Our family was sitting in Iberia’s Velasquez Premium Lounge at Madrid’s Barajas International Airport during a five-hour layover between our recent Iberia flights from Lyon, France, to Boston. My husband was snoozing in a tall cushy chair, the girls were taking advantage of the WiFi service and I was sipping cappuccino and munching on Marcona almonds.
I was also thinking what a difference it made to spend those hours in well-fed comfort instead of having breakfast in an airport café, keeping tabs on everyone’s carry-on baggage and trying to stay awake perched on a seat under the Departures board as we waited for our gate to be announced.
We’d left Lyon, France, at 7 a.m. and wouldn’t be home until late afternoon — which was after midnight by the clock we’d been living on for the past two weeks. This relaxing respite was just what we all needed.
When we decided to fly Iberia’s business class, we were thinking about those two long trans-Atlantic flights, and how much more comfortable we would be in the wider seats with more leg room. Access to the lounges for the long layovers in each direction hadn’t been our primary concern, but now that I was relaxing there, I realized the five hours of comfort between flights in each direction were just as important.
And as I watched young children laughing at movies and playing with toys in the play area — a separate section, secluded but within easy watch from comfortable adult seating pods in the lounge — I wished I’d chosen business class when our kids were that age and those long layovers seemed even longer. Parents of younger children will find adult-sized seating in the kids’ area as well, and the foods offered throughout the day include many healthy, child-friendly options (and premium ice creams).
The early morning buffet was filled with hot and cold breakfast dishes, including Spanish tortilla (an omelet-like dish with potatoes), and as lunchtime approached, the buffet offered sandwiches and salads. A bowl of fresh whole fruit, cookies and a selection of cold and hot drinks were available all the time. As were packets of almonds, one of Spain’s gifts to the world.
The area is divided into several different spaces: Along with the children’s play area, there was a cocktail lounge with a bar, tables and booths, and the spaces around the buffet had café tables and chairs. Always restless, the girls enjoyed the option of moving around (and no hand luggage to move with them — it was all in a locker in the baggage room). Even as it filled later in the morning, the Velázquez Premium Lounge seemed spacious and was never noisy.
On our way to France we had used Iberia’s Dali Lounge, overlooking the concourse in the main terminal, and it was much the same. The Velázquez Lounge is in the Satellite terminal, close to the gates for international departures.
Many powerful and exceptional women have left a mark on the history of Slovenia, from Barbara of Celje, one of the most influential women of the 14th century, and Alma Karlim, an adventurous pioneer of her time who traveled the world with a typewriter, to Ita Rina, a celebrated actress from the 1920s and 30s. What better destination to celebrate International Women’s Month than a destination with a lot of her-story? Slovenia invites female travelers to explore its unique gastronomy experiences with friends.
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South Seas, located on Captiva Island on Florida’s Gulf Coast, welcomes family travelers this spring break with two offers that include complimentary nights. The destination offers warmer temperatures, bright blue skies and the water, as well as the chance to take in some of baseball’s spring training games as Fort Myers is home to the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins facilities.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Germany is a fascinating destination with so much to see and do; each member of the family is sure to have an incredible time no matter what time of year you go. This may just be why Germany has been ranked No. 1 cultural travel destination in Europe for the past 10 years. This year, the country has even more reasons to make it a top family travel destination. Read on for three reasons why you shouldn’t miss this European destination.