
is, or was, a native. Ireland
consider buying a bolthole.
is perhaps the most obvious
First, there?s Cyprus. To
and straightforward option
become a Cypriot citizen,
for the many British people who
and thereby acquire that EU
have Irish ancestry. But as long as
passport, you need to invest
you can devote some time
a total of at least ?2m in the
to tracking down lots of
country, including the purchase
documents, acquiring
of a home worth at least ?500,000.
citizenship via ancestry is
Investing in the country can take the form
usually the easiest solution.
of approved stocks and bonds, real estate, or
If you don?t have familial
investments in local business (ie those with a
links to Ireland or the continent, what are
physical presence in Cyprus and employing
your other options? If you already are an EU
at least ive workers locally). You can get
citizen (which for the time being still includes
your passport pretty quickly, and you don?t
British citizens), then you could move to the
need to live in Cyprus to get it (although
EU country of your choice. In most cases,
you will need to visit during the application
once you?ve lived there for ive years, and
process). According to citizenship planning
integrated to a reasonable extent
101 reasons
Kent makes
business sense
From business parks and development land, to oice and
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London
OPINION
The ?golden age?
of air travel
Flights are cheaper and faster than they?ve ever been. Yet the
adventure of air travel before the jet age had its own appeal
T H E E N T H U S I A S T I C V OYA G E R
WHO WISHES TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS
T
64
APRIL 2018
has recently revived, albeit on a voluntary
basis to gather data). he notional weight
per passenger was 100kg for traveller plus
baggage. he carriers estimated that the
average person at the time weighed 75kg,
and thus were permitted 25kg of baggage.
If customers were slightly more portly, a
surcharge of 1 per cent of the one-way fare
was made per additional kilogram.
he expense of these journeys was high.
Passengers spent eight or ten days with the
same crew, overnighting in hotels/camps where
food and drinks were ofered. he airline?s
costs for sourcing fuel, supplies and engineers
along the route was invariably quite expensive.
And the few aircrat produced to ly these
routes hardly came at a bargain price.
he jet age emerged with the Comet, 707
and DC-8, followed quickly by the DC-10
and 747, which opened up many destinations
to mass tourism. But they were still stopping
routes. Flights to Hong Kong touched down
in the Gulf; inbound lights from hailand or
Singapore were routed via India. Some of the
longer runs included BA?s London-Auckland
service, which stopped in the Gulf, India,
South East Asia and Perth before arriving in
Auckland. his was a 21-day trip for the crew,
and not one that many looked forward to, as
it was such a long time to be away from home.
Today travel seems to have found a happy
medium between small and large aircrat, with
mid-size 787s and A350s opening up nonstop routes to smaller markets while ofering
a variety of fares and cabins for customers on
diferent budgets. So why not sample superb
wines in Chile? Or hop down to Australia
for some winter sunshine? It makes the world
seem terribly small, but what a thrill and
privilege that we can now explore it so easily. BT
businesstraveller.com
ILLUSTRATION: BENJAMIN SOUTHAN
ravel is oten a topic of
of to Rome for lunch and still be home in
time to put the children to bed. In 1934 the
conversation when we meet
journey took three days, and routed you from
friends. We live in fortunate
London to Brussels, Cologne, Frankfurt,
times. Direct routes from
Munich, Venice and then Rome. he single
airports are opening up new
fare at the time clocked in at �.16s 2d, or
destinations; we are lucky that we are to be
the equivalent of around �240 today.
able to jump on a plane and, a few hours later,
Cape Town was a ten-day journey, which
ind ourselves halfway around the world.
required taking a plane to Paris, train to
I recently lew on the world?s longest
Brindisi, then aeroplane to
commercially operated light.
Alexandria, Cairo,
It took me from Auckland to
In 1934, the eight-day Athens,
Wadi Halfa in Sudan,
Doha, a distance of 14,535km,
journey to Singapore Khartoum, Juba, Entebbe,
but a mere 17 hours 40
minutes from wheels up
cost �0, or around Nairobi, Dodoma, Mbeya,
Broken Hill (in Rhodesia),
to wheels down. he time
�,800 today
Salisbury, Bulawayo,
passed surprisingly quickly.
Johannesburg, Kimberley
It is now possible to ly
and inally Cape Town. Just
from London to Perth,
looking at this itinerary
Australia, with Qantas.
exhausts me, but it must have
his will be the longest non-stop served
been thrilling. Passengers
from London (14,498km). It will open up
would stop at varied locations,
additional demand to Australia
resting in hotels or camps
by giving people an opportunity
overnight, before recommencing
to arrive without hopping down
the journey the next day. Arrival
the famed Kangaroo Route
times were not always published;
(lying UK to Australia with
sometimes they were put as ?late aternoon?
stops in Asia), which Qantas is
or ?evening?. he cost of a single to Cape
celebrating the 70th anniversary of this year.
Town was �0, or around �500 one-way
in today?s money.
TRAVEL IN 1934
he hop, skip and jump to Singapore
A recent present let me thinking about just
was equally amazing. It followed the same
how lucky we are to have these easy journeys
itinerary as far as Cairo, then split and went
available at the click of a mouse. he git was
via Gaza, Baghdad, Basra, Bahrain, Sharjah,
a copy of Bradshaw?s International Air Guide,
Gwadar, Karachi, Jodhpur, Delhi, Cawnpore,
1934, and it is a reminder of just how far we
Calcutta, Akyab, Rangoon, Bangkok, Alor
have come in a relatively short time.
Star and Singapore. his eight-day journey
I researched three journeys, which we take
cost �0, or around �,800 today.
very much for granted today: London to
On these journeys both passengers and
Rome, London to Cape Town, and London
luggage were weighed (something Finnair
to Singapore. Today, many people can nip
EVENTS
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places ? it's about meeting people.
We run regular lunches, dinners,
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OPINION
Saving the
environment, or
saving money?
Derek Picot inds that hoteliers are happy to pay lip service
to eco initiatives, but few commit to radical action
DEREK PICOT
A HOTELIER FOR MORE THAN 30 YE ARS
A N D A U T H O R O F H O T E L R E S E R VAT I O N S
A
66
t the annual International
Luxury Travel Market held in
Cannes in December, the talk
among hoteliers was of ethical
and sustainable hotel keeping.
From the business traveller?s point of view, this
can only be good news.
For the hotelier, the challenge lies in
delivering; the correct approach is seldom
the obvious one. To take one small example,
should you use plastic or glass bottles by the
bedside? Plastic is diicult to recycle, but
not even glass can be recycled everywhere; if
you?re in a resort on a desert island, ferrying all
that glass to the mainland isn?t just expensive,
it?s also, environmentally, a backward step.
APRIL 2018
businesstraveller.com
ILLUSTRATION: BENJAMIN SOUTHAN
ETHICAL INITIATIVES
here?s more to being responsible than just
considering the environment, of course.
Many companies seek to beneit the local
community. he Mandarin Oriental in
Bangkok has a programme to professionally
educate apprentices in hotel service. his is
in response to what the hai government
sees as a pressing need for well-trained staf
throughout the country. he management
warn that guests might come across young
trainees who ?may fall short of standards of
service? and they ask for ?kind and goodnatured forbearance? in these circumstances.
Five-star hotels like this should, I think,
lead the way in demonstrating how to give
something back to the local community.
Customers will want to know about this too,
even if it is only as a salve to their conscience
for enjoying such luxury.
For business travellers interested in
supporting ethical hotels, they might
look no further than the values created by
the World Tourism Organisation, which
Industry research by Cornell University
publishes a comprehensive set of ethical
points to a recent survey suggesting that
standards to follow. Highlights include fair
45 per cent of hotel guests would be prepared
pricing, sustainability and local community
to pay a higher room rate for a hotel?s
development. Some of the more challenging
sustainable initiatives. However, when put
principles are the thorny subject of proit
into practice, travellers turned out to be not
repatriation and local employment standards.
so committed. I can understand why. If you?ve
Should hoteliers encourage collective
experienced the irritation of motion sensors
bargaining and welcome union activity?
that suddenly plunge your conference room
Are all employees given a living wage over
into darkness because no one has moved for
a reasonable working week? What is the
30 seconds, you?ll know what I mean.
position with regards to agency labour that
hose who are truly committed to visiting
is contracted to clean rooms or serve meals ?
a sustainable hotel could arrange their next
are they treated on an equal basis to full-time
business meeting at the Posada Amazonas.
staf and do they receive full employment
his hotel has won countless awards for its
beneits? he answers are probably not clear
eco-friendly approach. Admittedly it?s in
on any hotel information
the middle of the Amazon
fact sheet. Similarly, trying
rainforest, and it takes a
45 per cent of hotel
to discover how much proit
day or two to get there
guests would pay a
is given back locally to aid
from almost anywhere
community development,
else, but it has all you
higher room rate for
rather than repatriated to
need in terms of recycling,
a hotel?s sustainable
a headquarters overseas,
energy conservation and
initiatives
may well be shrouded by
total commitment to the
inventive tautology.
environment. You will be
So here are a few things to
cheek to cheek with the local
look for when you take your next
inhabitants; piranha ish in
business trip. You might start by
the river, a variety of lying
asking your chosen property
bugs and the odd monkey or
about energy-saving initiatives.
two. hankfully, mosquito nets
In Mallorca, for example, a
are provided in the bedrooms, and
number of hotels are investing
guides on the river will make sure you
in solar energy, and also using
don?t dangle your feet in the water.
wood-burning biomass boilers
Meanwhile, I am going back to the World
to reduce electricity and gas consumption.
Tourism Organisation?s website to see how
Another useful indicator of a hotel?s
many global hotel organisations have signed
interest in the local community is how it
up to its ethical guidelines before I choose
supports smaller enterprises. A glance at
my next stay. hat shouldn?t take too long, as
the hotel menu should indicate that local
there were still disappointingly few on the list
produce is being bought and served.
when I last looked. BT
C65
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OPINION
Cheaper by
the mile
Are long-haul low-cost airlines here to stay?
JOHN STRICKLAND
D I R E C TO R O F J L S C O N S U LT I N G
L
68
APRIL 2018
France KLM is dabbling with Joon, though
exactly what the latter will achieve isn?t clear.
Joon is evidently lower cost (than Air France),
but not truly low cost, and is pitched at
millennials; but some French millennials I
spoke to recently said they didn?t understand
what the airline was about.
IAG, on the other hand, has a multi-faceted
response to the LHLCC phenomenon and is
joining the party in earnest by using several of
the airlines in its portfolio. Aer Lingus, a lean,
mean ighting machine, is expanding its North
Atlantic activity out of the Republic of Ireland
with plenty of feed potential to and from
the UK and Europe. It has also introduced
cheaper economy fares with fewer frills ? and
it has scored where Norwegian failed, by
reaching a feeder deal with Ryanair that?s to
come into place later this year. his deal will
boost its ability to ill seats on its long-haul
lights. British Airways is also introducing the
no-frills economy fares, bringing densiied
Boeing 777s with 10-abreast economy seats
to London Gatwick, but also including more
higher-proit premium economy seats. his
will allow BA to deliver lower unit costs than
Norwegian can on its B787s. IAG has also
established its own LHLCC airline, Level,
which has started services to North and
South America from Barcelona and begins
operations from Paris Orly in summer. Level
can obtain feed from IAG stablemate Vueling
at both airports and uses Airbus A330 aircrat
that consume more fuel, but are cheaper to
buy or lease.
It?s going to be interesting to see how this
plays out in the years ahead. here are going
to be winners and losers, and we could see
some big shocks, but it looks like the LHLCC
model is here to stay. BT
businesstraveller.com
ILLUSTRATION: BENJAMIN SOUTHAN
ong-haul low-cost carriers
needed to pay for the new and eicient,
(LHLCCs) operate the airline
yet expensive, aircrat that airlines such as
business model of the moment.
Norwegian have on order.
Some would argue we?ve been
Using low prices to stimulate traic results
in more reliance on leisure customers, who
here before, with ainity charters
can be easily tempted away by competitors. So
(get a group together and travel cheaper),
LHLCCs are tackling this by ofering more
or with Laker?s Skytrain of the 1970s, or
lucrative premium seats with additional space,
indeed numerous other iterations of long-haul
meals and added frills.
charter lights. Today?s LHLCC airlines are
pricing their fares low to steal traic from
NEW STRATEGIES
incumbent carriers on existing routes; but
Seasonality is another challenge. In many
more signiicantly, they are also stimulating
markets, not even low fares will ill the aircrat
new traic and opening up new markets.
on a year-round basis, resulting in the need
hey are being aided by a new generation
to ind other counter-seasonal markets. Full
of fuel-eicient aircrat, such as the B787
service network carriers get
Dreamliner or the A350,
over this by feeding high
both of which carry fewer
When short-haul
volumes of short-haul traic
passengers than previous
LCCs began to grow, onto their long-haul lights
wide-bodied aircrat. Less
airlines didn?t take
at their hubs. LHLCCs need
fuel consumption and fewer
their own feed. Around half
seats reduces risk when
the model seriously
of Airasia X?s passengers
testing new markets. Two
until it was too late
connect from Airasia
companies are taking the
short-haul lights. Outside
lead: Airasia X operating
of Scandinavia, where
out of Malaysia in the Asian
Norwegian has the density
markets, and Norwegian in European
of short-haul schedules to do
and translatlantic markets Being
the same thing, the Nordicpopular and attractive to
based airline needs to ind other
customers is one thing,
solutions. Ryanair would have
achieving proitability and
made a good partner, but the two
long-term sustainability is
airlines have fallen out, so no deal there.
another, however.
If this wasn?t enough of a challenge, there?s
To date, Airasia X has
been a response from long-haul network
delivered limited proitability, while
carriers. When short-haul LCCs began to
Norwegian turned in a signiicant loss for
grow, existing airlines didn?t take the model
2017. We are going to see more LHLCCs
seriously until it was too late. Lessons have
arrive on the scene, but I?d be surprised to
been learned, and that mistake will not be
see the level of success that?s been witnessed
repeated. Luthansa has now set up a long
for short-haul LCCs. here are many inbuilt
-haul arm of its LCC Eurowings, and Air
challenges to delivering the proit margins
When your business needs
expert advice provided by
a quali?ed, reliable and
trustworthy legal team ?
use a solicitor
Solicitors. Here to help
Talk to your solicitor or visit www.lawsociety.org.uk/here-to-help
The Law Society
@LawSocietyFAS
WATC H E S
LESS IS
MORE
WORDS CHRIS HALL
70
Breitling?s image has long
been derring-do, even
macho. But with a new
CEO and smaller watches,
the Swiss company is now
getting in touch with its
feminine side
RIGHT: Breitling
Navitimer 8B01
APRIL 2018
Y
ou know Breitling. You?ll have seen
the ad campaigns ? fronted by John
Travolta, and until recently, David
Beckham ? at the airport. Perhaps
you?ll have seen the enormous Bond
Street premises in London, and the
nearly as enormous watches.
Breitling has courted controversy with
its boutique decorations of pop-art pin-up
girls astride bulging missiles; it holds the
industry?s largest and wildest party at the
annual trade fair in Baselworld (helicopter
displays, Jacuzzis, dancers and live animals);
and it runs one of the world?s few private
air display teams. It?s one of the larger
manufacturers, making some 140,000
watches a year, but for all that it hasn?t quite
been on top form recently.
If Breitling were a person, it would be
that friend from university who hasn?t quite
let his partying twenties behind. You know
the type: a irst-team lad with a crooked jaw
and full-volume laugh, who scraped a 2.1
in Economics despite sitting his last exam
in a skirt from the night before. Now he?s
43, and his friends have made partner at
the irm, moved to the country and have a
Porsche in the drive. Meanwhile, he?s still
got the bachelor pad in east London and
a hangover every morning. Natural talent,
force of personality and a good family name
have got him so far, but there?s a wake-up
?
call in the post.
businesstraveller.com
71
businesstraveller.com
APRIL 2018
WATC H E S
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT:
Breitling Navitimer
8 day and date;
Navitimer 8 Unitime;
Navitimer 8 Automatic
72
Having changed hands last year in a
deal that valued the company at over a
billion Swiss francs, Breitling lost no time
in appointing a new CEO, Georges Kern
(formerly of IWC), and he has his sights
irmly set on a more grown-up approach.
What does that look like, you may
wonder? In January Breitling launched a
new range of watches called the Navitimer
8, a whole family of new models that rifs
on its most famous watch, the Navitimer
(which the company irst launched in
the early 1950s), and balances modern
sensibilities with a backstory that connects
it to chronographs produced by Breitling in
the 1930s aimed speciically at aviators. his
new set includes basic automatics as well
as chronographs, and also does away with
the slide-rule bezel, an iconic hallmark of
the Navitimer (and one that very few today
know how to operate). hese steps had
die-hard fans spitting feathers, and other
scratching their heads, but it all needs a bit
of context.
Kern is determined to simplify Breitling?s
ofering, and to that end is reducing the
number of models ofered by the brand
from around 650 (that?s if you include strap
and colour conigurations) to around 120.
hese will all sit in four families: Navitimer,
Superocean, Chronomat and Premier.
Within those, there will be a range of
complications and clearer visual indications
APRIL 2018
as to where a model sits
in the hierarchy. For
instance, a 3-6-9 highcontrast chronograph
layout for watches with the
t
in-house B01 movementt;
ns
6-9-12 monotone design
for those using third-party
movements. It?s all overseeen by
newly poached creative ddirector
Guy Bove (who is ex-Chopard and
making a
IWC), but all aimed at m
Breitling as recognisable as a Rolex.
爃at?s a huge binning of models: the
Colt, Avenger, Galactic, Chronoliner
and Montbrillant ranges won?t be sorely
gets
missed, but I hope the Transocean
T
a stay of execution. Also destined for
the chop are the brand?s quartz watches,
and the misogynistic imaage ? new ad
n and women
campaigns will show men
conquering the great outtdoors together.
Breitling has launched a family of
new models that rifs on its most
famous watch, the Navitimer
Belatedly, Breitling will engage with trends
such as the use of bronze, bi-metal designs
and interchangeable straps, and there will be
a concerted efort to sell watches to women.
he plan makes sense, so let?s look at
the Navitimer 8 in that light. I?m not
ofended by the less-cluttered look; I think
the simple automatics look even better
than the chronographs (where I can?t help
being vexed that the notched bezel looks
like it should rotate, but doesn?t). We?ll see
38mm versions, ostensibly for women, and
new colours on the Navitimer 01, in more
familiar 46mm and 43mm sizes. Later in the
year Breitling will introduce the Premier,
a more elegant range that should take the
brand yet further into the mainstream. BT
businesstraveller.com
CONTINUED...
HOTEL BRANDS
ALL IN A NAME
continued from page 41
74
...you have when you are negotiating
contracts, and your loyalty programme
helps drive savings for everyone. he
ultimate measure is your share of occupancy
that is coming through the loyalty platform.
It lowers the cost of acquiring the guest for
owners because it?s not coming with a 10 or
20 per cent commission, and so you want
the best technology platform available.?
FEWER BUT BETTER
However, not everyone believes a
proliferation of brands is best. Scandic
Hotels has only two brands ? Scandic
and Downtown Camper by Scandic ? yet
it is the largest operator of hotels in the
Scandinavian and Nordic region with 280
hotels (55,000 rooms) in six countries.
CEO and president Even Frydenberg, who
previously worked at Starwood Hotels
and Resorts, knows all about the power of
brands; yet while toying with the idea of a
further brand, he certainly doesn?t plan to
head for double igures. Why should he?
?We are very big in one region, but that
region is made up of several countries with
diferent economic drivers. It gives us a
better base to stand on. Our success is being
concentrated on certain markets, so we can
quickly get the beneits of scale.? Instead
Scandic is continuing successful expansion
in Germany and Poland using the Scandic
brand, though even here Frydenberg doesn?t
rule out introducing a new brand.
It?s also true for other global brands that
biggest isn?t always best. Peter Norman,
Hyatt?s senior vice president of acquisitions
APRIL 2018
on brands, here opinions difer. Hotels have
& deevelopment, admits that Hyatt ?is
become far more sophisticated at capturing
neveer going to be the size of the others,
our custom directly rather than through
and that?s not our strategy.? Instead, Hyatt
third parties (such as the OTAs) by using
conccentrates on ?growing responsibly and
hotel loyalty programmes to ofer beneits
susttainably,? an approach that has seen it
such as points and free wii. Once they have
reach 700 properties in more than 50
our personal data through the programme, it
countries across six continents, yet it is
allows them to market directly to us and also
sstill only one-tenth the size of Marriott.
to ?personalise? our experience, something
?We can show that our hotels
of a buzzword in recent years.
outperform the competition in many
You will also see better technology in the
of the markets, and that?s because
guests love the hotels,? says Norman. rooms, though it's certainly taken them long
enough. Most business travellers of a certain
Hyatt?s growth is coming through
age will remember how hotel rooms only
existting and new-ish brands such as the
ofered a couple of wall sockets for power,
Hyatt Regency in Dusseldorf, the Hyatt
just above the skirting board, and oten with
Cen
Centric Gran Via in Madrid, the Hyatt
a lamp already plugged into one of them.
Place at Frankfurt Airport and Andaz (a
his even applied to luxury hotels. On one
Munich property will open at the end of
occasion in New York I was met by liveried
2018). It also has the inevitable collection
doorman, had my bags whisked up to the
brand (called the Unbound Collection)
with famous properties such as the Martinez room and was ofered a welcome drink, yet
a few moments later, wanting to work, I
in Cannes joining it (see Upfront, page
was under the desk on my hands and knees
16) and, at the end of 2018, a new central
trying to plug in my laptop. he good news
London property in the former home of
is that inally the new designs have caught up
the Metropolitan police called (in full)
with our need for power. he Holiday Inn
he Unbound Collection by Hyatt, Great
Express I stayed in during the recent trip to
Scotland Yard Hotel, London.
Berlin for these two conferences had eight
It?s not just large hotel companies
power sockets in that one small room, and a
creating (or acquiring) new brands. here
USB charger incorporated
are smaller companies
into the power socket by
creating innovative chains,
?It?s a challenge to
the bed. It almost made up
with Citizen M being
for the fact that the room
one that many admire.
combine technology
looded for two out of the
Nevertheless, S閎astien
with hospitality
four days.
Bazin makes a point about
to make guests?
At least there was
these smaller brands:
free
wii. Hotels are still
?hese interesting funky
experiences better?
trying to charge for this,
trendy brands, they are
of course, and many have
sexy from year one to year
introduced complicated
ive, and they maybe grow
(and largely ignored by
to 25 properties, and then they aren?t as
customers) two-tier pricing,
trendy as they once were. hey
where basic speed internet is
don?t have the loyalty from
complimentary, and high speed
customers, they don?t have
(which few use) is chargeable.
the bookings, so they pay
So what should hotels be doing on
big percentages to the OTAs
the technology front to satisfy not only
[online travel agents], and
the business travellers of today but those
they are not happy about it, and
of tomorrow, ?future-prooing? the rooms
then they start to look for an umbrella and
so they do not quickly become obsolete?
they come to talk to the big operators.?
Although a lot of innovation has come from
BETTER TECHNOLOGY
trendy smaller brands such as Citizen M, the
he other big push by hotels is in
larger brands such as Accorhotels, Marriott
technology, though unlike the consensus
and Hilton have all set up their own
businesstraveller.com
innovation labs to test new technology.
We have written previously about shower
cubicles which allow you to sketch out your
morning ideas on the steamy glass as you
wake from sleep, and memory mattresses,
but there?s much more coming.
HILTON AS INNOVATOR
To ofer a glimpse of one version of the
future technology we might encounter in
hotels, Hilton brought over demonstration
versions to the Waldorf-Astoria in Berlin.
Jonathan Wilson, Hilton's vice president,
product innovation and brand services,
was on hand to explain them (you can see
pictures on pages 40-41).
hey included NuCalm, which promises
to give users the equivalent of two hours?
sleep in just 20 minutes; and Nightingale,
a plug-in socket device which emits white
noise and combats common disruptions
heard in hotels such as traic, voices
or construction work. Although these
are being trialled, some innovations are
further progressed. Hilton currently has
rooms completely kitted out with itness
equipment in more than 30 hotels, and
is expanding this scheme. he reason
for doing so, according to John Rogers,
senior VP brands and franchise operations
EMEA, is partly ?to make guests?
experiences better?, partly to provide a
?real diferentiator? between the Hilton
Hotels & Resorts brand and that of its
competitors, and also because all of this
its with Hilton?s history. ?Hilton has a
history of innovation,? Rogers claims.
?A lot of things you see in hotels that are
commonplace were trialled by Hilton ? TVs,
air conditioning, and hotels at airports.?
Rogers says that today innovation is
changing more quickly than ever because
it is being driven by technology, and ?it?s a
huge challenge for the industry to combine
technology with hospitality to make guests?
experiences better.?
he amount of data that many companies
have on their customers, and hotels have
on their guests, will allow a new level of
personalisation. ?When you walk into the
room it will be the temperature you like
because we know it, and we could even
have a picture of your family by the bed.?
But Rogers is clear that ?there is a line to
businesstraveller.com
draw. ?You have to be careful that it doesn?t
become creepy.?
THE QUESTION OF AIRBNB
No discussion of hotels (or between them)
would be complete without mention
of Airbnb. he company would like to
be thought of as part of the ?sharing
economy?. As we irst described the wider
phenomenon back in 2013, ?he principles
at its heart are eiciency, democracy and
trust ? the last cemented by online reviews.
Not only is it creating a new generation
of micro entrepreneurs, but providing
consumers with cheaper, more personalised
services, products and experiences.?
For many hoteliers however, such
sentiments would at best elicit a hollow
laugh. hey point to the fact that a
signiicant proportion of properties
are simply ?buy-to-let? by professional
landlords, and in some cities mayors and
local authorities have used regulations to
ensure that Airbnb lets run as a business
(for example of more than three months)
are forbidden. Airbnb itself says in the
help section of its website: ?Some cities
have laws that restrict your ability to host
paying guests for short periods. hese
laws are oten part of a city?s zoning or
administrative codes. In many cities, you
must register, get a permit, or obtain a
licence before you list your property or
accept guests. Certain types of short-term
bookings may be prohibited altogether.
Local governments vary greatly in how they
enforce these laws. Penalties may include
ines or other enforcement.?
Nevertheless, there?s little doubt that
despite protestations to the contrary, most
hotel chains are worried about it. It?s not
hard to see why. Just as serviced apartments
generally costs less per night than a similar
standard hotel room, so does Airbnb.
Forbes, the US business magazine,
recently used data from German hotel
reservation website HRS and the AirDNA
site to compare prices on traditional and
non-traditional lodging options in eight
major cities. On average hotel prices were
consistently higher than average Airbnb
prices, and the diferences were signiicant.
In Tokyo, for example, the average price of
a hotel room in January 2018 was US$220,
whereas a Tokyo Airbnb would cost
travellers US$93 per night. A stay in a New
York hotel this month would typically cost
US$308 per night, compared to US$187
for a typical Airbnb stay. he reasons are
obvious. he overheads are lower, and there
are fewer services ofered (no restaurant,
itness centre, meeting rooms, 24-hour
reception) meaning prices to the traveller
can be lower. Airbnb doesn?t release igures
on how many people are using its services.
As a result of this disruptive competition,
hotel companies have fought back in a
number of ways. Firstly, by pointing out to
local authorities that the rules should be
applied consistently to both hotel operators
and Airbnb, or to the Airbnb owners
renting out their properties efectively as
hotel rooms. In recognition of the size
of Airbnb, few have tried to launch new
products against it. IHG has its own
serviced apartment brand, Staybridge
Suites. Accorhotels has Adagio, while
serviced apartment operators Ascott has
the Citadines Apart?hotel brand. Hyatt has
built relationships so that members of its
loyalty programme, World of Hyatt, can
use their points towards Oasis, a provider of
serviced home rental accommodations with
around 2,000 homes across more than 20
destinations worldwide.
he last word goes to Accorhotels?
Bazin, who clearly recognises the threat of
Airbnb ? he bought Oneinestay, one of
its competitors, in 2016, but now believes
he has its measure. Airbnb had ?impacted?
Accor in 2016, less in 2017, and less in
2018, he says, and despite expressing
admiration for the company, Bazin said that
his belief was that Airbnb had ?lost its soul?.
?hey were rock solid when the soul of the
business was all about ?You are meeting
a local?, ? he told me. ?Now two-thirds of
Airbnb [venues] say it?s a host room, but
there?s no host room and there?s no host,
it?s a serviced apartment. No wine, no host.
hey lost their soul. hey were volume
driven but not emotion driven."
You can read more of the hotel news
from both IHIF ( International Hotel
Investment Forum) and ITB Berlin
(Internationale Tourismus-Borse Berlin)
on businesstraveller.com BT
APRIL 2018
75
CONTINUED...
RAIL
WHEELS IN MOTION
continued from page 50
...EMT will be busy coping with track
improvements by Network Rail in the
Derby area over the summer period. Train
services will be disrupted on a daily basis
for many weeks.
76
POSITIVE DEVELOPMENTS
VT is investing �5 million in rolling out
free wii to all passengers (in both irst and
standard class) on its Pendolino trains.
Work starts in May 2018, and is expected to
be completed by January 2019.
Some operators are relaxing restrictions
with Advance fares. Normally these must
be booked at least one day ahead. But VT
has changed this to just one hour (prior
to the departure), while Cross Country
(which operates a complex route network)
enables ticket holders to amend Advance
bookings free of charge (from two hours
ater purchase to 24 hours before your
journey starts). VTEC is ofering irst
Chiltern competes with VT between
class upgrades via the phone app
London and Birmingham. Granted its trains
seatfrog.com; travellers have to bid
take a little longer and use diferent stations
for the upgrade.
(Marylebone and Snow Hill), but it charges
One point to note is that many
less than VT, and travellers taking mainline
of these ofers require travellers to
services are ofered the ?old-fashioned?
book direct with the respective
locomotive-hauled rolling stock that was
TOC. As with the airlines,
considered the best in British Rail days.
the TOCs want to encourage
One concern is that VTEC may hand
more travellers to book direct
back the franchise keys in the coming
rather than book via online
months. VTEC (which is 90 per cent
agents such as Trainline or Red
owned by Stagecoach, 10 per cent owned
Spotted Hanky. Some TOCs now make
by Virgin Group) faces diiculties paying
seat fare sales, and again these are for direct
its �3 billion franchise fee, which it was
bookings only.
supposed to pay between 2015 and 2023.
Chiltern Railways (operated by Arriva)
In response, the government has relented. It
claims the rare distinction of opening a
will let VTEC surrender the franchise three
new stretch of track, namely one linking
years early in 2020, and it will pay far less,
London Marylebone
though the exact amount is
with Oxford. In doing so
not yet known.
Bicester Village now
it is competing with the
Since that announcement
provides station
more established GWR
was made a few months ago
trains running from
the situation has become
announcements and
London Paddington
critical, according to
signs in Mandarin
to Oxford. At the same
transport minister Chris
and Arabic
time Chiltern Railways
Grayling. And the recent
has improved service
snow disruption when the
to Bicester Village (a
East Coast Main Line was
shopping outlet), and now
closed north of Newcastle
provides station announcements
for three days will not have
and signs in Mandarin and
helped VTEC?s cash low. BT
Arabic. Bicester Village
is now the second most
visited UK attraction ater
Buckingham Palace for
Chinese tourists.
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TRIED AND TESTED
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A380 business class
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Guide to tipping
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SIA A380 premium economy
82
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86
80
84
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Getting from LHR to LGW
88
b u s i n e s s t r a v e l l e r. c o m
April 2018
79
TRIED AND TESTED FLIGHT
Singapore Airlines
new A380 business class
SINGAPORE?SYDNEY
80
B A C K G R O U N D Singapore Airlines is
retiring the five oldest A380s in its fleet
and welcoming five new ones, each with
a revamped layout, cabins and new seats.
This was the new aircraft?s first commercial
flight to Sydney.
B O A R D I N G I was on a transit from Hong
The new seats do have more storage
space, notably a large footwell for carry-on
luggage, plus multiple smaller compartments
and surface areas. Next to the main
three-pin plug and USB outlet is a magazine
holder, which is great for storing a laptop,
while an elevated platform next to your
shoulder has space for a smartphone or
Kong, arriving into Changi airport?s Terminal
3, with a ten-minute walk to gate B7 from
where flight SQ221 was taking of. Additional
security screening at the gate was eficient.
as roomy as its predecessor ? though
small stowable armrests do help to
maximise space. It is possible to feel this
reduced width when lying down compared
to the older seat ? the new one isn?t
cramped, but it lacks the same expansive
feel as the fully flat bed of its predecessor.
However, the width is helped somewhat
by the armrests, which are simply small
cushioned flaps that can be stowed,
meaning you?re not squeezed in by them
when they are tucked out of the way.
Seat controls are easy to use, but are also
quite sensitive. On more than one occasion I
found myself inadvertently reclining my chair
or summoning a member of the cabin crew
because I?d accidentally leaned on one of the
control buttons.
T H E S E A T Fans of SIA?s current A380
business class seats ? also found on the
A350 and retrofitted B777-300ERs ? will
find a number of familiar features. Firstly,
seats are wide and solid, set in large shells
with a grey and orange trim that looks like
a luxury sports car. Secondly, most seats
are designed with an angled space for legs
to go once fully flat, which is best for those
who sleep on their side. Working with legs
extended is also a bit awkward, as you need to
position your body diagonally. Bulkhead seats
are the exception, as these extend straight
forward. Bedding is provided for each seat,
including a mattress cover, pillow and blanket.
APRIL 2018
tablet while it charges using
the second USB outlet. There?s
also an adjustable light and
a mirror here, and a hidden
compartment by the screen
for yet more space.
One downside of the new
seat design is a tighter 25-inch
width, which doesn?t feel
cramped, but it?s certainly not
businesstraveller.com
TRIED AND TESTED FLIGHT
B E S T S E A T Those who like to lie straight
should aim for the bulkhead seats (the
centre two can also form a double bed).
For working, the window seats are superior,
ofering more solid fixtures, storage space
and a greater sense of privacy. My seat 22A
was just one row in front of the toilets ? rows
13-20 would probably be best.
T H E F L I G H T Once on board, I was
ofered a sparkling ros� wine and hot
flannel. Orders were taken for a post take-of
drink and I opted for a gin and tonic (which
could?ve done with more gin).
We departed about 30 minutes late,
taking of at 2110. Food orders were taken
20 minutes into the flight and served shortly
after. This included a Parma ham and goat
milk ricotta starter, then four main course
options: seared black cod � la nicoise; beef
fillet in mustard-herb crust with red wine
sauce; north Indian chicken biryani, or wokfried seafood in a garlic and ginger sauce.
I opted for the seafood, which was light
and refreshing.
The IFE options were comprehensive,
with a large library of films, TV shows and
movies. The new A380s also have the
airline?s latest ofering, MyKrisworld, which
allows Krisflyer members to create and save
their own playlists for future flights (films
watched on previous Singapore Airlines
flights can also be resumed from where you
left of). Passengers also have the option
of connecting their device to the screen to
watch downloaded series or play games.
businesstraveller.com
SIA is retiring the oldest
A380s and welcoming
ive new ones, each with
a revamped layout, cabins
and new seat products
After dinner, I made my bed up and then
reclined my seat to catch a few hours of
sleep. Breakfast was served 80 minutes
before we landed, comprising fresh fruit,
cofee, juice and a croissant.
81
BEST FOR
Working convenience, storage and
connectivity through MyKrisworld.
PRICE
A R R I V A L We landed at Sydney Airport at
0730, on time despite the 30-minute delay.
Premium passengers are given an ?Express?
pass, which expedites the immigration
process in Sydney providing you fill out the
entry declaration form (without answering
?yes? to the customs questions) and have
fewer than two checked bags. Immigration
was therefore swift, taking just over ten
minutes, and my bag was already waiting for
me at the belt by the time I got through.
Internet rates for a return business
class flight from Singapore to
Sydney in mid-May ranged between
�211 and �761.
FLIGHT TIME
7 hours 55 minutes
C ONFIGURATION
1-2-1
SE AT WIDTH & PITCH
V E R D I C T This is a thoroughly comfortable
seat and one in which Singapore Airlines
has emphasised the ?business? part of
business class. While it may be a slightly
tighter squeeze than the older product
when it comes to sleeping, the addition of
numerous smaller storage spaces makes
this an easy environment in which to work.
Craig Bright
25in/63.5cm; 78in/198cm
SE AT RECLINE
Fully flat
CONTACT
singaporeair.com
APRIL 2018
TRIED AND TESTED FLIGHT
Singapore Airlines
new A380 premium economy
SINGAPORE-LONDON
B A C K G R O U N D Singapore Airlines?
latest A380s have new seating and a
new configuration in all four classes, but
these new planes are being introduced
incrementally. Singapore Airlines fly four
direct flights per day between their base
at Changi and Heathrow; currently two of
these flights use A380s, but only the 14-hour
overnight flight, on SQ322, is currently one
of the brand new planes described here.
B O A R D I N G This took place at 2230 at
82
Gate B2 for the 2230 departure. The layout
of Changi means you go through security
just before these B gates. Some passengers
(from other flights) were turned back
because it was still too early to go through,
presumably because there?s a limited
amount of space at the gates. Once through,
the boarding cards had numbers on them
detailing when you are supposed to board.
T H E S E A T Seat selection is free in
premium economy, though you can select
extra legroom seat for a fee. There are 44
premium economy seats on the main deck,
plus 343 economy class seats. The premium
economy configuration is 2-4-2 (in economy
it is 3-4-3). The baggage allowance for
premium economy is the same as economy,
namely one piece of weight up to seven
kilograms and a laptop bag with a maximum
dimension of 40x30x10cm each.
The premium economy cabin is selfcontained and is wrapped around the
bottom of the stairs, so rows 31 and 32 only
have seats AC and HK, while row 33 is
the first full row. The seats are a blue-grey
leather, with decent-sized pillows at each
seat, noise-cancelling headphones which
were comfortable to wear, and, after take-of,
some flight socks and a toothbrush and
toothpaste. If you ask you can also get ear
plugs and an eye shade.
Each seat has a table that comes out of
the arm, and seat power for a plug, as well
as two USBs from which you can power up
mobile devices. In most cases the footrest is
below the seat in front, except for the front
row seats where it comes out from the seat
you are sitting in.
The seat pitch is 38 inches (contrasting
with 32 inches in economy), with a width of
19.5 inches (18.5 inches in economy) and a
Black moss and dried
oysters ?represent good
fortune and prosperity?,
which certainly made
me feel a lot better
recline of 8 inches (6 inches in economy).
The IFE screen is 13.3 inches (11.1 inches in
economy).
B E S T S E A T With a configuration of 2-42, the solo traveller should avoid the four
middle seats. I was in 33D, an aisle seat but
the first of these four seats, and in the front
row. This was a gamble, since it was by the
bulkhead and so had more room; but it also
had the possibility of a bassinet somewhere
on the row. There are four seats in row 31 ?
AC and HK. Row 33 doesn?t have overhead
lockers, which causes congestion in the
lockers above the aisle seats.
T H E F L I G H T We took of around 0010 for
the 13-hour flight. The in-flight entertainment
system was already on, so apart from the
interruption of the safety video, most people
were already either asleep or preoccupied.
The meal service started with drinks at 0100.
There was a choice of champagnes, red or
white wine, beers and cocktails.
The flight attendants then came round
with the special meals (vegetarian, diabetic
and so on), and other meals pre-ordered
online at least 24 hours in advance (search
APRIL 2018
businesstraveller.com
TRIED AND TESTED FLIGHT
the airline?s website for ?Book the Cook?).
The premium economy menu for Book
the Cook is slightly diferent from the one in
suites and first, and is diferent again to the
business class version. The menu also varies
depending on where you are departing from.
Flying out of Singapore, the Cook the
Book options range from roasted chicken in
garlic cream sauce for dinner, to breakfast of
congee (Chinese-style rice porridge). Even
if you don?t order the Book the Cook dishes,
the default menu is also really good, and
varies seasonally. My flight was just after
Chinese New Year, and so the appetiser was
facai yusheng, meaning ?prosperity raw fish
salad? (lightly smoked salmon, shredded
and pickled vegetables, cracker, peanut,
sesame seeds, and sweet and sour plum
sauce). There was a choice of main course,
and I opted for the steamed pork with dried
oyster in black bean sauce, braised black
moss, vegetables and steamed red rice;
all very tasty. A note on the menu told me
that the black moss and dried oysters ?are
symbolic ingredients during Chinese New
Year as they represent good fortune and
prosperity?, which certainly made me feel a
lot better, as did the ice cream afterwards.
I waited until the tables had been cleared
and then slowly reclined my seat so as to
not disturb the person behind. In the front
row a leg and foot rest comes out, and
together with my backpack this raised my
feet into a comfortable position and I slept
well. It?s a long flight, but I probably got
five hours? sleep, and watched the in-flight
businesstraveller.com
entertainment the rest of the time, which
was of good quality with a huge range of
current films (including ones still in the
cinema and up for Oscars).
There is in-flight wifi available on board,
but I did not use this (I had used it on the
way over in first class, but that was because
the first 100MB was for free).
Breakfast was served about two hours
before landing (there were also in-flight
snacks available ? sandwiches, nuts, crisps,
trail mix and fresh fruits). The breakfast
menu was seasonal fresh fruit and a choice
of main course. The main course options
included Singapore fried carrot cake ? a
traditional dish of fried savoury radish-rice
flour cake with prawns and pickled turnip;
cheese omelette served with chicken
sausage, stewed vegetables and potatoes. I
chose the bami goreng daging, Indonesian
fried noodle with beef and vegetables, which
was great, along with croissant, breads and
teas and cofees.
WHAT ?S NEW
The seating, the seat configuration, the
in-flight entertainment equipment.
WHAT ?S NOT
The fabulous food and drink,
including the Book The Cook
pre-booked meals service.
PRICE
Internet rates for a flexible return
premium economy class flight from
Singapore to London in May 2018
costs from around �271.
FLIGHT TIME
13 hours
C ONFIGURATION
2-4-2
SE AT WIDTH & PITCH
A R R I V A L We arrived on time into
Heathrow Terminal 2, and made the
long walk back to the main terminal and
immigration, where there was no queue.
19.5in/50cm & 38in/97cm
SE AT RECLINE
8in/20cm
V E R D I C T Another excellent journey with
CURRENT ROUTES
Singapore Airlines. Premium economy is a
good choice for these long haul overnight
routes. The food is tasty, the choice of
entertainment excellent, there?s enough
room, and the seat is comfortable enough to
get some sleep. Tom Otley
Singapore-London
CONTACT
singaporeair.com
APRIL 2018
83
TRIED AND TESTED SYDNEY HOTEL
Hyatt Regency Sydney
BEST FOR
Large groups and
proximity to the CBD.
DON?T MISS
Sundowners at Zephyr.
PRICE
Internet rates for a Club
Harbour View King room
in mid-May start from
A$389 (�9).
CONTACT
B A C K G R O U N D Following a several
million dollar refurbishment of the former
Four Points by Sheraton, Hyatt Regency
Sydney opened at the end of 2016, complete
with an additional 24-storey tower.
84
W H E R E I S I T ? In an enviable position
in the city?s CBD, about 20 minutes from
Sydney Airport, with a stunning backdrop
of Darling Harbour. The hotel ofers direct
access to The Promenade, which is lined
with bars and restaurants stretching into the
fashionable Barangaroo district.
W H A T ? S I T L I K E ? The polished-marble
lobby is grand and sophisticated, with several
reception desk islands and comfortable
modern seating areas. With 892 rooms
(making it the largest hotel in Australia), the
lobby is constantly bustling, but check-in
was a speedy afair (though I did have to
queue on a Saturday evening after my room
key card randomly deactivated). Staf were
helpful, polite and friendly.
R O O M S At 28 sqm my Club Harbour View
King room felt small, though this seems to
be the city standard. The d閏or was smart
and neutral, with a dark-grey, diamondpatterned carpet and beige headboard and
curtains. The standout feature is the view:
floor-to-ceiling windows ofer a fabulous
panorama across Darling Harbour.
The room ofers all the essentials: an
iron/ironing board; tea- and cofee-making
facilities (with fresh milk in the fridge); a
well-stocked minibar with local beer priced
at A$10 (�60); a smallish, oval marbletopped table; and complimentary wifi, which
worked well in the room but tended to die
APRIL 2018
in the lobby area. A smart TV with Miracast
allows wireless mirroring of content from
your devices (movies available at an
additional fee). Thoughtful touches included
a complimentary fruit bowl and daily
replenishment of cake.
The bed itself was large and comfortable
? combined with great blackout curtains
and quiet, ambient air-conditioning, I had
a great rest. Both sides of the bed had two
plug sockets, but unfortunately they weren?t
universal. There was no master light switch
either, but the lighting system was intuitive.
The bathroom was clean and functional,
with Pharmacopia products and a highquality hairdryer.
One evening, I phoned reception for
a Samsung phone charger but was told
there were none left. It was quite late, and
it?s a large hotel, but this is the kind of
basic amenity I would expect in a premium
business hotel. A knock from room service
at 8.45am one morning also seemed a little
unreasonable, as many international travellers
are likely to still be getting ready for the day
at that time.
F O O D A N D D R I N K The main food outlet
is the all-day dining, 272-seat Sailmaker,
located beyond the lobby. It gets very busy
at breakfast and you are likely to have to
queue ? those with Club access should
avoid. During lunch, Sailmaker ofers a
health-focused bufet (great for a light
business lunch). At weekends the evening
?seafood table? shines, and after dinner
heading up to rooftop bar Zephyr is a must.
M E E T I N G S One of the standouts of this
property is its 3,700 sqm of state-of-the-art
One of this
property?s
standouts
is its 3,700
sqm of stateof-the-art
venue space
Hyatt Regency Sydney,
161 Sussex Street,
Sydney, New South
Wales, Australia, 2000;
+61 2 8099 1234;
sydney.regency.hyatt.
com
venue space. The two ballrooms feature
sail-like ceilings with customisable lighting
and Darling Harbour views. The venue also
ofers a car and goods lift, separate coach
check-in facility for expedited registration of
large groups, and 21 meeting rooms.
The Regency Club lounge has a striking
nautical design aesthetic. The lovely,
bright space ofers plenty of comfortable
and more formal seating arrangements, a
good continental breakfast bufet spread
(complete with egg cooking station),
evening canap閟 and cocktails, and an
elegant conference room.
L E I S U R E There?s a 24-hour fitness centre
with cardio and strength training facilities on
the 11th floor. Recently, the hotel entered into
a partnership with Canon to host a rotating
gallery in the hotel?s Heritage Caf�, built in
1887. Another piece of history connected to
the hotel is the historic Dundee Arms pub.
V E R D I C T Laid-back, Aussie-style
five-star, with an unpretentious focus on
practicality over chandeliers. Fantastic
location, good facilities and a comfortable
stay. Tamsin Cocks
businesstraveller.com
TRIED AND TESTED MUNICH HOTEL
Mandarin
Oriental,
Munich
BEST FOR
Staf that go the extra
mile and superlative
levels of comfort.
DON?T MISS
The rooftop bar in
summer and delicious
Japanese-Peruvian
food from the stable of
superstar chef Nobu
Matsuhisa.
B A C K G R O U N D Dating back to 1880, this
Neo-Renaissance property originally housed
the city?s ballroom. It?s been a hotel since
1990 and was taken over by the Mandarin
Oriental Hotel Group in 2000. The entire
ground floor and first floor were refurbished
two years ago.
PRICE
From ?600 a night for
a Superior Room with
queen bed.
W H E R E I S I T ? In the heart of Munich?s
old town (altstadt), conveniently located for
shopping with the boutiques and designer
stores of Maximilianstrasse a couple of
minutes to the north. Marienplatz (the central
square) is a five-minute walk, while Munich
International airport is a 30-minute drive.
W H A T ? S I T L I K E ? The hotel?s corner
location lends itself to some extravagant
architecture, with a wedding cake-like turret
bringing a sense of grandeur. Heavy doors
lead into a light, open lobby with plush goldflecked carpet, white walls and a dramatic
sweeping staircase. D閏or references
Munich?s vernacular style, but there are Far
Eastern flourishes.
The concierge desk can ofer assistance
with anything, from sorting out tours of the
city to charging phones (they have chargers
for every make) and helping with flight
cancellations. And staf have an uncanny
knack of somehow making guests feel
special yet at home.
R O O M S There are 48 guest rooms and
25 suites on a theme of East-meets-West.
Accommodation varies in size from the
Superior Rooms, from 33-35 sqm, to the
325 sqm Grand Presidential Suite. I was in a
Mandarin Room, 40-50 sqm. This bedroom
has parquet flooring and oriental rugs in
warm neutrals, with cherrywood NeoBiedermeier-style furniture. The king-size
bed is voluptuously comfortable and bedside
tables feature a drawer with controls for the
lighting and room service.
A sofa and cofee table sit opposite a
sideboard with Bang & Olufsen flatscreen
TV and a Nespresso machine on top. The
businesstraveller.com
CONTACT
Neuturnmstrasse 1,
80331, Munich, Germany;
+49 89 290 890;
mandarinoriental.com
85
In summer, guests can dine
al fresco or sip a cocktail
while drinking in the views
from the rootop bar
complimentary minibar ofers beers and
water, with snacks in the adjacent cupboard.
My only complaint is that a kettle and tea
are conspicuous by their absence.
Storage, meanwhile, is notable in its
generosity, with a capacious walk-in
wardrobe ofering a place for everything.
The large work desk has plug sockets,
universal plug converter and a tablet. Wifi is
fast and each room has a portable phone.
The marble-clad bathroom features a
heated floor, vanity unit, walk-in shower,
bath with handshower, and separate
toilet and bidet. There are Shanghai Tang
toiletries and cotton bathrobes. A turndown
service is also ofered.
privacy in conversation. This is also where
the extensive breakfast bufet is served.
The main bar in winter is the ground
floor Bar 31. It?s open in the evenings with
snacks served and good cocktails, as they
should be at these top prices. The Lounge
in the lobby also serves food and drinks
throughout the day. In summer, the rooftop
bar opens. Guests can dine al fresco or sip
a cocktail while drinking in the 360 views.
M E E T I N G S Three meeting rooms ofer
space for up to 150 guests. Events can be
catered and a complete ofice set-up is
available. There is also a business centre in
the lobby, with computer, printer and fax.
L E I S U R E In the summer months the
rooftop pool (for in-house guests) is open.
There is a small fitness centre with a steam
bath and sauna.
V E R D I C T Facilities are good, d閏or
F O O D A N D D R I N K Of the four food and
drink options, the highlight is Matsuhisa on
the first floor, from chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa
(of Nobu fame), which serves excellent
Japanese-Peruvian fusion in a sleek interior.
Although the atmosphere in the evening is
buzzing, tables are well spaced, ensuring
is elegant yet inviting and the entire
experience is one of comfort and ease.
Excellent bar and restaurant oferings add
to the impression that it would be easy to
ignore the charms of Munich and simply
enjoy the brief respite from not having to
worry about anything at all. Becky Ambury
APRIL 2018
T R I E D A N D T E S T E D LO N D O N R E S TAU R A N T S
COUNTER
DINING
Sabor
XTHE BARBARY
North African and
Sephardic-influenced
dishes around a busy
no-bookings counter
in Neal?s Yard, Covent
Garden. Charming
service, delicious food.
thebarbary.co.uk
Nieves Barrag醤 Mohacho is the Spanish chef
who was the driving force behind the Michelinstarred Barrafina. She has now set up her own
place just of Regent Street with her former
manager Jos� Etura. Compared to Barrafina,
Sabor seems huge, occupying two high-ceilinged
and airy floors. The ground floor is a no-bookings
bar and tapas counter. But the first floor dining
room adds something quite new.
The upstairs asador (?roasting spit?) room is
dominated by hefty, wooden shared tables that
are best suited to larger groups of people. Be
warned that it?s a very public space for a private
business meeting. If, however, you?re looking
to share a roasted Segovian suckling pig from
a wood-fired oven this is the place to do it.
Highlights of our meals were the crisp pig?s ears,
baked and meltingly tender with flavoursome
fat; and the Galician specialities such as the
empanada filled with cuttlefish and squid ink.
86
Hoppers
The original branch of Hoppers has been one of
the busiest restaurants in Soho since it opened in
2015. The brilliantly executed Sri Lankan dishes,
reasonable prices and no-bookings system have
ensured that there are queues every evening. But
leaving your number then waiting for a call back
isn?t for everyone; neither is the cramped seating.
This second branch of Hoppers in Marylebone
takes dinner bookings for parties of four or more.
The tables and chairs are well-spaced. The service
is slick and charming. But best of all, the food is
just as good as at the Soho branch.
The name derives from the bowl-shaped
pancakes called hoppers (or appam). A common
breakfast dish in the country, here they are teamed
with chutneys and sambols (relishes). Other
dishes are flavoured with roasted spices, such
as the bone marrow curry. There are plenty of
?short eats? (snacks) to keep you diverted, and an
unusually well-considered drinks list.
VERDICT A serendipitous find if you?re in
Marylebone, and a destination restaurant if you
crave the true tastes of the Sri Lankan kitchen.
Guy Dimond
XBREDDOS SOHO
Modern Mexican
small plates in the
vibrant Kingly Street,
near Oxford Circus.
The tacos are filled
with spicy explosions
of flavour.
breddostacos.
com
VERDICT The place for Spanish food enthusiasts.
Arrive very early to avoid a long wait for the tapas
bar, or book ahead and arrive with a group for the
dining room upstairs. Guy Dimond
HOURS
PRICE
CONTACT
GUY DIMOND
35-37 Heddon
Tue-Sat 12-2.30pm,
Asador:
5.30-10.30pm;
three-course dinner Street, W1B 4BR;
Sun 1-6pm
for two with wine, +44 (0)20 3319 8130;
saborrestaurants.
around �0
co.uk
APRIL 2018
XBAO FITZROVIA
This Fitzrovia branch
of the acclaimed Soho
caf�-restaurant has a
broadly similar menu of
Taiwanese street food
to the original, but the
huge advantage of
no queues.
baolondon.com
HOURS
Mon-Thur
12-2.30pm, 5.3010.30pm; Fri, Sat
12-10.30pm
FULL RE VIEWS AND MUCH MORE ON BUSINESSTRAVELLER .COM
PRICE
CONTACT
1 77 Wigmore
Three-course
dinner for two with Street, W1U 1QE; +44
drinks, around � (0)20 3319 8110;
hopperslondon.
com
businesstraveller.com
SMART TR AVELLER
Tipping around the world
Who and
how much
should you
tip when
abroad?
ipping etiquette varies
from country to country
? in the US it can feel
like you have to tip
everyone generously, while in
Japan tips are never expected.
T
(pubs serving quality
meals) in the UK add a
service charge of 10-12.5
per cent to the bill. Where
this is added, no tip is expected.
Otherwise, it?s customary to tip
around 10 per cent.
In pubs, tipping bar staf is
not common. On occasion,
you might buy the bartender
a drink. As for taxis, it is
customary to round up to
the nearest pound and let the
driver keep the change, or tip
10 per cent if it?s a long journey.
Porters tend to receive around
�for their service, maybe �at a higher-end hotel.
Tipping customs across
Europe are broadly similar to
the UK, with slight variations
from country to country.
incorporate service charges,
negating the need to tip.
In hotels, one usually tips for
the entire hotel staf, generally
5-7 per cent and usually put in
a central tipping box near the
front desk. Sometimes, if there
are no tipping boxes, bellboys
will expect a small tip. here is
no need to pay auto-rickshaw
drivers, taxi drivers or porters
more than the agreed fare.
JAPAN
Tipping in Japan is never
expected. Ofered tips will be
refused and may be considered
ofensive. he only exceptions
are tour guides. Although it
is not obligatory, tour guides
do accept tips and will not be
insulted by the gesture.
UNITED STATE S
US establishments usually don?t
include service charges in the
bill. In restaurants you typically
add 15-25 per cent, with highend restaurants tending towards
25 per cent. If a waiter or waitress
performs phenomenally well, the
tip could climb to 30 per cent.
he general rule for tipping
bartenders is US$1 per drink.
Porters receive US$1-2 per bag
and taxi drivers are usually given
a 10-15 per cent. Cofee shops
or fast food restaurants may
put tip jars next to the cash
register; however, do not feel
obliged to leave a tip. Over-thecounter services generally are not
rewarded with tips. Hairdressers,
masseuses and other personal
services are typically tipped
15-20 per cent.
UK AND EUROPE
Unlike the US, many restaurants
and some caf閟 and gastropubs
b u s i n e s s t r a v e l l e r. c o m
Taxi drivers are not usually
given gratuities, but some
hotel staf may expect tips of
around 10 per cent. In Israel,
the standard tip for porters is six
shekels per bag and four shekels
per day for housekeepers.
SOUTH AFRICA
South Africa has an informal
system of tipping car guards,
R2-R5, to assist you with
parking and discourage thieves
as thet is so prevalent. Tipping
at restaurants in South Africa
is usually around 10 per cent,
but it is customary to tip 10-20
per cent to bartenders. Hotel
porters get between R10-R100
and in cabs the total cost is
rounded up to the nearest R10.
CHINA
MIDDLE EAST
AUSTRALIA AND
NEW ZEALAND
Tipping in most Asian
countries is less widely practised
than in the US, UK or Europe.
In China, it is very rare, though
upmarket restaurants may
garner a meagre 2-3 per cent
in tips. Westernised cities such
as Hong Kong and Macau
incorporate 10-15 per cent
service charges, so there is no
need to tip on top of that.
In most other cases, such as
with taxis or hotels, no tip is
given. However, in Hong Kong,
bellboys usually receive HK$510 per piece of luggage.
Most countries in the Middle
East will expect to see 10-15 per
cent tips at restaurants. Cities
such as Dubai typically add
10-15 per cent service charges
to the bill, though it is still
customary to tip an additional
5-6 per cent on top of that.
Neither Australia nor New
Zealand have strong cultures
of tipping. Tipping is never
socially required, so it?s all up to
the customer. It is slightly more
common with taxis and hotels
than restaurants ? $2 might be
given to cab drivers or bellhops.
INDIA
Restaurants in India usually
accept 7-10 per cent tips, but
the larger the bill, the lower the
percentage. For example, on
bills above Rs1,000, a 5-7 per
cent tip will suice. Restaurants
in Delhi and Mumbai oten
In the US it can feel
like you have to tip
everyone generously,
while in Japan tips
are never expected
SOUTH AMERICA
Tipping tour guides is common
in South America; generally
10 per cent of the cost. Hotel
doormen tend to receive
equivalents of US$1-2, and
taxi drivers accept tips, though
it is not expected. In countries
such as Paraguay and Peru
service workers are not paid
much, so tipping in all cases is
appreciated. In restaurants, tips
are around 10 per cent, higher
or lower depending on service.
Where service charges are
added, tips are not expected.
APRIL 2018
87
SMART TR AVELLER
Getting between
ogether, London?s Heathrow
and Gatwick airports served
123.6 million passengers in
2017, making them easily the
two busiest airports in the UK. But with
approximately 68km distance between
them, it can be diicult to ind the best
way to transfer from one to the other.
Gone are the days of Airlink?s helicopter
transfer service between the two airports,
which ran from 1978 to 1986, though
private helicopter services can still be
rented for large sums of money.
Here we outline the best options by
coach (bus), car or train.
T
London Heathrow and
Gatwick airport?
...by coach, car or train
COACH
National Express coaches run directly between Heathrow and Gatwick up to six times an hour, with more
than 80 services a day in each direction. he journey takes approximately 65 minutes, and prices for advance
tickets start from � one-way and � return. Tickets can also be bought on boarding. Coaches going to
and from Terminals 2 and 3 arrive and depart from Heathrow Central bus station, while coaches going to
and from Terminals 4 and 5 arrive and depart outside of their respective terminals. For more information
or to book tickets, call National Express at 0871 781 8181 or爒isit nationalexpress.com. Megabus coaches
run direct between Heathrow and Gatwick (and back) hourly, with similar journey times. Book tickets in
advance online for as little as �one-way, plus a 50p booking fee, at megabus.com.
88
CAR
A wide range of chaufeur services are available for transferring between airports. Prices for these services are
usually per car, not per person. BA Transfer ofers airport transfers usually for less than � (batransfer.com).
Airport Cars does the same and its most recent fares start from � for a car with space for four passengers
(airportscars.co.uk). For a slightly more expensive option (starting from �), Heathrow has an arrangement
with Tristar for travel between the airports or into London and other destinations (tristarworldwide.com).
Alternatively, Uber drivers regularly make the trip, and are typically cheaper than the above companies ?
though fares can change radically depending on time and circumstance.
TRAIN
Other airports in this
series of travel guides
are
London Heathrow,
London Gatwick,
and New York JFK.
Find them at
businesstraveller.com
APRIL 2018
You can also travel from Heathrow into London and then back out again to Gatwick by train, though
the connections are not straightforward. he main terminals for Heathrow (Paddington) and Gatwick
(Victoria) are almost 5km apart, and require a further connection. he most popular way is to take the
Bakerloo and Victoria lines on the Underground with a journey time of 15-30 minutes. Taxi is another
viable option, although traic means the 15-minute drive will oten take much longer.
Gatwick Express trains run non-stop between London Victoria and Gatwick Airport up to four times an
hour. he journey takes 30 minutes, and standard-class adult single tickets cost �.80 online or �.90 at
the Gatwick or Victoria ticket oices. All rail services operate from Gatwick?s South Terminal, though there
is an inter-terminal shuttle service between the North and South Terminals that takes only two minutes.
Timetables for Gatwick Express trains can be found at gatwickexpress.com.
he options for travelling between Heathrow and Paddington are changing. he fastest is the Heathrow
Express train to Paddington (every 15 minutes), which takes 15 minutes. It costs from � online for a single
journey. Other options are the District and Piccadilly lines on the Underground (50min, �80). From May
20 the Heathrow Connect train service will be taken over by Tl, in preparation for Crossrail improvements.
Finally, an alternative route is via London bus route 285 from Heathrow to Feltham, and then train from
Feltham to Gatwick. You will need an Oyster card or a contactless bank card for the bus leg, as cash fares are
not accepted (90min-2hrs, from �80 with Oyster card). For details, visit tl.gov.uk.
businesstraveller.com
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We also arrange the most complex itineraries.
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rchive
Travel in the year that
Freddie Laker was knighted,
and he Hitchhiker?s
Guide to the Galaxy was
broadcast on Radio 4
90
WHEN BUSINESS TRAVELLER first
started publishing back in 1976, it
promised to offer ?The Insider?s Guide
to Cheaper Travel?. It was quarterly in
those sedate days, yet issue 6, Spring
1978, demonstrates that much was the
same then as now.
?Can British Airways ever win you back??
was the coverline. ?Or have you flown The
Flag for the last time? Join our heated (but
we hope) constructive debate.?
As the then-editor said, ?The flow of
complaints that Business Traveller receives
from readers about British Airways
is second only to complaints against
individual travel agents.? The travel agents
may have largely gone, but as the editor in
2018, I can echo the sentiment.
There was a noticeable dearth of
photography on the 98 pages, but
there were dozens of pages listing fares,
something no longer necessary in
the internet age. Instead there were
cartoons that would rightly be deemed
offensively sexist these days illustrating
an article called ?In-flight fantasising?.
The correspondent described his various
daydreams about romantic assignations
with the flight staff, and described the
supposed typical physical characteristics
of female flight attendants, airline by
airline and nationality by nationality. The
French, for instance, are dismissed as ?all
Chanel no.5, faultless legs and too chic to
smile?. Thankfully, he decided, ?I had better
not go into my Scandinavian stewardess
airborne fantasies.? BT
APRIL 2018
HIGHLIGHTS
PIA
Pakistan International Airlines advertised
recent successes with increases in
passenger numbers of 3% year on year.
New York
?Eight shun-worthy New York eateries,?
? though thankfully, and more usefully,
there were also 35 to recommend.
Ex-London tickets
Europeans buy tickets through the UK
to cut costs ? ironic, because today
many UK residents buy through Europe
starting journeys in Amsterdam, Oslo or
Copenhagen, then flying back through
Heathrow and on to their destinations.
Lord Beaverbrook
A feature about travelling with the Daily
Express ?god of journalism? starting
with a Queen Mary cruise to New York.
?Offensively sexist
cartoons accompanied
an article called
?In-flight fantasising??
businesstraveller.com
but not truly low cost, and is pitched at
millennials; but some French millennials I
spoke to recently said they didn?t understand
what the airline was about.
IAG, on the other hand, has a multi-faceted
response to the LHLCC phenomenon and is
joining the party in earnest by using several of
the airlines in its portfolio. Aer Lingus, a lean,
mean ighting machine, is expanding its North
Atlantic activity out of the Republic of Ireland
with plenty of feed potential to and from
the UK and Europe. It has also introduced
cheaper economy fares with fewer frills ? and
it has scored where Norwegian failed, by
reaching a feeder deal with Ryanair that?s to
come into place later this year. his deal will
boost its ability to ill seats on its long-haul
lights. British Airways is also introducing the
no-frills economy fares, bringing densiied
Boeing 777s with 10-abreast economy seats
to London Gatwick, but also including more
higher-proit premium economy seats. his
will allow BA to deliver lower unit costs than
Norwegian can on its B787s. IAG has also
established its own LHLCC airline, Level,
which has started services to North and
South America from Barcelona and begins
operations from Paris Orly in summer. Level
can obtain feed from IAG stablemate Vueling
at both airports and uses Airbus A330 aircrat
that consume more fuel, but are cheaper to
buy or lease.
It?s going to be interesting to see how this
plays out in the years ahead. here are going
to be winners and losers, and we could see
some big shocks, but it looks like the LHLCC
model is here to stay. BT
businesstraveller.com
ILLUSTRATION: BENJAMIN SOUTHAN
ong-haul low-cost carriers
needed to pay for the new and eicient,
(LHLCCs) operate the airline
yet expensive, aircrat that airlines such as
business model of the moment.
Norwegian have on order.
Some would argue we?ve been
Using low prices to stimulate traic results
in more reliance on leisure customers, who
here before, with ainity charters
can be easily tempted away by competitors. So
(get a group together and travel cheaper),
LHLCCs are tackling this by ofering more
or with Laker?s Skytrain of the 1970s, or
lucrative premium seats with additional space,
indeed numerous other iterations of long-haul
meals and added frills.
charter lights. Today?s LHLCC airlines are
pricing their fares low to steal traic from
NEW STRATEGIES
incumbent carriers on existing routes; but
Seasonality is another challenge. In many
more signiicantly, they are also stimulating
markets, not even low fares will ill the aircrat
new traic and opening up new markets.
on a year-round basis, resulting in the need
hey are being aided by a new generation
to ind other counter-seasonal markets. Full
of fuel-eicient aircrat, such as the B787
service network carriers get
Dreamliner or the A350,
over this by feeding high
both of which carry fewer
When short-haul
volumes of short-haul traic
passengers than previous
LCCs began to grow, onto their long-haul lights
wide-bodied aircrat. Less
airlines didn?t take
at their hubs. LHLCCs need
fuel consumption and fewer
their own feed. Around half
seats reduces risk when
the model seriously
of Airasia X?s passengers
testing new markets. Two
until it was too late
connect from Airasia
companies are taking the
short-haul lights. Outside
lead: Airasia X operating
of Scandinavia, where
out of Malaysia in the Asian
Norwegian has the density
markets, and Norwegian in European
of short-haul schedules to do
and translatlantic markets Being
the same thing, the Nordicpopular and attractive to
based airline needs to ind other
customers is one thing,
solutions. Ryanair would have
achieving proitability and
made a good partner, but the two
long-term sustainability is
airlines have fallen out, so no deal there.
another, however.
If this wasn?t enough of a challenge, there?s
To date, Airasia X has
been a response from long-haul network
delivered limited proitability, while
carriers. When short-haul LCCs began to
Norwegian turned in a signiicant loss for
grow, existing airlines didn?t take the model
2017. We are going to see more LHLCCs
seriously until it was too late. Lessons have
arrive on the scene, but I?d be surprised to
been learned, and that mistake will not be
see the level of success that?s been witnessed
repeated. Luthansa has now set up a long
for short-haul LCCs. here are many inbuilt
-haul arm of its LCC Eurowings, and Air
challenges to delivering the proit margins
When your business needs
expert advice provided by
a quali?ed, reliable and
trustworthy legal team ?
use a solicitor
Solicitors. Here to help
Talk to your solicitor or visit www.lawsociety.org.uk/here-to-help
The Law Society
@LawSocietyFAS
WATC H E S
LESS IS
MORE
WORDS CHRIS HALL
70
Breitling?s image has long
been derring-do, even
macho. But with a new
CEO and smaller watches,
the Swiss company is now
getting in touch with its
feminine side
RIGHT: Breitling
Navitimer 8B01
APRIL 2018
Y
ou know Breitling. You?ll have seen
the ad campaigns ? fronted by John
Travolta, and until recently, David
Beckham ? at the airport. Perhaps
you?ll have seen the enormous Bond
Street premises in London, and the
nearly as enormous watches.
Breitling has courted controversy with
its boutique decorations of pop-art pin-up
girls astride bulging missiles; it holds the
industry?s largest and wildest party at the
annual trade fair in Baselworld (helicopter
displays, Jacuzzis, dancers and live animals);
and it runs one of the world?s few private
air display teams. It?s one of the larger
manufacturers, making some 140,000
watches a year, but for all that it hasn?t quite
been on top form recently.
If Breitling were a person, it would be
that friend from university who hasn?t quite
let his partying twenties behind. You know
the type: a irst-team lad with a crooked jaw
and full-volume laugh, who scraped a 2.1
in Economics despite sitting his last exam
in a skirt from the night before. Now he?s
43, and his friends have made partner at
the irm, moved to the country and have a
Porsche in the drive. Meanwhile, he?s still
got the bachelor pad in east London and
a hangover every morning. Natural talent,
force of personality and a good family name
have got him so far, but there?s a wake-up
?
call in the po
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