London Virgin Atlantic has blurred the distinctions between travel classes by opening its Upper Class lounges, priority check-in and limousine service to economy passengers. Airlines are increasingly dismantling their once rigid two- or three-class systems and, instead, offering a menu of services and upgrades from which passengers can choose. Virgin’s new “Guest List” service gives economy passengers benefits including chauffeur collection from up to 75 miles from the airport, fast-track security, Upper Class baggage tags, and lounge access (including spa treatments and haircuts). It costs from £170 per person (based on two people travelling together and sharing a car), and is available at London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports, New York JFK and Newark, Boston, Washington and San Francisco.
Las Vegas VeryFirstTo, a specialist tour operator which recently sold a £990,000 trip to every Unesco World Heritage site, is now targeting gamblers, with a month-long tour of the world’s top casinos. The trip, which costs £96,000 per couple, takes in four Las Vegas resorts, as well as casinos in Macau, the Bahamas, Monte Carlo, and Mendoza, Argentina. The company is also marketing a trip to all 109 Michelin three-star restaurants.
Lake District Gilpin Lake House, a luxurious six-room hotel on a private lake between Kendal and Windermere, will launch a new spa next month, conceived as the antithesis of the conventional big, glitzy hotel spa. The Jetty Spa offers just two treatment rooms, with roaring fires and views over the lake.
Myanmar The Orcaella, the Orient-Express group’s new cruise ship, set sail on its maiden voyage on the Chindwin river last week. The 25-cabin vessel will operate seven and 11-night trips, starting from Mandalay, Yangon and Bagan.