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Vancouver’s Main Street feels like a microcosm of the entire world with its resident population spanning social groups and cultures. The street itself is lengthy, slowly unfolding from the night markets of Chinatown to the hip digs of a nouveau-retro tiki bar.
To begin, the area from Mount Pleasant down to Broadway is rife with indie coffee shops, one-off clothing stores, watering holes and, increasingly, craft breweries like the Main Street Brewing Company and the soon-to-be open Brassneck Brewing.
Keep moving south and you enter what feels like the main drag of a small town in the 1960s. There are antique and thrift stores galore, hip eateries and specialty bakeries. This Main Street area is way off the beaten path, so tourists and solo travelers would be best to venture here with a progressive dinner-type tour with Off the Eaten Track.
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After a short hunt like a mouse looking for cheese, we eventually worked out the signage and rode a virtually unmarked elevator to the second floor. A flash of our Business Class boarding pass and we were in. On first impression, the space looked quite tired and nothing like our
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From repainting planes to overhauling terminals, Virgin Australia has had their plates full trying rebrand their entire operation, while changing the image from an all-economy service to a full-service airline. From the looks of things, the livery is flying all over Australia with more planes to come and re-Virgin-ized airport spaces. This goes for new airport lounges in major cities.
We took advantage of the fact that Virgin allows lounge access to Gold and Platinum Velocity Rewards members without actually flying, and checked out the Brisbane lounge for lunch. Yea, we went to the airport just for lunch. On first impression, the design is slick and the check-in fast and friendly, as expected from the brand.
One thing worth mentioning are the new staff uniforms, done up in a sultry, yet professional, red with Virgin-purple color pops in the form of neck scarves. So super glam.
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There are many things that we enjoy about airports, but even the best people watching eventually gets a little boring. That’s why we’re big fans of airport lounges, and the ability to sneak away from the riff raff and enjoy a little quite time. Now we’re looking forward to relaxing and "being green" at the same time, thanks to American Airlines’ new environmentallyl friendly Admirals Club.
Of course an eco-conscious lounge would be found at San Francisco International Airport, and the new lounge is part of American Airlines’ move into the newly renovated Terminal 2. The U-Haul trucks are expected to roll up to the airport next spring to switch everything over.
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This clubhouse is nowhere near the design spectacular that you will find at JFK, but it still has that certain je ne sai quoi that is unquestionably Virgin Atlantic. It's quite vibrant compared to other airport lounges, which typically go the cookie-cutter route of grey carpeting, brown leather seats, wood-paneled walls and an overall boring, business traveler feel.
But this clubhouse is full of pinks and purples and flat-screen TVs, not to mention little nooks for a library and a computer work area. All in all, it's a perfectly pleasant place to while away an hour or so before your flight. We managed to get in about 30 minutes in the Clubhouse and this is what we found:
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We’re sure Guam is awesome, but honestly it hasn’t really been tops on our to-do list. For some reason there’s just other tropical paradises that come to mind first, and maybe it’s just that Tahiti is a little more aggressive with their marketing. However, there’s a new feature that might just put Guam on our radar. Their airport has just swung open the doors on its new Sagan Bisita lounge. The name of the lounge means "stop and stay with us," and we want to do exactly that.
The new lounge is located with the airport’s west concourse across from gates 7 and 8, and its focus is making the fanciest of passengers feel extra comfortable. Delta is paying the bills on this place, but it’s not really one of their ordinary SkyClubs like the ones they have around the US. This place is above and beyond, and it’s only accessible to the most elite frequent fliers or those flying on a pricey ticket in the front of the plane.
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There’s plenty of airline lounges at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, but most require some kind of costly annual membership dues or a high priced ticket. However, there’s another option and it’s located within Terminal D along with some of the better known lounges from Korean Air and Lufthansa.
The Club at DFW is open to any and all travelers as long as they are willing to part with $35—or at least expense it to corporate. Since most traditional airline lounges cost at least $50 per day, this seems like a solid option especially since free adult beverages are included. Along with everybody in the club getting tipsy, there’s complimentary WiFi access, snacks, showers, and even a smoking section. You’re also welcome to bring in food from outside the terminal to enjoy it away from the crowds—something that’s frowned upon at some of the stuffier airline lounges.
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We’ve been hot and heavy over airport lounges lately. Unfortunately most of them require first-class tickets or loads of cash to gain access, and this makes us a little sad. One company is looking to bring the comfort and conveniences of the airline lounge to the masses, and they’re starting with a pay-per-access lounge at Los Angeles' LAX Airport.
The reLAX lounge—clever—is located in the Tom Bradley Terminal, welcoming passengers to swing by for a little visit. The place is located next to the Daily Grill on the departure level, so think about stopping by on your next trip out of the area. Once inside the lounge you’ll be enjoying complimentary coffee, tea, juice, and soda. There will be cookies and fresh fruit as well, and you'll be enjoying it all while listening to the best mix of easy listening music—their words, not ours. Of course there will be free WiFi as well, so you can get some work done while watching airplanes come and go through the lounge's large windows.
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You know when you're flying in economy class and you're walking through the terminal clutching your carry-on luggage and a Cinnabon, desperately seeking out a WiFi signal or comfortable seating, when...you pass a pair of sliding doors that briefly open to reveal what looks like a hidden wonderland within the airport? When this happens to us, our heart melts a little in agony that the experience of a first class lounge is so unattainable at that momentbut it wasn't last week, when Virgin Atlantic invited us into the holy grail of airline lounges: their Upper Class Clubhouse at London's Heathrow Airport.
What can we say about the place, except that it made our wildest airport dreams come true? The fact that free WiFi, complimentary Bumble & Bumble salon appointments, a pool table, an outdoor deck and even a HOT TUB exist in one place at an airport means we're going to need several hours to fully absorb it all, and thus we arrived nice and early.
After the jump, tons of pictures and more about that hot tub...
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Who goes all the way out to the airport just for afternoon tea, without a flight to catch? We do! Especially when we're talking about tea inside of the freshly remodeled Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Clubhouse at London's Gatwick Airport. It just reopened with the updated interior in November, so we were all about experiencing that precious "new airport lounge" smell.
Last week, we took a day from our London Field Trip to head out into the foggy London morning and check out this playful space over a pot of Earl Grey with Virgin Atlantic's Head of Design Joe Ferry and Senior Design Manager, Jeremy Brown. Our big question for them: why are Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, and in particular this updated one, considered just so cool?
The answer involves rock & roll, after the jump.
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Man, you guys are good! We posed a challenge to you back on Friday, to guess where we were at that very moment with only the photo above as a clue, and although had some great guessesthe Big Brother house, the Bridge of the Starship Enterprise and Austin Powers' lairtwo of you were totally jetsetting with the correct answer: Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class Clubhouse at JFK Airport.
On Friday evening, after sitting in rush hour traffic trying to get to the airport and mentally panicking, we arrived and checked into VS 046 to London-Heathrow. The good people at Virgin hooked us up with Clubhouse access, and we quickly collapsed into a futuristic chair and ordered up the lounge's signature drink: the Virgin Redhead. And that's when the fun began.
Airport lounges are a way to escape from the hectic ways of travel, and they’re also a great way to get away from the riffraff as you wait for your flight. The problem is that they’re expensive, and even if you buy a day pass, you’re usually stuck visiting just one lounge.
The Wellington International Airport has a new idea that we can get behind. Earlier this month they opened their new Wild at Heart Lounge, and it’s available to all passengers regardless of frequent flyer status or airline preference. Of course it’s only open to those willing to pay for the pleasure of the luxury and convenience. It’ll be just $25 NZD—about $18 in US funds—and they’re running a little discount through March to get everyone excited.