Expat Adventures

Deborah Bernstein began her career as a journalist in upstate New York. She worked in the travel industry for more than two decades, representing airlines, international destinations and hotel companies. A former managing editor for Hotline and Hyatt’s Regency Magazine, her stories and photographs have appeared in newspapers and magazines throughout the U.S. Deborah, who has lived in London and New York, has traveled to more than 45 countries and the list keeps growing. She now calls Belgium home.

Dry February in Belgium

A dry February in Belgium! No, we’re not referring to the weather. Some people in Europe marked the start of the new year with a “dry January,” but not the Belgians. Why choose January to abandon imbibing in your favorite brew when you can choose a month with only 28 days? Belgium has the best beer in the world. There, I said it! So, it’s no surprise that Belgians chose the shortest month of the year for Tournée Minérale. It’s a month without alcohol. Although we’ve given up so much in the past year, after all the lockdown snacking...

Read More

Queens of the Skies Live On

British Airways Queens of the Skies are no longer in flight. But aviation aficionados can still enjoy the Boeing-747 aircraft, albeit on the ground. This month, the last two 747s to depart from the airline’s fleet – G-BNLY and G-BYGC- will leave the engineering base in Cardiff. The pair were among several aircraft painted in heritage liveries to mark the airline’s centenary last year. Where can I see Boeing-747s in the UK? Aviation buffs can find the “Queens of the Skies” in Glamorgan, Gloucestershire and Surrey.  I still remember the launch of the iconic Landor design in 1984. Those...

Read More

Brussels Airport Launches bTag

The busy holiday season has started. Airports are becoming more crowded, and travelers need to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. This month, Brussels Airport has launched bTag to make things safer — and easier. How has travel changed? Safety has always been important, but COVID-19 brings new restrictions. Airports and airlines are looking for ways to boost safety. Today, passengers have to wear masks to help reduce transmission of the coronavirus. And it is recommended that you maintain a 5-foot distance from other passengers. Think about what a challenge that could be with people crowded around the baggage...

Read More

Bring British Airways to Your Dining Room

Once upon a time, in-flight dining used to be a luxury experience. How about an in-home dining experience? Bring British Airways into your dining room! A friend who once worked on the Pan Am cabin crew reminisces about how they regaled passengers with lavish food and drink. Think caviar, filet mignon and champagne.  Fast forward to 2020. Airline food has almost become an oxymoron. The challenge is even greater during the COVID-19 pandemic. The days of fine dining are gone. Now, some airlines are just offering bottled water and bagged snacks. But you can take a walk down memory...

Read More

Digital Health Passport Piloted Today

CommonPass, a new digital health “passport,” is being piloted today on a flight from London to Newark. A small pilot group of passengers will try it out. It’s the latest move to encourage airline travel. COVID-19 has decimated the travel industry. So, developers hope their new app will help alleviate worries. What’s the thinking behind it? Developers wanted to help with an effective way to create a common standard. Now, air travelers can show they tested negative for the coronavirus.   Why CommonPass? “For global travel and trade to return to pre-pandemic levels, travelers will need a secure and...

Read More

European Curfews and Closings – Putting the Brakes On to Fight COVID

The government of Belgium has tightened restrictions this week. Forget about that romantic dinner in your favorite restaurant. And don’t plan on a jaunt through town after midnight. It’s all due to the escalating coronavirus. The country is joining its neighbors like France and the Netherlands to fight COVID. Yes, the second wave of the coronavirus is hitting Europe hard. According to the European Center for Disease Control, there have been more than 7 million cases of COVID-19 in Europe with more than 241,000 deaths. And the numbers are rising. Curfews and Restrictions The Netherlands is in partial lockdown. The government is...

Read More

Europe Says Goodbye to Christmas Markets

Has the Grinch has arrived in Europe? No, but COVID-19 is taking away one of the highlights of the 2020 holiday season. Christmas markets! Every year, hundreds of thousands of people flock to Europe for the world-famous holiday markets. It is THE place to be during the holiday season. People know how to celebrate here. You’ll find a festive holiday atmosphere, fabulous regional foods and beverages, and handcrafted gifts. Tiny clay houses are my favorite. Fill them with incense and bring holiday scents to your home. The Christmas market in Helsinki is another favorite. Yes, it is smaller, but...

Read More

Flying Is Safe, Says New British Airways CEO

The air you breathe on your flight is as safe as the air in a hospital operating theater. That was the word today from British Airways CEO Sean Doyle, the keynote speaker at Airlines 2050: Beyond the Crisis. The new CEO shared his thoughts on how the airline industry can navigate through the COVID-19 crisis. This includes the urgent introduction of pre-departure COVID-19 testing to get people flying. Doyle said British Airways believes the risk of flying to public health is low. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported approximately 1.2 billion passengers flew since the beginning of the year. Yet, as...

Read More

New fares available on Brussels Airlines starting August 18

Starting tomorrow, new fares will be available on Brussels Airlines. As of August 18, you can book five fares for September travel . It’s part of the airline’s optimization of its short-haul product. It also aligns the carrier more closely with the Lufthansa Group Network Airlines. That offers the airline some plusses. For example, Brussels Airlines can take part in future group-wide innovations. That’s great news for airline passengers. This won’t have much impact on the American market right now because of the impact of COVID-19. But it will make travel easier for European travellers. Brussels Airlines says it...

Read More

BA Boeing-747 Jumbo Jet to Fly into the Sunset

Tomorrow, British Airways will bid adieu to the first of its 31 retiring Boeing-747 jumbo jets. British Airways flight 9170E, with registration number G-CIVD, will leave London’s Heathrow airport at 9 a.m. local time on its last commercial flight. After 25 years of service, the jet will figuratively fly off into the sunset. Sigh. It’s truly the end of an era. I still remember the first flights. I’d never seen such a huge aircraft. And I was totally fascinated with the spiral staircase that took lucky passengers to the upper level. Back in the early days, you could even get...

Read More