Two awards for Global Travel Management

Global Travel Management received two prestigious awards last week, awarded by the Advantage Travel Partnership. 

The annual Big Celebration Lunch is the spectacular annual gathering of suppliers and partners to Advantage, which is the third-largest travel consortium in Europe.  

Marketing win: the Advantage trophy for Best Marketing Initiative/Campaign

Hosted by television presenter Mark Durden-Smith and opened by Advantage CEO Julia Lo Bue-Said, the 2023 event took place at the London Hilton Bankside and marked the return to the face-to-face celebration for the first time since the pandemic. 

Global Travel Management’s first award of the event was the “Marketing Campaign/Initiative 2023”, for GTM’s Sales and Marketing Teams.  

Mark Wilson, Global Travel Management’s Marketing Director said, 

This award celebrated the work we do to engage with businesses around the UK.  Our weekly email newsletters have proved a very popular way to provide news updates to business travellers, travel bookers and individuals for whom corporate travel plays an important part in their day-to-day business.  Not everyone can expect to spend the time keeping up to date on the ever-changing business travel landscape, so a weekly digest has proven to be a well-read, much appreciated resource.

Individual subscribers to the newsletter can find out all they need to know about business travel from the weekly newsletter.  And, if they need more information, they can reach out to our team. 

The biggest award of the event, however, was the final announcement of the day.  

Spotlight Award: Scott Pawley with the 2023 Advantage Spotlight Winner’s trophy

The Advantage Spotlight Award is reserved for the individual who has demonstrated a positive contribution to the industry. 

Scott Pawley, Managing Director of Global Travel Management was named as the 2023 winner. 

Scott was described as having gone above and beyond throughout the course of 2023. 

The dedication went on to say Scott “has led his business with ambition and dynamism” and recognised Scott’s “drive to fully maximise the use of technology to drive a first-class service to his corporate customers”.  

Scott said, after the event, 

I am delighted to receive this award. And I am particularly pleased that it has been presented for the way in which Global Travel Management has been able to deliver a first class service to every customer, by combining state of the art travel technology products and a team of experienced professional travel consultants with unrivalled experience in the business travel sector. 

The dedication for Scott’s award also highlighted other areas of Global Travel Management’s business.  

Scott added 

We have worked hard to neutralise the environmental impact of doing business with Global Travel Management.  That’s why we have devoted so much time and expense in ensuring that we go beyond net zero by expanding the forest of trees planted by Global Travel Management and our customers to sequester all the carbon created by everything we do, every day. 

You can find more about the GTM Carbon Offset Programme here.  And, if you would like to subscribe – free of charge – to the weekly Global Travel Management business travel newsletter, drop us an email to

British Airways unveils spectacular ‘British Original Christmas’ celebrations for 2023

In a festive extravaganza, British Airways is celebrating Christmas like never before, spreading holiday cheer to its customers with a myriad of delightful surprises.

Anticipating an impressive 380,000 Christmas dinners served, the airline has transformed its flights into winter wonderlands, ensuring a memorable experience for all its passengers.

Christmas dinner: First class passengers can enjoy chestnut stuffed British roast turkey with all the trimmings

Decking the halls from the check-in counters to the onboard experience, British Airways has gone the extra mile to create a Christmas spectacle at London Heathrow, Gatwick, and City airports.

Festive check-in screens, Christmas decor, and seasonal music greet travelers, setting the tone for a magical journey.

Lounges have been adorned with bespoke Christmas menus, cookies, gingerbread, and mulled wine, accompanied by a special festive scent featuring cinnamon and spices.

Collaborating with Hotel Chocolat, the Concorde Room offers a hot chocolate winter warmer, while the First lounge tempts passengers with a festive chocolate cream cocktail.

An exclusive winter wonderland, crafted by a British Original artist using ‘snow graffiti,’ welcomes customers on the walkway between main lounges in Heathrow Terminal 5, showcasing a snowy British skyline scene.

Bespoke bauble: British Airways has a special gift for premium passengers on 24 and 25 December

Upon boarding, passengers are serenaded by Christmas music and seated on festively adorned seats featuring specially designed headrest covers with the airline’s bespoke Christmas ribbon design.

As a sweet farewell, all passengers receive chocolates upon departure.

Taking the festive spirit to 35,000 feet, long-haul travellers can indulge in traditional Christmas dinners served on themed trays, totaling a staggering 380,000 meals.

With over 1,500 hours of inflight entertainment, including 20 classic Christmas films and 50 TV Christmas specials on the dedicated ‘Christmas countdown’ channel, British Airways ensures a jolly time in the air.

Festive scented soap in the onboard restrooms adds to the holiday ambiance.

For its most premium customers traveling on December 24 and 25, British Airways presents a special gift – a beautifully hand-painted, bespoke glass Christmas bauble.

Calum Laming, Chief Customer Officer of British Airways, expressed the airline’s excitement, saying,

Christmas is one of our favorite times of the year – customers and colleagues alike – and we’re all really excited to spread some holiday cheer over the coming weeks, both at the airport and in the skies.

We hope these special touches, both big and small, help make our customers’ journey, wherever it may be, as original and extra special as possible. To all our customers, however you are celebrating, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Those in Euro Traveller on short-haul flights won’t miss out, with a selection of festive treats available for purchase through the airline’s High Life Café. Options include Tom Kerridge’s turkey feast sandwich, Pullin’s Gingerbread Muffin, and LoveRaw’s vegan M:lk Choc Cre&m bar, along with Christmas spirits like Black Cow’s Christmas Spirit vodka and Brewdog’s Elf lager.

For more information about this festive experience and other personalized travel services, contact your Global Travel Management Account Manager.

Flight100: Virgin Atlantic’s epic journey proves SAF as viable jet fuel replacement

In a groundbreaking achievement for the aviation industry, Virgin Atlantic has successfully completed Flight100, a historic journey from London Heathrow to New York JFK, powered entirely by Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).

The milestone flight, conducted on a Boeing 787 with Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, is a testament to the viability of SAF as a safe and efficient replacement for traditional fossil-derived jet fuel.

Sir Richard: Virgin Atlantic founder Branson said “The world will always assume something can’t be done, until you do it”

This unprecedented accomplishment, marking the first commercial airline flight across the Atlantic fueled exclusively by 100% SAF, was the result of a year-long collaboration led by Virgin Atlantic.

The consortium, which included key partners such as Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Imperial College London, University of Sheffield, ICF, and Rocky Mountain Institute, worked in conjunction with the Department for Transport to make this historic journey possible.

The SAF used in Flight100 is a unique dual blend, consisting of 88% Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA) supplied by AirBP and 12% Synthetic Aromatic Kerosene (SAK) supplied by Virent, a subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum Corporation. Notably, HEFA is derived from waste fats, while SAK is produced from plant sugars, with the remaining plant proteins, oil, and fibres continuing into the food chain. This combination not only demonstrates the versatility of SAF but also contributes to the airline’s commitment to sustainability.

The significance of Flight100 extends beyond its symbolic nature. Shai Weiss, Chief Executive Officer, Virgin Atlantic said:

Flight100 proves that Sustainable Aviation Fuel can be used as a safe, drop-in replacement for fossil-derived jet fuel and it’s the only viable solution for decarbonising long haul aviation. It’s taken radical collaboration to get here and we’re proud to have reached this important milestone, but we need to push further.

There’s simply not enough SAF and it’s clear that in order to reach production at scale, we need to see significantly more investment. This will only happen when regulatory certainty and price support mechanisms, backed by Government, are in place.

Flight100 proves that if you make it, we’ll fly it.

SAF has emerged as a crucial element in the decarbonisation of long-haul aviation, providing CO2 lifecycle emissions savings of up to 70%.

Unlike other technologies such as electric and hydrogen, SAF is available for immediate use.

Sir Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Atlantic said:

The world will always assume something can’t be done, until you do it. The spirit of innovation is getting out there and trying to prove that we can do things better for everyone’s benefit. Virgin Atlantic has been challenging the status quo and pushing the aviation industry to never settle and do better since 1984. Fast forward nearly 40 years, that pioneering spirit continues to be Virgin Atlantic’s beating heart as it pushes the boundaries from carbon fibre aircraft and fleet upgrades to sustainable fuels. I couldn’t be prouder to be onboard Flight100 today alongside the teams at Virgin Atlantic and our partners, which have been working together to set the flight path for the decarbonisation of long-haul aviation.

Mark Harpper: The Transport Secretary said ““This Government will continue to support the UK’s emerging SAF industry as it creates jobs, grows the economy and gets us to Jet Zero”

Currently representing less than 0.1% of global jet fuel volumes, the success of Flight100 underscores that scaling up production is a matter of policy and investment.

The industry and government have the opportunity to collaborate to foster a thriving UK SAF industry.

Flight100 also serves as a platform to assess the impact of SAF on non-carbon emissions.

Consortium partners, including ICF, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), Imperial College London, and the University of Sheffield, will contribute to research that enhances scientific understanding of contrails and particulates, subsequently influencing flight planning processes.

Virgin Atlantic’s commitment to sharing data and research with the industry underscores its dedication to fostering sustainable practices.

Global Travel Management has received accolades for its industry-leading efforts to decarbonise business travel. Scott Pawley, Global Travel Management managing director explained

Our customers tell us that one of the crucial factors that influences their decisions as to when, how and where to travel is the environmental impact. That’s why we launched the GTM Carbon Offset Programme to build an ever-expanding forest of trees to sequester carbon from the atmosphere when customers travel on business.

But I share Sir Richard Branson’s view that we should prove we can do things better for everyone’s benefit. That’s why we at GTM now offset all the carbon emissions from the day-to-day running of the business. Not just our flights and hotels, but our electricity consumption, commuting, power, heating, lighting and even the carbon costs of colleagues working from home.

Transatlantic SAF-only flights are another step in the right direction and I commend Virgin Atlantic for the actions they are taking.

Virgin Atlantic, known for operating one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient fleets, reaffirms its dedication to finding more sustainable ways to fly.

Flight100 builds on the airline’s 15-year track record of leading SAF development at scale.

Looking ahead, the industry and government must intensify efforts to create a UK SAF industry and achieve aviation’s ambitious 10% SAF target by 2030.

This pursuit is expected to contribute significantly to the UK’s economy, with an estimated £1.8 billion in Gross Value Added and the creation of over 10,000 jobs.

As Virgin Atlantic continues to champion sustainable aviation, business travellers are encouraged to reach out to their Global Travel Account Manager for more information on how these advancements impact their future travel experiences.

Simon Burr, Group Director of Engineering, Technology & Safety, Rolls-Royce plc, said:

We are incredibly proud that our Trent 1000 engines are powering the first ever widebody flight using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel across the Atlantic. Rolls-Royce has recently completed compatibility testing of 100% SAF on all our in-production civil aero engine types and this is further proof that there are no engine technology barriers to the use of 100% SAF. The flight represents a major milestone for the entire aviation industry in its journey towards net zero carbon emissions.

The successful completion of Flight100 marks a pivotal moment in the journey towards a more sustainable and eco-friendly aviation industry.

From Mirabel to Melbourne: QantasLink welcomes game-changing A220 aircraft

In a significant milestone for the Qantas Group’s fleet renewal initiative, the first brand new Airbus A220 has emerged from the paintshop at Airbus’ facility in Mirabel, Canada.

The aircraft, set to touch down in Australia before the year’s end, is the inaugural unit of 29 A220s slated for delivery to the Group, marking a strategic move in its domestic fleet renewal plan.

This modern generation of QantasLink A220s is designed to gradually replace the Boeing 717s currently servicing flights across Australia. Boasting double the range of the 717, the A220 is poised to open up novel domestic and short-haul international routes, expanding the airline’s operational reach as additional aircraft are incorporated into the fleet.

QantasLink A220: 137 passenger seats in a two-cabin configuration with 10 Business seats and 127 seats in Economy

This delivery represents the twelfth new aircraft within the past 12 months for the Qantas Group, showcasing their commitment to a more sustainable and efficient fleet.

The A321LR aircraft for Jetstar and the Boeing 787 Dreamliners for Qantas International have already joined the ranks, all contributing to reduced fuel consumption, lower emissions, and a quieter travel experience compared to their predecessors.

Over the last six months, the QantasLink A220 has taken shape at the Mirabel facility, with key components sourced from various global facilities, including wings manufactured in the United Kingdom.

Adorned in a striking Aboriginal paint scheme during its two-week stint in the paintshop, this aircraft is the sixth addition to Qantas’ longstanding Flying Art Series.

Launched in 1994, the Flying Art Series has been a canvas for Indigenous Australian artwork, with the latest livery featuring the creations of senior Pitjantjatjara artist Maringka Baker.

Named “Minyma Kutjara Tjukurpa – The Two Sisters Creation Story,” the aircraft showcases a Dreaming narrative of two sisters traversing remote Australia together. The collaboration with Indigenous Australian design agency Balarinji and First Nations artists underscores Qantas’ ongoing commitment to celebrating Australia’s rich cultural heritage.

Qantas Group CEO, Vanessa Hudson, envisions the QantasLink A220s as a game-changer for domestic and regional travel. She said,

These aircraft have the potential to change the way our customers travel across the country, with the ability to connect any two cities or towns in Australia

The enhanced speed and convenience are poised to redefine business and leisure travel, presenting new opportunities for both passengers and the airline’s operational staff.

The Airbus A220 (registration VH-X4A) will undergo post-production test flights and be equipped with Qantas-specific features before officially joining the airline’s fleet by year-end.

It will ferry from Quebec to Australia, initially servicing flights between Melbourne and Canberra, with an additional six A220s scheduled for delivery by mid-2025.

For further information on this groundbreaking development or to explore the enhanced possibilities for your business travel, feel free to reach out to your dedicated Global Travel Account Manager.

Heathrow’s October Triumph: Soaring to 4th on Global Aviation Map

Heathrow Airport has achieved a milestone as the 4th largest global hub after a bustling October with nearly 7 million passengers.

Heathrow is gearing up for the peak festive travel season, boosted by strong demand that propelled it to the 4th largest globally.

The airport witnessed 2.2 million passengers during the October half-term, with popular destinations including Dubai, New York, and Los Angeles.

Despite weeks of heavy rain and two named storms, Team Heathrow colleagues ensured excellent service, keeping the airport operations smooth.

Hong Kong, reopening its borders, became Heathrow’s 12th “millionaire route” for the year, surpassing 1 million passengers, joining the ranks of Doha, JFK, and Delhi.

As winter approaches, sun-seekers have an expanded choice with 11 new airline routes from Heathrow, including the UK’s only direct connection to Peru.

Additionally, Heathrow now offers more flights to ski destinations globally than any other UK airport, serving 239 destinations in 89 countries.

Preparations for the upcoming holiday peaks are underway at Heathrow, with the launch of various retail offerings in the coming weeks. Passengers can anticipate opportunities to win Christmas vouchers for retailers such as Watches for Switzerland, inMotion, Rituals, and World Duty Free. A Christmas ad campaign is also in the works, highlighting festive travel stories that underscore the significance of traveling to see loved ones during the holidays.

Heathrow CEO Thomas Woldbye commented on the airport’s recent success, saying,

I’ve learned a lot about Heathrow in my first few weeks, but one thing that really stands out to me is the passion and drive of colleagues to get people away smoothly on their journeys. We look forward to welcoming passengers from across the world over the upcoming festive season with a friendly face to lend a helping hand. If your journey sees you traveling through Heathrow, we’ve got you covered, from attractive shops to meet your gifting needs to restaurants for all the family; we will ensure a seamless start to your holiday plans.

For more information on Heathrow’s offerings and services, contact your Global Travel Management Account Manager.

Radisson RED unveils contemporary oasis in Helsinki’s historic Kaisaniemi Park

Radisson RED, the vibrant hotel brand renowned for its contemporary design and art-centric ethos, has made its debut in Helsinki, the green capital of the world’s happiest country.

Nestled in a modernist masterpiece within the historic Kaisaniemi Park, Radisson RED Helsinki promises an inspiring blend of art, culture, and relaxation at the pulse of the Finnish capital.

Urban Oasis: Radisson RED Helsinki captures city sophistication and serenity

Designed by the acclaimed Finnish architecture firm Anttinen Oiva Arkkitehdit, the eight-story Radisson RED Helsinki boasts 195 stylish rooms and suites, each showcasing the brand’s signature cutting-edge design. With its strategic location within walking distance of Helsinki Central Station, the iconic Oodi library, and vibrant hotspots, the hotel is a gateway to the city’s architectural marvels and cultural hubs.

One of the standout features of Radisson RED Helsinki is its commitment to art. The lobby welcomes guests with a three-meter red artwork inspired by the monumental “lantern carriers” sculpture at Helsinki Railway Station. Hanging proudly in the hotel’s center is Finnish artist Jenni Rope’s 24-metre tall mobile masterpiece, “Gust of Wind,” bringing the verdant beauty of Kaisaniemi Park indoors.

The ground floor beckons with the RED Bar and Kitchen, offering a laid-back dining experience and a trendy bar with an outdoor terrace overlooking Kaisaniemi Park. This space, open from morning until late, becomes a hub for socialising, featuring DJs, local artists and availability for private events.

Radisson RED Helsinki also introduces the RED Guide, a curated insider’s guide to Helsinki’s authentic local sights and unique experiences, crafted in collaboration with the City of Helsinki and locals.

Unveiling in January 2024 at the grand opening party, the guide promises to reveal hidden gems and provide guests with a local’s perspective on the city.

Tom Flanagan Karttunen, Area Senior VP for Northern and Western Europe at Radisson Hotel Group, expressed excitement about the launch, stating,

Radisson RED Helsinki is our fourth Radisson RED in Scandinavia, following the success of our properties in Denmark and Oslo. Its focus on cutting-edge design and art, combined with a relaxed setting, has resonated well with Nordic travellers. We look forward to welcoming both local and international guests to this vibrant addition to our portfolio.

General Manager Mika Virtanen added,

We’re proud to open Finland’s first Radisson RED in Helsinki and work with prestigious designers, artists, and architects, reflecting Radisson RED’s award-winning design-focused ethos. Radisson RED Helsinki is an excellent base for exploring the design, architecture, and urban culture of Helsinki.

Radisson RED brand movie

For those eager to delve deeper into the authentic experiences Radisson RED Helsinki has to offer, the invitation is extended to contact their Global Travel Account Manager for further information. Discover the allure of Helsinki through the lens of Radisson RED, where bold design meets local immersion.

British Airways completes Heathrow Terminal 5B lounge refresh: a premium travel experience awaits

British Airways has concluded the final phase of its lounge refresh at London Heathrow Terminal 5B, bringing a host of exciting enhancements for its premium customers.

This substantial makeover introduces a new servery area, deli station, updated furniture, and the addition of a serene quiet zone.

The latest upgrades come on the heels of British Airways’ launch of the exclusive Whispering Angel bar earlier in the summer within the T5B lounge.

The improvements extend across the airline’s First and Club lounges located at London Heathrow Terminal 3, delivering a superior experience for travellers.

In addition, a brand-new bar has been installed in the First lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 5, further elevating the premium offering.

Expert garnishing: the live food preparation area

One of the most notable features in the T5B lounge is the live food preparation area, where customers can witness their meals being expertly garnished with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

This culinary innovation offers a delightful gastronomic experience for travellers.

For those who prefer a self-service dining experience, the redesigned deli area provides an extensive selection of hot and cold dishes, including a range of breakfast options, sandwiches, and light bites, ensuring that there is something for everyone.

Bespoke furniture: the lounge’s makeover includes soft furnishings, flooring and seating

The lounge’s makeover extends beyond food and beverage offerings.

The refreshing of the lounge includes the introduction of bespoke furniture, new flooring, and soft furnishings.

These updates contribute to a more elevated and comfortable ambiance.

Additionally, the introduction of a quiet zone provides travellers with a serene space to relax before their flight.

Calum Laming, British Airways’ Chief Customer Officer, emphasised the airline’s commitment to enhancing the airport experience, especially for premium customers, stating,

We want to ensure we offer something for everyone using our lounges, whether that’s providing an area for those who wish to relax, catch up on work, or somewhere for our customers to enjoy our British Original-inspired dishes. We hope these changes go a long way in making a difference to our customers’ experience before their flight.

Onboard, British Airways has introduced new seasonal winter menus for all customers and delightful snack boxes for those traveling in World Traveller (economy) and World Traveller Plus (premium economy) on long-haul routes.

These snack boxes contain a variety of sweet and savoury treats, including chocolates, biscuits and popcorn, and are offered to customers as a mid-flight snack.

The airline is not stopping at lounge enhancements.

They have plans to add new furniture and day beds to the Concorde Room and Arrivals lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 5.

In the coming months, British Airways is set to implement further upgrades to its Edinburgh lounge and will unveil a brand-new bar and an enhanced menu in its Seattle lounge next year.

As part of its ongoing commitment to provide a truly exceptional experience, British Airways has also created the ultimate martini in its Concorde Room, in collaboration with mixologist Mr Lyan and designed by engineering experts, Bremont and CALLUM.

British Airways continues to lead the way in providing premium services and experiences for its customers, making each journey truly remarkable.

For further information on these exciting developments and to experience the upgraded lounge facilities, travellers are encouraged to contact their Global Travel Account Manager.

Air Canada’s upgraded Airbus A321: redefining the business travel experience

Air Canada introduces an upgraded Airbus A321 with cutting-edge cabin enhancements, including larger overhead bins, Bluetooth audio, real-time exterior cameras, and more, offering UK-based business travelers an elevated travel experience.

Air Canada has proudly introduced passengers to a new era of air travel comfort and technology, unveiling their first upgraded Airbus A321 with an entirely revamped interior and groundbreaking in-flight features. This milestone event promises to elevate the flying experience for UK-based business travellers.

The reimagined Airbus A321 boasts a series of innovative enhancements to ensure passengers enjoy unparalleled comfort and connectivity. Some of the key highlights of the cabin improvements include:

  • Larger Overhead Bins: The latest Airbus Airspace XL design features the largest overhead bins in its class, ensuring ample storage for passengers’ belongings. These spacious bins will also be incorporated into the Airbus A321XLRs.
  • Upgraded Seating: Business Class and Economy passengers will benefit from standardised seating designed to optimise personal space, enhance ergonomics, and provide more storage, ensuring a more comfortable journey.
  • Bluetooth Audio: Air Canada’s new In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system offers Bluetooth-enabled seatback monitors, allowing passengers to connect their personal headsets while enjoying video on demand, live TV, podcasts, or music. This initiative aligns with Air Canada’s commitment to sustainability by reducing single-use headphone waste.
  • New Exterior Cameras: Passengers can now enjoy real-time, high-definition views of their flight through a groundbreaking exterior camera system – a first for narrow-body aircraft.
  • Full-Colour LED Mood Lighting: The new cabin lighting system can set different ambiences based on the time of day and phase of the flight.
  • Fast and Reliable Wi-Fi: Enhanced satellite-based connectivity ensures passengers have access to high-speed internet during their journey.
  • Power Options at Every Seat: All passengers can conveniently access power outlets, USB-A, and USB-C to keep their devices charged.
Live view: industry-first exterior cameras on a narrow-body aircraft provide customers real time, high-definition flight views on IFE seatback screens

The new IFE system installed on the Airbus A321 and A320 fleets features Air Canada’s award-winning in-flight entertainment, offering the most extensive content of any airline in the Americas.

Passengers can also enjoy live TV on these flights, featuring popular channels such as BNN, CTV, LCN, RDS, TSN1, and TSN2.

The remaining 14 Airbus A321s and eight A320s in Air Canada’s fleet are set to undergo retrofitting from this autumn until the end of 2025.

With these upgrades, passengers will experience a consistent and elevated narrow-body cabin experience, in line with the quality offered on the Airbus A220 and Boeing 737 MAX aircraft that constitute the majority of Air Canada’s narrowbody fleet. 

Air Canada is Canada’s largest airline and the country’s flag carrier. As a founding member of Star Alliance, it offers scheduled services to over 180 airports worldwide. The airline holds a Four-Star ranking from Skytrax and is committed to achieving a net-zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050. Air Canada shares are publicly traded on the TSX in Canada and the OTCQX in the US.

In addition to enhancing passenger comfort and connectivity, the new cabin design will reduce the overall weight of the A321 by approximately 240 kilograms.

This weight reduction is expected to result in substantial fuel savings, estimated at more than 2.4 million litres, and a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 4,185 Canadian homes.

For further information about these groundbreaking upgrades and how they will enhance your business travel experience, we invite you to get in touch with your Global Travel Account Manager.

Unlocking luxury: The MICHELIN Key redefines hotel excellence

The renowned MICHELIN Guide, celebrated worldwide for its recognition of top-tier dining establishments, is set to revolutionise the hotel industry with its latest creation – The MICHELIN Key.

The distinctive accolade is designed to shine a spotlight on hotels that offer truly exceptional experiences to travellers.

Starting in 2024, these distinguished hotels and accommodations will have the privilege of bearing The MICHELIN Key, joining a select group of establishments that stand out for their excellence.

Much like its esteemed restaurant ratings, The MICHELIN Guide aims to provide independent recommendations for hotels that are genuine destinations in their own right.

Unlocking extraordinary: The MICHELIN Key is a prestigious distinction awarded to exceptional hotels that offer truly outstanding and unique travel experiences

After four years of meticulous evaluation and research, The MICHELIN Guide now unveils a selection of more than 5,000 remarkable hotels across 120 countries.

The MICHELIN Guide emerged as a trusted beacon guiding travellers towards extraordinary experiences. In response to the prevailing standardisation in hotel design, interiors and amenities, The MICHELIN Guide strives to connect with travellers on an emotional level, directing them towards establishments that excel in architectural design and professional expertise, and possess a distinct and identifiable personality.

The new MICHELIN Guide selection encompasses more than 5,000 hotels worldwide, offering diverse options to suit various budgets and styles. The selection process is guided by five essential criteria:

  1. A Destination in Itself: These hotels contribute significantly to the local experience, enriching the traveller’s journey.
  2. Excellence in Interior Design and Architecture: These establishments set themselves apart with exceptional design and architectural features.
  3. Individuality and Authenticity: Each hotel reflects a unique personality and authenticity.
  4. Quality, Comfort, and Service: A commitment to providing consistent quality, comfort, and impeccable service.
  5. Value for Experience: These hotels offer a seamless balance between the experience they deliver and the price they command.

Importantly, this hotel selection stands independent of existing labels and quotas, catering to both seasoned MICHELIN Guide enthusiasts and those in search of well-informed advice.

The new approach to hotel recommendations by The MICHELIN Guide serves three key objectives:

  1. Enhancing Gourmet Experiences: Travellers can now complement their culinary adventures with memorable hotel stays.
  2. Character-Focused Accommodations: Guests are guided towards accommodations that offer more than just a place to sleep – they offer character and unique experiences.
  3. Comprehensive Independent Platform: The MICHELIN Guide’s website and mobile application provide an intuitive platform for inspiration, selection, reservation, payment, and sharing of travel experiences. The platform is ad-free, ensuring a seamless user experience, and offers round-the-clock customer service along with expert travel guidance.
  4. The MICHELIN Key – A New MICHELIN Guide Distinction

Within this groundbreaking selection, The MICHELIN Guide seeks to spotlight establishments that elevate hospitality to an art form, curating unforgettable experiences for travelers.

Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of The MICHELIN Guides, explains,

The MICHELIN Key is a clear, reliable indicator for travelers. Just as the MICHELIN Star distinguishes top restaurants, the MICHELIN Key recognizes the world’s most exceptional hotels. It is also an acknowledgment of the dedication and passion of hospitality professionals.

Annually, The MICHELIN Key will honour exceptional establishments led by teams with unique expertise. The accolade will be bestowed following one or more anonymous stays by The MICHELIN Guide’s selection teams.

Currently in the field, The MICHELIN Guide teams are on the lookout for the finest hotel experiences, with the inaugural MICHELIN Key selection set to be unveiled in the first half of 2024.

Elevating the onboard dining experience: Virgin Atlantic’s Autumn-Winter menu revamp

Virgin Atlantic is ushering in the cooler season with a fresh and diverse menu, set to roll out across its network from 4 October.

This revamped menu not only caters to the taste buds of travellers but also embraces inclusivity, offering an array of vegetarian and plant-based options.

In addition to the delectable dishes, a tantalizing selection of beverages, including wines, cocktails, matcha and kombucha has been introduced. And the airline’s Economy Delight customers can now enjoy the convenience of pre-selecting their meals.

Virgin Atlantic’s new Autumn/Winter menu, effective from 4 October, promises a warm and satisfying culinary experience for passengers in all cabins.

For Upper Class travellers, the menu boasts a delightful blend of British classics and global flavours.

Some highlights include succulent serrano ham with roasted squash, pickled red onion, and feta cheese, as well as herb-roasted chicken breast and roasted trout fillet.

Notably, the Extra Bites menu steals the spotlight, featuring a scrumptious cream tea complete with sultana scones, white chocolate and orange scones, clotted cream, morello cherry jam, and lemon curd.

Additionally, passengers can relish a delectable bao bun with cashew satay chicken and a spiced lamb flatbread.

This season’s menu also places a heightened emphasis on vegetarian and plant-based choices, such as carrot tartare with whipped ricotta, spinach and ricotta tortellini, spiced apple and parsnip soup, and a beyond burger with pickled onions, vegan cheese, and vegan mayonnaise.

To round off the meal, tempting new flavours of Northern Bloc plant-based ice cream await, including double salted caramel and lemon sorbet.

Upper Class passengers can also enjoy a new A La Carte breakfast menu, allowing them to tailor their breakfast with options like yogurt, fresh fruit, warm pastries, and a selection of cereals, including artisan granola and fruit and fibre.

Those looking to catch up on sleep can opt for the Express Breakfast, served 40 minutes before landing, featuring a choice between a bacon roll or a sweet pastry.

Complementing these offerings are a range of new well-being drinks, such as Real sparkling tea, Perfect Ted matcha and Lo Bros kombucha.

The onboard wine selection showcases a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, a Côtes du Rhône Rosé, and an Italian Villa Borghetti Valpolicella Classico.

In Premium cabins, passengers face a delightful dilemma when choosing between dishes like homely chicken lasagna, sage and thyme pork stew, and panko-coated tofu with katsu vegetable curry.

Well being: a range of drinks

Additionally, a British cheese plate featuring vintage cheddar, blacksticks blue, fig jelly, grapes, and olive oil and sea salt crackers has been added.

For dessert, a choice between sweet or savoury Mile High Tea is on offer, with options like coconut and blueberry financier, pistachio macaron mini patisseries, mini quiche Lorraine, and smoked salmon blini.

Economy Delight passengers will be thrilled to learn that they can now pre-order their entrees, a convenience previously available only in Premium and Upper Class.

The new Economy menu presents enticing options such as chicken, leek, and tarragon casserole, creamy spinach and butternut pasta, and accompaniments like Cathedral City cheddar and crackers, along with a Pots & Co plant-based chocolate pot.

Virgin Atlantic has also revamped its snack offerings across all cabins.

Economy passengers will be spoiled for choice with a selection that includes Walker’s shortbread fingers, vanilla Oreos, Cadbury mini fingers, and Penn State sour cream and chive pretzels.

Meanwhile, Upper Class and Premium passengers can indulge in Savoursmiths bubbly and serrano chili crisps, Yumma peach-flavored gummy sweets, Creative Nature blueberry muffin bars, Love Raw Vegan caramelised biscuit bars, and more.

Premium curry: panko-coated tofu with katsu vegetable curry

As the crisp autumn air sets in, Virgin Atlantic welcomes travellers with a comforting menu designed to tantalise the senses and kickstart their journeys.

The airline collaborates with catering partner Gate Gourmet to ensure the highest quality in-flight food and beverage offerings.

Corneel Koster, Chief Customer and Operating Officer at Virgin Atlantic, expressed excitement about the new menu, stating,

We’re delighted to introduce our new onboard menu, marking the return of the season that makes our customers crave some winter sun. At Virgin Atlantic, we’re always looking to create memorable moments onboard, which is why we strive to offer an unmatched, contemporary, and extensive selection of dishes across our cabins. From the addition of well-being drinks in Upper Class to the extension of pre-select to Economy Delight, our focus on innovation means our customers experience nothing short of fantastic service and flavorful food, no matter where they’re travelling to.

Travellers can look forward to a memorable culinary journey on their next Virgin Atlantic flight, complete with a rich array of seasonal dishes, tantalizing snacks, and diverse beverage options.

Whether you’re jetting off for business or leisure, Virgin Atlantic is set to elevate your in-flight dining experience this autumn and winter.