The Business Travel Magazine April/May 2019

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DEPARTURES

FLIGHT: BRITISH AIRWAYS, FIRST CLASS

THE FLIGHT

BA016 from Sydney to

open storage area. The seat’s side wall

Singapore operated by a B777-300 and

included a wardrobe with hangers and

departing at 16.30 local time.

net racks for storage. There was also an

PRE-BOARDING

Check-in was handled

additional coat hook and magazine

by Qantas staff who were friendly and

rack. Seat recline to fully flat was easily

efficient for me but were suitably

adjusted with a swivel switch rather

assertive with an obnoxious passenger

than buttons and worked smoothly.

on the next desk along. Boarding was

The IFE screen was huge and the

on time and all was on schedule until

controller, headphone socket, two USB

two passengers failed to board and

ports and three audiovisual sockets

caused a delay while their bags were

were all easily accessible.

offloaded. Sydney is now a ‘quiet’

THE SERVICE

The crew were smart

airport with no announcements. Perhaps

and business-like, offered a cheery

improving the environment has

welcome and then personally introduced

increased such no-shows.

themselves. Welcome drinks came

THE SEAT I was in seat F1 –

quickly and on hearing of a delay a

THE VERDICT

This was a daytime

one of the two centre seats with an

second round of Champagne muted

flight so lights weren’t dimmed and no

optional seat divider for privacy. A

any moaning. Dining was impressive,

mattress liner was added but the seat

cushion and large pillow were on the

seat, plus blanket and headphones.

Pyjamas and a Liberty amenity kit were

personally offered by the crew. The

roomy seat was wide enough to curl

with my choices including a prosciutto

appetiser, Tasmanian salmon as my

starter and pan-seared fillet of beef for

my main. Desserts included coconut

panna cotta, sticky toffee pudding or an

THE DINING WAS

EXCELLENT AND

THE SERVICE WAS

ATTENTIVE

was roomy and I felt nicely cocooned by

the wrap-around walls. The dining was

excellent and the service was attentive.

THE DETAILS British Airways flies

daily between Sydney and Singapore.

your legs up into, with plenty of elbow

impressive cheeseboard. A second

One-way fares are from around £2,500

room to the right where a wide shelf

doubled as a small drinks table and

service of cake and sandwiches was

offered two hours before landing.

in First Class. britishairways.com

Julie Baxter

HOTEL: POINT A, LONDON LIVERPOOL STREET

THE HOTEL

The Point A hotel group

the main feature of note. Space was at

promises "everything you need and

a premium in the seriously compact

nothing you don't" and targets both

bathroom but the shower was good.

business and leisure travellers at the

There was a safe (which unfortunately

budget end of the spectrum. It has six

was locked shut) by the bed and a

hotels across London and one in

hairdryer was located in a storage space

Glasgow, with additional properties

that cleverly converted into a small desk

opening in Edinburgh and London

area with power points. There was a

Kensington this summer.

wall-mounted TV, a large mirror and

THE CHECK-IN

The hotel is a short

hangers on the wall. Room temperature

walk from both Shoreditch High Street

and lighting – including a mood lighting

and Liverpool Street stations. I

option – were controlled from a smart

approached from the latter and found

panel by the door that illuminated upon

the hotel hidden away on a quiet

close contact. Wifi access was free.

cobbled street that could easily be

THE FACILITIES

There's a large cafe

passed by without notice. I had a short

and dining area on the ground floor

Tucked away on a quiet street, it is a

wait at check-in while two members of

where breakfast (a good self-service

good budget refuge with fairly basic but

staff dealt with other guests.

continental offering) and coffee is

attractive guestrooms – and some great

THE ROOM Some rooms do not

have windows – a guest in front of me

at check-in had booked such a room –

but mine was a slightly larger, standard

double room on the third floor with

served, plus a verdant garden area is

open from 8am to 9.30pm. There's

no dining menu but basic snacks are

available around the clock. There's

also an ironing room.

IT IS A GOOD

BUDGET REFUGE WITH

BASIC BUT ATTRACTIVE

GUESTROOMS

rates for advance bookings.

THE DETAILS Point A London

Liverpool Street, 13-15 Folgate Street,

London E1 6BX. Rates start from £69 per

night. 'The Brekkie' is an additional £9

views east towards Brick Lane. Decor

THE VERDICT

The hotel is in a good

and early check-in (11am rather than

was smart and stylish with a huge grey

headboard with colourful studs being

location for business in the City and

connections elsewhere in the capital.

3pm) costs £20. pointahotels.com

Andy Hoskins

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM

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