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					GLOBAL                                                    Inside
                                                          Take a tour around
                                                          Terminal Five with Roger Blitz
                                                          (pictured),
                                                          the FT’s



TRAVELLER
                                                          Leisure
                                                          Industry
                                                          Editor, at:

                                                          FT.com/T5
FINANCIAL TIMES SPECIAL REPORT | Thursday March 27 2008
                                                                      www.ft.com/globtravmar2008




    Welcome to the
    glass emporium
     INSIDE
     ●Heathrow’s
     Terminal Five
     opens its doors to
     travellers today

     ● Self­booking
     tools are catching
     on, even in the
     business world
2                                                                                                                                               FINANCIAL TIMES THURSDAY MARCH 27 2008


Global Traveller
IN THIS ISSUE
Frequent Traveller
NADHIM ZAHAWI The founder of YouGov, the
market research company, on the
importance of a comfortable bed, a decent
shower, efficient room service and a good
concierge Page 5




Airport Hotels
GOING UP­MARKET Top­flight names set out
to shed the image of the overpriced,
impersonal and airless monuments to
Lego­land architecture Page 6




Business Hubs
HANOI, TORONTO AND WARSAW
                                                              Ready to roll: when the first passengers arrive this morning, it will be a moment of self­congratulation                      Getty
FT correspondents provide top tips on what
to do where Pages 8 and 9


Focus: Terminal Five
Every inch of Heathrow’s new terminal is
designed to restore the airport’s severely
                                                              The trouble with
damaged reputation by ensuring passengers
are processed more efficiently, more flights
leave on time and baggage turns up
according to plan. The Big Story Pages
10­11; Getting There, Page 12; Executive
                                                              great expectations
Guide, Page 14                                                                                 to indulge in self-congratula-    But any new set of clothes      begun on redeveloping Ter-
                                                              AGENDA
                                                                                               tion, because the opening of      make the old ones in the        minal 4.
                                                              The fact is that                 T5 is nothing short of a small    wardrobe even duller by           Throw in the completion of
Business                                                                                       miracle. Planning for the ter-    comparison. Expect non-BA       the third building of T5 in
Etiquette                                                     congestion will                  minal began 25 years ago, the     passengers to start harangu-    2010 and you have a big
SAUDI ARABIA                                                  continue to blight               public inquiry lasted two         ing BAA about the number        ongoing construction pro-
Never show the                                                                                 years     and    construction     of staff it has working on T5   gramme over the next five
soles of your feet,
                                                              Heathrow, writes                 finally started in 2002.          compared with the other ter-    years.
never eat with your                                           Roger Blitz                         Business travellers are by     minals.                           BAA acknowledges the
                                                                                               no means the only ones who          BAA has laid out a timeta-    next few years may be more
left hand and never                                                                            believe the case for T5 was       ble for refurbishing the rest   difficult for passengers than



                                                              T
ask after the health                                                   here was never going    unarguable.      An     airport   of Heathrow. Terminals 1        they realise. Mark Bullock,
of your contact’s                                                      to be a perfect time    designed for 45m passengers       and 2 will be replaced by       managing director of BAA,
wife Page 16                                                           for opening Terminal    a year has long been squeez-      Heathrow East, a new termi-     says Heathrow is in “transi-
                                                                       Five.                   ing through many more             nal that will accommodate       tion” and that T5 itself could
                                                                 The unwrapping of Heath-      numbers than that, to a point                                     be in for some teething
Front: Richard Rogers designed Terminal 5             Getty   row Airport’s glass empo-        where Heathrow is catering                                        issues.
                                                              rium, which opens its doors      for 68m.                          BAA acknowledges                  “The first few months will
                                                              to travellers today, is taking      BAA and BA’s problem is                                        be a period of learning and
                                                              place against a familiar back-   not whether T5 in itself          the next few years              we are looking to have addi-
Contributors                                                  drop of warnings of rising air   works – having spent that         may be more                     tional management resources
Roger Blitz                 FT Contributors:                  prices, a threatened British     amount of money (BA sepa-                                         available to ease through
Leisure Industries Editor   Jill James, Jeff Mills,           Airways strike, financial        rately has laid out £330m for     difficult for                   that period in the early

Amy Kazmin
                            Roger Bray                        problems at Heathrow’s par-
                                                              ent company and sustained
                                                                                               its extravagantly furnished
                                                                                               lounges), it is beyond imagi-
                                                                                                                                 passengers than                 months,” he says. “But we
                                                                                                                                                                 are very confident the thing
South­East Asia
                            Stephanie Gray
                                                              pressure from environmental      nation to contemplate fail-       they realise                    will work from day one.”
Correspondent                                                 groups over airport expan-       ure. Their difficulty is in the                                     BAA and BA can be
                            Commissioning Editor
                                                              sion plans.                      expectations T5 will foster.                                      excused a back-slapping
Bernard Simon
Toronto Correspondent       Steven Bird                          But when the first passen-       Heathrow is not just about     30m passengers a year – but     mood, the sort that leads BA
                            Designer                          gers come through the £4.3bn     BA, but the passengers of         not in time for the 2012        to proclaim T5 is “so light,
Jan Cienski                                                   terminal at around dawn          other airlines, and their         Olympics.                       modern and spacious it’s
Warsaw Correspondent        Katie Carnie                      after landing from a BA          crews, will quickly consider        T3 is in the middle of a      hard to believe it’s an airport
                            Picture Editor                    flight from Hong Kong, the       themselves the poor rela-         £1bn     upgrade,    which      terminal at all”.
Alec Russell                                                  British Airports Authority       tions. The space made availa-     has completed construction        But business travellers
Johannesburg                For advertising details,
                            contact Jo Bellanca on            and BA, respectively Heath-      ble in terminals 1 to 4 cre-      of a pedestrian plaza and       may take the view that
Bureau Chief                                                  row’s operators and T5’s ten-    ated by BA decamping to T5        forecourt, but which has        though every terminal is a
                            +44 (0) 20 7873 3180
Simeon Kerr                 e­mail:                           ant, will pay little attention   will ease congestion, at least    new departures, arrivals,       welcome addition to their
Gulf Correspondent          josephine.bellanca@ft.com         to the noises offstage.          for passengers on the             immigration and security
                                                                 They will take some time      ground, if not jets in the air.   areas to finish. Work has               Continued on Page 7
FINANCIAL TIMES THURSDAY MARCH 27 2008                                                                                                                                                     3


                                                                                                                                                     Global Traveller

Making the most out of climate change
                                most likely to have seen the      consumer’s increasing          developments of this nature     definitely in the air. Last    the impact of climate
Soap Box                        impact of climate change,         propensity for green           invariably generate, it is      year will be remembered as     change. Whether it is
TOM DELAY                       with 43 per cent of business      products and services,         important organisations         the year that business sat     re-thinking products, saving
                                leaders saying they have          inaction is no longer an       remain focused on the           up and really took notice of   money through lower
Business is becoming            already been affected.            option.                        bigger picture, and make        climate change. The Carbon     energy bills or opening up
increasingly sensitised to         So there is no denying the       The debate around            efforts to reduce all           Trust received an              new markets, 2008 should be
climate change and              threat climate change poses       business travel is no doubt    elements of their carbon        unprecedented level of         remembered as the year in
therefore seeking               but what of the associated        one that will continue,        footprint, rather than simply   interest from businesses       which carbon reduction took
opportunities to reduce         opportunities? Cutting            particularly in the light of   fixating on an important,       asking for advice. We need     centre stage.
carbon emissions. However,      carbon use makes good             the proposed Heathrow          but nonetheless isolated,       many more businesses to
for many organisations          business sense, especially in     expansion. Despite the         component.                      explore innovative ways in     Tom Delay is chief executive
,travel is the lifeblood that   light of increasing consumer      media attention that              However, change is           which they can respond to      of the Carbon Trust
enables them to deliver         pressure. In research
quality of service and forge    undertaken by Ipsos Mori in
commercial relationships        2007, more than 75 per cent
crucial to their success.       of consumers agreed that if
   Although travel will         they had more information
clearly have a big impact on    about a company’s social,
a businesses’ environmental     environmental and ethical
credentials, it is important    behaviour, this would
to remember that emissions      influence their purchasing
relating to aviation are only   decisions. As climate change
one element of an               becomes an important issue
organisation’s carbon           for corporate reputations, it
footprint. Aviation in the      makes sense for companies
UK accounts for about 38m       to differentiate themselves
tonnes of carbon dioxide        from their competitors by
compared with the country’s     proving to customers that
overall carbon footprint of     they are serious about it.
555m tonnes.                       Essentially, saving carbon
   Businesses should take       saves money. Quick-win,
steps to avoid excessive or     low- and no-cost measures
unnecessary flights and         can have a substantial
sustainability must be          impact on most businesses
factored into their travel      and, once short-term savings
policies. However, for a        are realised, the money can
company serious about its       be re-invested in cost-
credentials, efforts to         effective measures that
address the carbon impact       require higher levels of
of international travel         capital investment, such as
should form part of its         installing energy efficient
broader attempts to reduce      equipment. In the longer
carbon emissions – both in      term, these savings can
its own                                          filter down to
operations                                       benefit
and across its                                   stakeholders,
supply chain.                                    employees
   In recent                                     and
months the                                       customers.
need to tackle                                      Only 1 per
climate                                          cent of UK
change has                                      businesses
become         Quick­win, low­ and              actually know
increasingly                                    their carbon
apparent.
               no­cost measures                 footprint and
Legislative    can have a                       93 per cent of
pressure in                                     small and
the form of    substantial impact               medium-sized
the Energy     on most                          businesses
White Paper                                     say their
and the        businesses                       company does
Climate                                         not measure
Change Bill,                      Tom Delay carbon
which made                                      emissions
the UK’s                                        because of a
commitment to a 60 per cent     lack of expertise.
reduction in its carbon         Measurement of an
emissions by 2050 legally       organisation’s carbon
binding for the first time,     footprint is often seen as the
will no doubt weigh heavily     first step in the process of
on companies across the         cutting emissions so these
country. Following the          make for worrying findings.
recent budget                   By calculating the impact
announcement, the Climate       businesses have in terms of
Change Bill targets may         carbon emissions, companies
increase even further to 80     can set manageable targets
per cent, so there is little    and create policies and
sign this pressure will ease.   action plans for change.
Recent severe weather has       Given that there is a great
also served as an immediate     deal of advice and support
and tangible reminder of the    available – the Carbon Trust
consequences of climate         has a free carbon calculator
change, disrupting the          – there is clearly still a long
day-to-day running of some      way to go if UK businesses
UK organisations and – as       are to become the
with last summer’s floods –     international leaders in the
prompting concerns about        fight against climate change.
business continuity. Carbon     However, given the
Trust research shows larger     economic benefits, the
organisations in the UK are     legislative pressures and
4                                                                                                                                                     FINANCIAL TIMES THURSDAY MARCH 27 2008


Global Traveller




Charles de Gaulle: an airport that is so pleasant to transit and where Amadeus technology is galloping ahead. The chances are that when you use Terminal 5, Amadeus will be there too             Corbis




Virtual paths in the travel maze
INNOVATION                              tices all add further complications.    technology with some of the best          and air travel. In addition to            Stephane Durand, managing
                                           The US market is easier to           online applications in the travel         Railooto,     there   is    Flyooto,   director of Amadeus UK & Ireland,
The web plays an ever                   exploit since practices and lan-        market. It has brought the systems        Meetingooto, Travelooto, Hotelooto     says his company’s corporate travel
increasing role in                      guage are broadly the same across
                                        the country. In addition, US citi-
                                                                                together for air, rail, hotel and
                                                                                meetings bookings and traveller
                                                                                                                          and Myooto. Myooto even allows
                                                                                                                          travellers to download their itiner-
                                                                                                                                                                 management tools are used by over
                                                                                                                                                                 1,500 companies worldwide includ-
planning business trips,                zens fly more on business whereas       profiling in a new online portal          aries to their PDAs.                   ing Daimler Chrysler, Ericsson, Sie-
reports Jill James                      in Europe there is generally more
                                        train travel.
                                                                                called Ooto (Out of the office). It
                                                                                has a number of modules.
                                                                                                                            Simone Buckley, Capita Business
                                                                                                                          Travel’s managing director, says
                                                                                                                                                                 mens and Nestlé.
                                                                                                                                                                    “Previously, corporate travellers
                                           Names such as Amadeus, Sabre           For example, one area of travel         the company has secured £33m of        found themselves in the dark when



T
         echnology has brought          and Galileo may feature only            that has often proved problematic         business on the strength of its new    it came to airline schedule changes,
         good news for the global       vaguely on the radar of the individ-    is booking a rail ticket. Railooto is     offering and has aggressive plans      the latest fares and late seat availa-
         business traveller – and       ual corporate traveller – unless        a clever tool that helpfully and sim-     for targeting markets outside the      bility levels, not to mention hotel
         more will soon come. New       they have a particular interest in IT   ply navigates the maze of fares and       UK. Capita says it selected Ama-       room and car hire rates and availa-
developments making the use of          – but they are companies with a         restrictions.                             deus as its technology partner         bility,” he says. “Now they can
self-booking tools easier have led to   huge effect on how travel is                                                      because of its track record of IT      access this information from any-
an increase in the numbers of trav-     booked.                                                                           leadership. Most regular travellers    where in the world and at any time
ellers using them.                         There is a wide range of booking     Amadeus is the fourth                     in Europe will have used Amadeus       of day or night.
  And, while big companies and          solutions for travel companies                                                    technology, albeit unwittingly, as        “In 2006, Amadeus processed
corporations would not particularly     including Galileo’s Highwire,           largest e­commerce                        its software is behind so many         499.5m bookings. Online air book-
want highly-paid executives search-     Sabre’s Corporate.Res, Worldspan’s      operator globally                         booking mechanisms.                    ings, including those made for lei-
ing for web fares or booking their      Trip       Manager,        Datalex’s                                                Amadeus operates in 76 countries     sure (unmanaged) and corporate
own hotels, some have found             BookIt!Corporate and Yatra’s            after Amazon, e­Bay                       and more than 215 markets, provid-     (managed) travel grew by 25.5 per
advantages in enabling individuals
to use online booking systems.
                                        Yatra.MANAGER.
                                           Only recently, Galileo teamed up
                                                                                and Expedia                               ing access to 95 per cent of the
                                                                                                                          world’s scheduled airline seats, 248
                                                                                                                                                                 cent. Online sales now represent
                                                                                                                                                                 16.2 per cent of Amadeus’ total air
  For one thing, it means business      with KDS to launch an online self-                                                hotel chains, 22 car rental compa-     bookings.
people are increasingly able to         booking tool that allows travel                                                   nies and a wide range of other            “A little known fact is that Ama-
enjoy the advantages leisure travel-    management companies and their            Created specifically for compa-         travel service providers.              deus is the fourth largest e-com-
lers experience when booking trips      corporate clients to compete with       nies, Railooto has a number of sell-        The chances are that when you        merce player globally in terms of
online. Greater employee satisfac-      online retailers through lower fares    ing points: online travel policy          use the new Terminal Five at Hea-      revenue transactions after Amazon,
tion is one spin-off, but companies     and superior support. According to      management at individual and              throw you will be using some           e-Bay and Expedia.”
also find real business benefits.       the two companies, the new tool         booker level; access to group sav-        aspect of Amadeus technology –            Eventually, he says, Amadeus
  In the US self-booking tools          provides a faster booking process       ings and corporate discounts; and a       whether you know it or not.            will provide tools spanning all the
have caught on more quickly             and more sophisticated fare             wide range of ticket options (includ-       The same is true at Paris Charles    stages of the trip lifecycle, includ-
than in Europe where differences        options.                                ing a self-print-in-the-office choice).   de Gaulle Airport – an airport that    ing pre-trip, during and post-trip
in culture, language, currency,            At this year’s Business Travel         Available 24 hours a day, it            is so pleasant to transit and where    travel stages.
fares and pricing are sharp. In         Show in London another group of         allows companies to track transac-        technology is galloping ahead.            Industry watchers, he says, will
addition, different global distribu-    products was unveiled that may          tions from the time of booking until        The growth of these new systems      see the company taking its first
tion systems, levels of agency com-     improve attitudes to online booking     the ticket is printed. Clients can        shows how rapidly behind-the-          steps toward an approach that
puterisation and software, and vari-    technology. Capita Business Travel      view their rail journey CO2 emis-         scenes technology is changing life     “means a complete revision of the
ations in travel management prac-       has integrated some of its own          sions and compare them with road          for the business traveller.            travel planning experience”.
FINANCIAL TIMES THURSDAY MARCH 27 2008                                                                                                                                                         5


                                                                                                                                                        Global Traveller

‘When I need advice, I ask the concierge’
FREQUENT TRAVELLER               to attend conferences,            really value good service      entertain contacts.”              with you, as you never          whether I’m in London or
NADHIM ZAHAWI                    meetings with clients and         and a good concierge. People      How does he cope with          know when you will need         I’m away.”
                                 various other events              really don’t make enough       jet-lag on all the long           one. Mind you, I always           They must be a welcome
Jeff Mills meets an              overseas. A lot of my time        use of hotel concierges –      distance trips? “I just deal      overpack.”                      relief from analysing
expert on the                    is spent in Europe and
                                 north America, though I go
                                                                   they are experts in their
                                                                   cities, or at least they
                                                                                                  with it. I have never taken
                                                                                                  a sleeping pill, so I arrive at
                                                                                                                                      And how does he relax
                                                                                                                                    during the little spare time
                                                                                                                                                                    research data and turning it
                                                                                                                                                                    into the kind of solid
opinions of others               to the Middle East quite a        should be, and they can be     my destination and just           he has during a trip? “I take   information companies
                                 lot, particularly Dubai and,      invaluable, particularly if    keep going until it is the        all the books that I want to    crave.
                                 increasingly, I’m travelling      you don’t know a place well    normal time for bed.”             read and haven’t had time
If you need to have your         to parts of Asia.”                or if you need                    Does he have any other         to,” he says.                   Nadhim Zahawi is chief
finger on the pulse of the          So how does Mr Zahawi          recommendations for            useful tips for frequent            “I carry a couple around      executive of YouGov, the
nation – any nation – stay       go about booking his trips?       restaurants where you can      flyers? “Always take a suit       in my briefcase all the time,   market research company
close to Nadhim Zahawi.          “I leave almost all my travel
The 39-year-old co-founder       arrangements to a business
and chief executive of           travel specialist,” he says. “I
Aim-listed YouGov plc could      use my contact, Drew, who
well know what their             works for Trailfinders in
populations are thinking,        London. He knows exactly
even before they have            what I like and he looks for
thought it themselves. That,     the best deals.”
anyhow, is the impression it        Provided the deals are
is easy to form when you         suitable, Mr Zahawi uses a
visit the Iraqi-born Mr          variety of favourite airlines.
Zahawi in his impressive         “I would choose British
glass-and-steel lair right at    Airways if it’s flying the
the heart of YouGov’s            routes I need. I also like
offices in a slightly edgy       Emirates, particularly when
part of the City of London.      I am travelling to Dubai,
   The corridor leading to       and Virgin is good, too.”
the high-security part of the       When flying long haul, Mr
building where Mr Zahawi         Zahawi tends to fly in
bases himself – when he is       business class. But within
not on the way to or from        Europe he is happy to travel
airports, sitting in aircraft    in economy, or even to use
or staying in                                    one of the
foreign hotels                                   no-frills
– is adorned                                     airlines,
with                                             though he
newspaper                                        hates not
pages                                            getting good
featuring                                        service.
articles using                                      “I tried
YouGov’s                                         EOS when I
data.           ‘I really like the               flew to the
   YouGov,                                       US the other
founded in
                One and Only                     day, it was
2000 by         Royal Mirage hotel               quite good,”
Nadhim                                           he says. “I
Zahawi and      in Dubai . . . it’s              really enjoy
Stephan         the perfect                      some of the
Shakespeare,                                     airport
a former        business hotel’                  lounges,” he
teacher and                                      continues,
political                                        praising those
campaigner,                                      of British
is a professional research       Airways, Emirates and
and consulting organisation      Virgin Atlantic.
that pioneered the use of           One of the advantages of
the internet and information     using airlines such as
technology to gather             Emirates and Virgin the
high-quality data for market     chauffeur service
 research to provide             “Otherwise, I simply take
companies with what the          the train from London,” he
organisation calls “a            says.
rounded view” of their staff,       And though he has no
customers, brands and            particular allegiance to any
investors.                       hotel chain, Mr Zahawi does
   The organisation, also        have favourites. “I really
known for assessing the          like the One and Only Royal
opinions of the general          Mirage hotel in Dubai, it’s
public and the media, takes      the perfect business hotel,
great pride in being             handy for the commercial
acclaimed as the UK’s most       part of the city but at the
accurate opinion pollster        same time right on the
and the most often quoted        beach. I like the Shangri-La
research company.                hotel in Dubai, too.”
   With operations in               The George V hotel in
Europe, the Middle East and      Paris is “phenomenal”, he
the US, it is no surprise that   says. And he also rates
Mr Zahawi spends relatively      highly a number of others,
little time at his home in       including the Mandarin
south-west London (where,        hotels in London and New
for 12 years, he was a           York, as well as both the
Conservative councillor in       Hudson and the Mercer in
the London Borough of            New York.
Wandsworth). “I probably            “The most important
travel abroad on average         elements of a business hotel
three times a month,” he         are a comfortable bed, a
says. “I travel around           decent shower and efficient
visiting our offices, but also   room service,” he says. “I
6                                                                                                                                                FINANCIAL TIMES THURSDAY MARCH 27 2008


Global Traveller

Top f light
names set
to establish
a new breed
AIRPORT HOTELS                         chose Helmut Jahn, the Chicago-
                                       based architect, to design its
Jill James reports on                  Munich airport hotel in the mid-
the trend away from                    1990s.
                                          At the moment, all eyes are on
airless, impersonal                    Sofitel Heathrow, which is sched-
‘stops with a bed’                     uled to open this summer and is
                                       promising surprises and new ideas.
                                       Roeland Vos, president for Europe,



T
         here cannot be many busi-     Africa and the Middle East for Star-
         ness    travellers     who    wood, which has 900 properties in
         enthuse about staying over-   nearly 100 countries, confirms that
         night in an airport hotel.    the image of airport hotels is
But this may change as the trend       changing. “They are no longer just
for a new type of slick, leisure-fo-   a stop with a bed. The numbers of
cused and service-orientated airport   five-star brands around the world
hotel grows.                           at airports means that they are
  In the fairly recent past, many      much more comfortable and spa-
frequent travellers avoided airport    cious,” he says.
hotels with good reason. Overpriced       “There is a lot of focus on tech-
and impersonal were two of the nic-    nology, design, lounges and enter-
est things one could to say about      tainment. Fitness options have
these airless, double-glazed monu-     become much more important than
ments to Lego-style architecture.      in the past. They are also better
  The advent of comfortable air-       built – triple glazing cuts out most   including Sheraton Malpensa in        fitness centre with an infinity pool    tional, scheduled and transit pas-
craft flatbeds and a new generation    external noise – and look better.      Milan (opening in mid-2010 with 450   where guests can enjoy views of the     senger traffic. Although airport
of airport super-lounges made it       And he adds: “An airport hotel         rooms next to Terminal 1) and Le      city.                                   hotels are often perceived as expen-
even less likely that business trav-   plays a very important social role     Méridien Cairo Airport (also open-       Pieter Rieder, senior vice presi-    sive by travellers, Ms Hall points
ellers would opt for a night in an     at an airport.”                        ing in 2010 with 350 rooms con-       dent international for Starcite, pro-   out that profitability is no higher
airport hotel. It was only deemed         Starwood owns brands such as        nected to the Egyptian hub’s new      vider of on-demand global meetings      than city centre hotels because of
vital when time constraints – per-     the St Regis, The Luxury Collec-       Terminal 3).                          solutions, points to the importance     higher property costs.
haps catching a 6am flight for a       tion, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points,     Radisson SAS is another chain       of airport hotels as meetings and         Research also shows that airport
vital meeting – were severe.           Le Meridien and Aloft. Its Sheraton    that has put considerable resources   conference venues.                      hotels rely on other external
  But in Europe, one of the first      brand includes a number of “new        into the airport hotel market. Mat-      Liz Hall, head of hospitality and    sources of demand, for example
chains to recognise that business      breed” airport hotels, including       teo Thun, the Milanese architect,     leisure research at PwC, says air-      custom from companies based in
travellers wanted full-on access to    those at Frankfurt, Paris and          designed its $135m Frankfurt air-     ports that offer the best opportu-      business and industrial parks
anything that a top leisure resort     Amsterdam. The company also has        port hotel with a 300-ft-high glass   nity for hotel development are          nearby and the meetings and con-
could offer was Kempinski when it      more airport hotels in the pipeline,   disc topping a vast wellness and      those with high volumes of interna-     ference segment.
FINANCIAL TIMES THURSDAY MARCH 27 2008                                                                                                                                                              7


                                                                                                                                                          Global Traveller

                                                                  Five hotels worth flying for
                                                                  Sofitel Heathrow                                                                                    The Glass House restaurant
                                                                  With five towering steel and                                                                        from 3.30am to 6.30am.
                                                                  glass atriums, Sofitel Lon-                                                                         Around €250 a night.
                                                                  don Heathrow will add
                                                                  another dimension to the                                                                            Kempinski Munich
                                                                  airport’s skyline. Opening in                                                                       This has everything from
                                                                  June, the £180m, 605-bed                                                                            penthouse suites with butler
                                                                  property will be one of                                                                             service and spa treatments
                                                                  Europe’s largest luxury air-                                                                        to fitness centres with sau-
                                                                  port hotels.                                                                                        nas and swimming pools.
                                                                    Owned by Arora Interna-                                                                           Futuristically designed in
                                                                  tional, operating under the                                                                         steel and glass, this stylish
                                                                  Sofitel franchise, the aim is                                                                       hotel has business-friendly
                                                                  to bring top expertise to                                                                           facilities that are popular
                                                                  this five-star leviathan:                                                                           with locals as well as visi-
                                                                  Albert Roux for fine dining,                                                                        tors jetting in to the state-
                                                                  KCA International Designers      microphones for question         down blanket and duvet,           of-the-art meeting rooms.
                                                                  for interiors and AVC Pro-       and answer sessions.             leather headboards and soft         The hotel has a 24-hour
                                                                  ductions for the latest in         Albert Roux will oversee       leather seating. Rooms have       business centre, in-lobby
                                                                  conference technology.           the development and opera-       views either of the atrium        wireless access and in-room
                                                                    The central focus in the       tion of the Brasserie Roux.      or the runway.                    data ports. Guests can try
                                                                  hotel’s reception areas will     There will also be Vivre, a         There is an extra charge       out the hotel’s Sleep Advan-
                                                                  be a fountain cascading          dedicated live cookery res-      for high-speed internet           tage programme, which
                                                                  from a mirrored ceiling on       taurant for hotel guests and     access but there are 27-inch      includes pillow-top mat-
                                                                  to floodlit ice blocks – think   meetings delegates. There        flat-screen televisions with      tresses, luxurious sheets,
                                                                  Antarctica.                      will also be a tea salon with    premium cable channels and        quiet-zone floors and compli-
                                                                    Adjoining public areas         single estate teas served by     pay movies. Marble-and-           mentary amenities such as
                                                                  will carry through the conti-    a tea master, and a library      granite baths, waffle-weave       eye masks and sleep CDs.
                                                                  nents theme to encompass         bar specialising in cocktails.   robes, large Brazilian            Be prepared to spend more
                                                                  Asia, Africa, Europe and the       The hotel’s four room cat-     combed-cotton towels and          than €400 per night.
                                                                  Americas.                        egories include Classic,         Molton Brown toiletries
                                                                    There will be 41 state-of-     Superior, Luxury and             make bathing a real relaxa-       Grand Hyatt, Dallas­Fort
                                                                  the-art meeting, event and       Suites. Many rooms will          tion. Be prepared to spend        Worth International Airport
                                                                  boardroom spaces, ranging        offer views of the airport       $300 a night.                     Integrated in to the new
                                                                  up in size to a maximum          and internal gardens. Each                                         $1.4bn Terminal D at one of
                                                                  capacity of 1,700 or 1,300 for   will be individually styled.     Sheraton Frankfurt                the world’s busiest gate-
                                                                  banquets, award ceremonies                                        For anyone gathering evi-         ways, this is a vast building
                                                                  and product launches. The        Westin Detroit                   dence that Frankfurt really       – 2m sq ft – that is stylish
                                                                  hotel’s three boardrooms         This quiet, ultra-modern air-    is the business centre of         and contemporary. The
                                                                  will be packed with technol-     port has great reviews on        Europe, this is a good place      298-room glass cube spreads
                                                                  ogy allowing delegates full      websites such as Expedia.        to start. At a big airport,       over 12 floors. Rooms are
                                                                  control of audio visual sys-     The 414-room property is         this is a big hotel with more     decorated in calming earthy
                                                                  tems, lighting and climate.      located in the Detroit Metro-    than 60 meeting rooms.            colours and have flat screen
                                                                    Sofitel’s 117-seat tiered      politan Airport with a direct      The 1,008 guest rooms are       TVs, pillow-top mattresses
                                                                  theatre will include the lat-    entrance to airport ticket-      fresh and bright with plenty      and separate shower and
                                                                  est cinema projection and        ing. Ford’s world headquar-      of room to spread your            soaking tubs. Meeting and
                                                                  sound equipment as well as       ters is only eight miles         cases and documents. The          conference facilities are sub-
                                                                  an IML Communicator key-         away.                            maple furniture gives a           stantial: 45 high-tech meet-
                                                                  pad system offering instant        The Asian-influenced           warm feel.                        ing rooms, 20 conference
                                                                  electronic voting, live text     atrium has a bamboo gar-           Dining is more problem-         suites and two ballrooms.
                                                                  messaging and built-in           den, a 5,000-sq ft pool, a       atic. Try the Taverne, which      There is also a full service
                                                                                                   smart and comfortable            offers German specialities in     business centre. Restaurants
                                                                  New breed: clockwise             lounge, and e-ticket kiosks.     a cosy atmosphere. You can        and bars include iTaste
                                                                  from left: Kempinski Hotel,      A standard room has one          even watch chefs prepare          where you can sample some
                                                                  Munich, Sofitel reception,       king or two double beds          meals in the show-kitchen.        of the world’s most luxuri-
                                                                  Heathrow, and the                with foot-thick pillowtop        Early risers can enjoy a          ous chocolate, cheese or
                                                                  Grand Hyatt, Dallas              mattresses, triple sheeting,     complimentary breakfast in        wine. Around $200 a night.




The trouble with great expectations
Continued from Page 1               All the expectation raised      “The whole of Heathrow         between BAA and the air-            But the wider and more         and Frankfurt which are per-
                                 about T5 could seriously         clogs up behind it, there is     lines appears to be worsen-      intractable problem is the        haps more capable of bearing
baggage-carrying lives, they     backfire,        particularly    no slack in the system.          ing, heightened by a hike in     political one of airport expan-   the load from the skies.
tend to look and feel not just   on BAA, if passengers feel         “Although you’ve got this      landing charges, a factor that   sion.                               Hesitation at this critical
the same but very much how       little has changed from the      beautiful steel and glass        could impinge on the airport        High-profile protests of       juncture will send signals
airport terminals should.        grim days of “Heathrow has-      building, you’ve got all these   operator’s willingness or        banners daubed over jet tail-     about the UK’s long-term
  Nor is T5 the only new ter-    sle”.                            logistical issues to deal        readiness to improve and         fins are only a taster of the     appetite for aviation growth.
minal describing itself as          But according to some avi-    with.”                           upgrade airport facilities.      likely intense environmental        The new generation of
state-of-the-art.                ation experts, that prospect       While Heathrow’s little           The operator contends that    battle to come against pro-       business travellers might
  Dubai is planning on dou-      is very real.                    problems plague the lives of     airport development does not     posals for a third runway         believe this debate is in its
bling its capacity, while the       Air congestion will con-      business travellers, con-        come for nothing and some-       and sixth terminal at Heath-      infancy.
scale of China’s airports        tinue to blight Heathrow         versely can passengers turn      one has to pay for them.         row.                                 But for the seasoned trav-
growth starts to make T5         because it is an airport oper-   a blind eye to the airport’s        “There has been [in the          The embodiment of T5           eller, recalling the protracted
look like a Lego set rigged up   ating at the limits of its       bigger problems?                 shape of Terminal 5], and        may mark a turning point          arguments over the need for
by a schoolboy.                  capacity, resulting in a con-      The aircraft will still fly,   will be, significant invest-     for Heathrow, but the far big-    T5 and its environmental
  Beijing airport’s new Ter-     tagion of delays when even       whether or not Ferrovial,        ment that the airlines have      ger moment of truth is            impact, the debate is reach-
minal     3    building   will   relatively minor problems        the Spanish construction         supported and now needs to       whether the government            ing its climax.
increase capacity from 35m       strike.                          company indebted by £9bn,        be paid for,” said Harry Bush    forces through its airport          Its outcome will determine
to 82m, has a floor area of         “As soon as there’s one       continues to own BAA,            of    the    Civil   Aviation    expansion policy or bows to       whether in the years to come
more than 1m sq metres and       minor problem, it’s like dom-    or whether its monopoly on       Authrority in a letter to the    the pressures of public opin-     T5 represents Heathrow’s
took four years to plan and      inoes,” says Lawrence Hunt,      the UK’s leading airports        Financial Times this month.      ion.                              own gateway to an expand-
construct from the outset. By    chief executive of Silverjet,    is broken up, as MPs advo-          Inevitably, the cost looks       Waiting in the wings are       ing international travel mar-
2020, China will have nearly     the business-only airline        cate.                            like moving from the airline     other European terminal           ket – or the limits of its hori-
240 airports.                    operating out of Luton.            But     the    relationship    to the passenger.                hubs in Amsterdam, Paris          zons.
8                                                                                                                                                      FINANCIAL TIMES THURSDAY MARCH 27 2008


Global Traveller

Top tips on what to do where
BUSINESS HUBS                                                                                                                                                            hotel on the fringe of down-
                                                                                                                                                                         town and close to the King
Amy Kazmin,                                                                                                                                                              Street West restaurant strip.
Bernard Simon                                                                                                                                                            Further west, in a growing
                                                                                                                                                                         community of software devel-
and Jan Cienski                                                                                                                                                          opers, filmmakers and art-
offer local advice                                                                                                                                                       ists, are the Gladstone and
                                                                                                                                                                         the Drake, which have an
                                                                                                                                                                         ambience     matching     the
                                                                                                                                                                         neighbourhood. The Glad-

Hanoi                                                                                                                                                                    stone commissioned local art-
                                                                                                                                                                         ists to design its rooms, giv-
                                                                                                                                                                         ing them a variety that
How to get there                                                                                                                                                         ranges from elegant to gar-
Arriving at Hanoi’s new, but                                                                                                                                             ish.
gloomy, Noi Bai Airport is
reasonably        hassle-free,                                                                                                                                           What to see
though it does not hurt to                                                                                                                                               Being Canada, activities vary
hustle off the flight and get                                                                                                                                            according to the season. If
near the front of the immi-                                                                                                                                              you want an authentic Cana-
gration queue in case you                                                                                                                                                dian autumn or winter expe-
arrive when there are not                                                                                                                                                rience, check whether the
many agents on duty. Taxis                                                                                                                                               Toronto Maple Leafs hockey
are plentiful – just step out-                                                                                                                                           team is playing at the Air
side the terminal. Although                                                                                                                                              Canada Centre, adjoining
all bear different company                                                                                                                                               Union Station. The arena is
names, they all charge the                                                                                                                                               also home to the Raptors bas-
same fixed price of about $13                                                                                                                                            ketball team. For the best
to get to town. The 28-mile                                                                                                                                              view of the game (and the
trip to the city centre takes                                                                                                                                            crowd), ask your business
about 40 minutes – when                                                                                                                                                  contacts if they have access
there is no traffic. Cars are                                                                                                                                            to a corporate box.
the only option.                                                                                                                                                            If you are looking for more
                                                                                                                                                                         energetic winter activity,
Where to stay                    When in Hanoi: fitness buffs take morning and evening constitutionals or practise tai chi in the centre of the city             Alamy   hire skates at the outdoor
With its French colonial-era                                                                                                                                             rink at Nathan Phillips
splendour and lush interior
courtyard, the century-old
Sofitel Metropole in the heart
of the city is Hanoi’s loveli-
                                 French chef Didier Corlou.
                                 The hip Bobby Chinn restau-
                                 rant, run by the eponymous
                                 French-trained chef and local
                                                                  Hoan Kiem Lake, in the cen-
                                                                  tre of the city, is the closest
                                                                  thing Hanoi has to a town
                                                                  square. It is the centre of the
                                                                                                     forces, but Ho Chi Minh
                                                                                                     remains a highly respected
                                                                                                     figure for most Vietnamese,
                                                                                                     who regard him as the father
                                                                                                                                       Toronto                           Square, in the shadow of the
                                                                                                                                                                         old City Hall, or at the Har-
                                                                                                                                                                         bourfront Centre on the lake-
                                                                                                                                                                         shore. The nearest downhill
est. The nearby Hanoi Hilton     personality, is a see-and-be-    city’s creation myth, and on       of independence.                  How to get there                  and cross-country ski runs
Opera lacks the Metropole’s      seen scene, but his food is      the well-tended promenade             Visit Ho Chi Minh’s impos-     The two terminals at Lester       are an hour or two’s drive
charm and needs a face-lift,     great too.                       around its rim, old men sit        ing, austere mausoleum,           B Pearson Airport, north-         outside the city. The St Law-
but is centrally located next                                     and gossip, or play cards and      where his preserved body lies     west of downtown, are mod-        rence market, best known for
to the Opera House.              What to see                      chess; young couples canoo-        in state, and solemn guards       ern, spacious and easy to         its butchers, seafood and
  Other business-oriented        The best way to get a sense      dle away from parents’ pry-        ensure respectful conduct         navigate. But be prepared to      fresh farm produce, is a great
hotels include the 20-story      of Vietnam’s dynamism is to      ing eyes, and fitness buffs        from the Vietnamese who file      pay for a luggage cart. Credit    place on a Saturday morning.
Sofitel Plaza along the West     walk around the bustling,        take morning and evening           reverently past.                  cards are accepted.                  In summer, cycle or walk
Lake, while slightly further     tree-lined streets. It can be    constitutionals, or practise          The nearby Ho Chi Minh         A taxi ride to the downtown       the well-marked trail along
out are a Sheraton and a         intimidating, given the sea of   tai chi.                           museum, with his personal         financial district normally       Lake Ontario. If you are
brand new Intercontinental.      motorbikes that make cross-        In the middle of the lake        mementos and documents,           takes 25 minutes, but can be      lucky, contacts will invite
The glitzy, Thai-owned Melia     ing any intersection an          stands the tranquil Ngoc Son       provides the official perspec-    much longer in rush hour.         you for a weekend at their
Hotel is located is in the       adrenaline-inducing experi-      Temple, or Jade Mountain           tive of his life.                 Only large black limousines,      “cottage” (often a misnomer
busy business area.              ence. Yet it is well worth it.   Temple, dedicated to an               The classical Temple of Lit-   with prices to match, are offi-   for a mansion) on one of the
  Keep in mind that Hanoi’s      Pavements have always been       ancient warrior, and is            erature, a mere fragment of a     cially licensed to pick up pas-   many lakes north of the city.
hotel room supply is strug-      treated as community space,      reached by the arched, red         long-destroyed ancient uni-       sengers at the airport. For a        Toronto’s cultural scene is
gling to keep pace with          with tiny bars, restaurants      Bridge of the Rising Sun.          versity dedicated to Confu-       cheaper option, go upstairs       booming. A big talking point
demand from tourists and         and shops all set up on them.      Vietnam may be embrac-           sion learning, provides a         to the departures level and       is the addition to the 94-year-
business travellers. Book        The pavement is where com-       ing the global economy, for-       peep into the culture of the      hail a city taxi dropping off     old Italianate home of the
early and be ready for high      merce, and life, happens.        eign companies and market          Mandarins who shaped Viet-        passengers.                       Royal Ontario Museum.
prices relative to quality.                                                                          nam over many centuries.          The Toronto Transit Com-          Shaped like a giant crystal,
                                                                                                                                       mission operates a frequent       the glass-encased addition
Where to eat                                                                                         Shopping                          bus service from both termi-      jutting over Bloor Street is
Hanoi has some elegant res-                                                                          Hanoi offers plenty of shop-      nals to the Kipling subway        praised by its admirers as a
taurants, many of them in                                                                            ping, with everything from        station for C$2.75, including     bold move to give the
fabulous settings, and dining                                                                        silk clothes to labour-inten-     the subway ride to down-          museum some badly-needed
out is one of the city’s great                                                                       sive handicrafts, including       town. Total travelling time is    pizzazz, and lambasted by its
pleasures. For Vietnamese                                                                            elegantly embroidered hand-       about an hour.                    detractors as an extravagant
food, try the Emperor Res-                                                                           bags. The best picks are in                                         wart-like eruption on the
taurant, offering imperial                                                                           the narrow lanes of the old       Where to stay                     side of a fine old building.
Hue cuisine in an opulent                                                                            quarter north of Hoan Kiem        Two popular downtown              The Toronto International
Vietnamese style villa; Au                                                                           Lake. Check out the elegant       hotels for business visitors      Film Festival, one of the
Lac House, in a beautifully                                                                          boutiques around Church           are the stately Le Meridien       world’s biggest, takes place
restored French colonial-era                                                                         Street.                           King Edward and the Fair-         in early September.
mansion, or Nam Phuong,                                                                                                                mont Royal York, opposite
which offers traditional                                                                             Getting around                    Union Station. The Royal          Where to eat
music at dinner. Wild Lotus                                                                          Taxis are cheap and easy to       York has the winter advan-        Toronto’s diverse population
is popular for Asian fusion                                                                          find, air conditioned in sum-     tage of being linked to the       makes for a wonderful vari-
food in a hip, sophisticated                                                                         mer and heated in winter.         maze of underground shops         ety in restaurants. The prob-
setting. Green Tangerine                                                                             Carry pen and paper, to           and walkways that connect         lem is that many of the best
serves up mouth-watering                                                                             scribble down the addresses       many office buildings.            ethnic eateries are in the
and beautifully presented                                                                            of where you need to go and         The Four Seasons and            suburbs. But there are some
French cuisine, infused with                                                                         show them to the driver. It is    smaller Windsor Arms are          exceptions. Indus Junction
Vietnamese spices, in a                                                                              unlikely any taxi driver will     favourites in the Yorkville       on Queen Street West has an
restored courtyard house in                                                                          understand your pronuncia-        shopping district north of        innovative Indian menu. The
the    Old   Quarter.     The                                                                        tion of Vietnamese street         downtown. One drawback is         Metropolitan Hotel serves
recently opened Le Verticale                                                                         names.                            the extra 15-20 minute drive      excellent dim sum. Ki is a
offers French-Vietnamese                                                                                                               to the airport.                   trendy Japanese restaurant
fusion cuisine by prominent      Catch a match: get yourself invited to a Maple Leaf game    Getty                 Amy Kazmin            Le Germain is a smaller         off the lobby of a Bay Street
FINANCIAL TIMES THURSDAY MARCH 27 2008                                                                                                                                                                 9


                                                                                                                                                              Global Traveller
office tower. More conven-          recently finished an oft-de-      something slightly smaller,       Polish food. Anyone curious       A good bet in the summer is     Royal Castle, with its
tional choices include Jump         layed expansion that had          the Le Regina in the (old)        about communist-era fare          the San Antonio restaurant,     restored throne room and
and Far Niente, though a            become one of the country’s       New Town is a high-end bou-       should venture to a milk bar,     whose terrace adjoins the       galleries, was rebuilt in 1974.
high noise-level distracts          principal      transportation     tique hotel with one of the       one of which remains on           lush Saxon Garden, one of       The city’s best new museum
from the quality of their           embarrassments.                   city’s best restaurants. While    Nowy Swiat street, for the        the city’s oldest parks.        is dedicated to the 1944 upris-
food.                                 After years of waiting,         business travellers are well      cheap but rib-sticking food                                       ing and lies just east of
  Somewhat more sedate is           travellers to the Polish capi-    catered for, cheaper yet rea-     that catered to the proletar-     Things to do                    downtown. For real Polish
Acqua, in a corner of BCE           tal can finally arrive and        sonable quality hotels are        iat.                              Just about every tourist site   culture visit the Powazki
Place. The Consort Bar in the       depart in a comfortable and       still thin on the ground.         For those who have had their      in Warsaw is marked by the      cemetery, where many politi-
King Edward hotel is com-           modern terminal. The airport                                        fill of steak tartar, vodka and   effects of the second world     cal and military heroes are
fortable and quiet, and offers      is only 8km from the city         Getting around                    duck with apples, the Cen-        war. It is not uncommon to      buried.
a simple and tasty lunch            centre, but is not well-served    Taxis are cheap, although         trum Wina restaurant offers       see apartment buildings still   For those travelling with
menu. If you are looking to         by public transport. The best     prices climb late at night and    international cuisine and         carrying    the   scars    of   children, the Warsaw zoo is a
impress your dining compan-         way downtown is to catch a        on Sundays, and they are          very good wines.                  machine gun bullets.            green oasis on the banks of
ion – and willing to pay the        marked taxi from the ranks        best ordered by telephone.        Another popular wine bar is       Warsaw’s original Old Town      the Vistula River.
price – head for Canoe at the       outside the terminal – avoid      Warsaw has one north-south        run by Robert Mielzynski in       was a pile of ruins in 1945
top of the Toronto-Dominion         the unlicensed drivers as         metro line, as well as an         an old industrial area close      and was meticulously recon-
Centre. Ask for a window            they hugely overcharge. A         extensive system of street-       to Warsaw’s main cemetery.        structed after the war. The                    Jan Cienski
table    overlooking    Lake        cab takes about 20 minutes        cars and buses, but the com-
Ontario, and try the lobster        and should cost about 30 zlo-     plicated routes are better left
clubhouse sandwich.                 tys ($13).                        to the locals. Horse and car-
                                                                      riages offer tours of the Old
Getting around                      Where to stay                     Town.
Unless you have appoint-            Warsaw has a growing
ments outside the city, there       number of four- and five-star     Where to eat
is no need to hire a car.           hotels, including a Sheraton      Poland does not have a repu-
Taxis are plentiful. Toronto’s      near the parliament, a Hyatt,     tation as a foodies’ paradise,
public transport system was         as well as a newly opened         but there are some very good
lauded for many years as one        Hilton with a luxurious           restaurants     that     have
of the best in north America,       health club. The Interconti-      revived traditional Polish
but is now inadequate for a         nental, near the business dis-    cooking that was almost lost
city of its size. It is still the   trict, also has serviced apart-   during 45 years of commu-
quickest way of travelling.         ments for longer term rental.     nism.
                                      Probably the best hotel is      Belvedere has a mix of high-
Bernard Simon                       the historic Bristol, next to     end Polish as well as interna-
                                    the presidential palace and       tional cooking and is located
                                    steps away from the Old           in a converted orangery on

Warsaw                              Town. The beautifully reno-
                                    vated Polonia Palace hotel
                                    near the main railway sta-
                                                                      the grounds of the Lazienki
                                                                      royal gardens.
                                                                        The Tradycja restaurant,
How to get there                    tion is also near the centre.     across the street from the
Warsaw’s Chopin airport             For travellers looking for        Hyatt, also offers gourmet        Playtime: if you are travelling with children, Warsaw zoo is a green oasis on the Vistula     AP
10                                                                                                                                               FINANCIAL TIMES THURSDAY MARCH 27 2008


Global Traveller

New gateway designed to please
THE BIG STORY                                                                                                                                                     be scanned every few sec-
                                                                                                                                                                  onds so that we can identify
Terminal Five can                                                                                                                                                 those which need to be
lift those Heathrow                                                                                                                                               speeded up because of an
                                                                                                                                                                  imminent departure,” says
blues, writes                                                                                                                                                     the spokesman.
Roger Bray                                                                                                                                                          “We will also be able to
                                                                                                                                                                  locate bags more quickly if
                                                                                                                                                                  they need to be offloaded. At



B
          usiness travellers                                                                                                                                      present it’s quite a cumber-
          flying from Heath-                                                                                                                                      some system.
          row will not be able                                                                                                                                      “We aim to get bags to the
          to cut it as fine as                                                                                                                                    carousel before the passenger
they used to after the air-                                                                                                                                       arrives there.”
port’s Terminal Five opens                                                                                                                                          The fact that 90 per cent of
today.                                                                                                                                                            BA’s transfer passengers will
   They will have to pass                                                                                                                                         switch flights without chang-
through a new security                                                                                                                                            ing terminals should also
check and will be turned                                                                                                                                          lead to fewer hold-ups.
back if they fail to get there                                                                                                                                      It is not just the internal
at least 35 minutes before                                                                                                                                        design of T5 that should
departure.                                                                                                                                                        reduce irritations.
   The extra check should                                                                                                                                           Frequent travellers com-
help to avert problems that                                                                                                                                       plain that one of the greatest
cause delays, says British                                                                                                                                        of all frustrations is to land
Airways.                                                                                                                                                          at Heathrow only to crawl
   For example, it will alert                                                                                                                                     across the airport and then
staff at the departure gate                                                                                                                                       sit on the tarmac while the
that a passenger who has                                                                                                                                          crew waits for a parking
checked in online has arrived                                                                                                                                     stand to become available.
at the airport. At present                                                                                                                                          But T5’s location means
they are often unaware until                                                                                                                                      aircraft will not have to taxi
the last minute.
   BA, T5’s sole tenant, is
clearly making a virtue of                                                                                                                                        BA promises that
necessity. Domestic and
international customers, sep-                                                                                                                                     progress from
arated up to now, will be                                                                                                                                         check­in to
able to mingle before board-
ing.                                                                                                                                                              departure lounge
   So the airline needs to
ensure they will not be able
                                                                                                                                                                  will take no more
to swap identities.                                                                                                                                               than 10 minutes
   As well as reading their
boarding passes, equipment
at the new checkpoint will                                                                                                                                        across runways after touch-
photograph them and take a                                                                                                                                        ing down.
four-finger biometric record.                                                                                                                                        And they will no longer
   “The information will be                                                                                                                                       have to wait for another air-
destroyed after staff at the                                                                                                                                      craft to clear the parking cul-
gate have ensured passen-                                                                                                                                         de-sacs that cause delays at
gers are who they say they                                                                                                                                        existing terminals.
are,” says a BA spokesman.                                                                                                                                           Passengers with time to
“The new check is to their                                                                                                                                        kill, perhaps before boarding
overall benefit because it will                                                                                                                                   long-haul flights from Satel-
result in fewer delays.”                                                                                                                                          lite building B – linked to the
   Cutting down delays is the                                                                                                                                     main building by driverless
sine qua non of the £4.3bn                                                                                                                                        trains running every 90 sec-
terminal.                                                                                                                                                         onds – will be able to do so in
   Every inch of it is designed                                                                                                                                   one of five lounges, depend-
to restore Heathrow’s severe-                                                                                                                                     ing on their ticket type or
ly-damaged reputation by                                                                                                                                          frequent flyer scheme status.
ensuring that passengers are                                                                                                                                         They will provide 25 per
processed more efficiently,                                                                                                                                       cent more capacity than
more flights leave on time                                                                                                                                        those operated by the airline
and baggage turns up accord-                                                                                                                                      in Terminals One and Four
ing to plan.                                                                                                                                                      combined. Four will be in the
   BA promises that, for the                                                                                                                                      main departure area and one
vast majority of travellers,                                                                                                                                      in the satellite.
progress from check-in to the                                                                                                                                        There will also be an arriv-
departure lounge will take no                                                                                                                                     als lounge.
more than 10 minutes.                                                                                                                                                Retail outlets will include
   The terminal will be able                                                                                                                                      Mappin & Webb, Tiffany,
to handle 27m passengers a                                                                                                                                        Dior, Gucci, Prada and Bul-
year from the outset and an                                                                                                                                       gari.
extra 3m from 2011 when the       Just check­in: British Airways has been testing the system, pushing through up to 12,000 bags a day                       AFP      Travellers hit by delays
second of two departure gate                                                                                                                                      that clever design can
satellites opens.                 kiosks,” the BA spokesman      waiting for our desk or some-   where the baggage system        mum, there will still be spare   do nothing to prevent, such
   That is nearly half the        says.                          one else’s.”                    starts,” says the BA spokes-    baggage capacity, BA claims,     as those caused by weather
annual 68m currently pass-          “T5 will get that up to 80     Passengers with problems      man. “In T5 it’s different.     and while passengers and         or air traffic congestion, will
ing through Heathrow’s four       per cent. There will be 96     to be resolved, including       Instead of turning back on      travel managers still ques-      be able to soothe frayed tem-
existing terminals, which         kiosks and over 90 fast bag    those that require returning    themselves when they have       tion whether gremlins may        pers at a travel spa, offering
were designed to handle 45m.      drop desks.                    to a ticket counter, will be    dropped their bags, they will   sneak in, the airline has been   treatments including facials
T5 will function on two main        “We’ve tried to make it      dealt with at another line of   carry on straight ahead.        working to sure they are         and massages – or dine
floors – arrivals at ground       much more intuitive. Some-     desks, beyond the fast bag      They need never turn            excluded.                        at one of about two dozen
level and departure above.        times in Terminal One you      drop.                           through 180 degrees.”             It has been testing the sys-   eateries such as Carluccio’s
   “Currently about 60 per        have no idea where you need      “Usually, baggage check-in      Even when the number of       tem by pushing through up        (Italian) and Plane Food,
cent of our passengers check      to queue. When it’s busy you   is at the back wall of the      passengers using the termi-     to 12,000 bags a day.            Gordon Ramsay’s 180-seat
in online or at self-service      are not sure whether you are   departure area because that’s   nal has reached its maxi-         “Bar codes on bag tags will    restaurant.
FINANCIAL TIMES THURSDAY MARCH 27 2008                                                                                                                                                                        11


                                                                                                                                                                 Global Traveller
                                                                      Summon a driverless vehicle to take you to your favourite restaurant
                                                                      Rapid transit                                  been picked up on CCTV or has broken        Boxwood Cafe at London’s Berkeley
                                                                      Passengers using T5’s business car park        an infrared beam.                           Hotel, and will serve dishes such as
                                                                      will soon be able to call up individual,          Eventually the system may be             risotto of butternut squash, macaroni
                                                                      driverless, battery­powered vehicles           extended to link all the airport’s          gratin, treacle­cured bacon and maple
                                                                      which will ferry them to and from the          terminals, car rental areas, taxi ranks     syrup and rare roast beef.
                                                                      terminal in three to four minutes.             and even local hotels.                         Other eateries will include branches of
                                                                         The “personal rapid transit” system,                                                    Carluccio’s Italian chain, and Japanese
                                                                      known as ULTra, is scheduled to open           Restaurants                                 noodle specialist Wagamama, Caviar
                                                                      next year.                                     Though their aim is often frustrated by     House and Prunier, predominantly for
                                                                         There will be 18 such vehicles,             security alerts and traffic jams in the     seafood, Giraffe, where the menu will
                                                                      each carrying about four people and            sky, most business travellers aim to        range from burritos to curry and
                                                                      their luggage, running on 3.8kms of            rush through airports in the shortest       Huxleys Bar and Kitchen, which will
                                                                      track.                                         possible time.                              serve British staples such as
                                                                         It is likely that travellers will be able      Michelin­starred chef Gordon Ramsay      ploughman’s lunch and steak­and­kidney
                                                                      to summon them using call buttons.             will be hoping to sidetrack them.           pudding.
                                                                      Alternatively, they may arrive                    His T5 restaurant, Plane Food, will
                                                                      automatically because the traveller has        seat 180. It will follow the style of his                              Roger Bray




 Who flies from
 which terminal?
 A huge shake­up will
 accompany the opening of
 Terminal Five, with 54
 airlines switching terminals in
 eight phases.
     All but 30 per cent of
 British Airways’ services will
 move into the new building
 as soon as it opens.
     These include all domestic     are there already.
 and international short­haul           American will transfer its
 flights now using Terminal         Raleigh­Durham services and
 One (T1) except those to           one of its Dallas­Fort Worth
 Madrid, Lisbon, Nice and           flights there with departures
                     Helsinki,      starting on March 29.
                     which will         Finnair and Iberia will
                     operate from   operate there from
                     T3 starting    September 17 and Qantas
                     on             from early next year.
                     September          Star Alliance airlines will
                     17.            use T1.
                        Long­haul       United Airlines and Air
 services using T1, short­haul      New Zealand
 flights from T4 and Miami          will operate
 services – currently using T3      there from
 – will also move to T5 at its      June 10.
 inception.                         Carriers in
     Algiers flights, currently     the Skyteam
 from Gatwick, will operate         alliance will
 from T5 from March 30.             operate from
     On the same date, BA’s         T4.
 Houston flights will move              They include Delta,
                     temporarily    Continental and Northwest,
                     to T4,         which will all launch new
                     shifting to    services from Heathrow this
                     T5 a month     spring as a result of the
                     later.         recent US­UK open skies
                        All other   agreement.
                     inter­conti­       One member, KLM,
                     nental         already uses the terminal,
 services will move from T4         while five others – France,
 to T5 at the end of April –        Alitalia,
 except those operated by           Czech
 either BA or Qantas under          Airlines,
 joint service agreements to        Aeroflot and
 Bangkok, Singapore and             Kenya
 Sydney, which will move to         Airways –
 T3 early next year.                will move
     BA’s airline partners in the   there next
 Oneworld alliance will be          February.
 based in T3. American                  Meanwhile Virgin Atlantic
                     Airlines,      has confirmed it will stay in
                     Cathay         T3 but Jet Airways, Gulf Air
                     Pacific,       and Malaysian Airways are
                     Japan          scheduled to move from
                     Airlines and   there to T4 in September.
                     Royal
                     Jordanian                     Roger Bray
12                                                                                                                                                       FINANCIAL TIMES THURSDAY MARCH 27 2008


Global Traveller

T5 claims throw
rail service into
the spotlight
                                    ning a railway in a congested     through travel agents, at T5
Getting There                       capital such as London can        or onboard.
JILL JAMES                          never be straightforward.           Plus points: you will get a
                                    There are just too many           spacious seat, an air-condi-



O
          ne phrase guaran-         points at which the service       tioned carriage, adequate
          teed to lower the         can go wrong.                     luggage space and a TV with
          spirits of most             Nevertheless, the punctual-     news and travel information.
          business travellers       ity record is better than         Passengers can also use
is the “trip to the airport”.       good. Brian Raven, managing       mobile phones and Wi-fi
For those based in England’s        director      of    Heathrow      internet throughout the jour-
south-east, the thought of          Express, says: “We’re a cus-      ney. There are special quiet
early-morning journeys to           tomer service-led company         zones for reading.
London Heathrow evokes              and have proudly carried            Snags: It is not cheap and
squeals of pain. But there are      more than 50m passengers in       you have to get to Padding-
choices.                            the past 10 years. Our relia-     ton first.
                                    bility as experienced by our
Heathrow Express                    customers is at 99 per cent       London Underground
For many travellers much            and 96 per cent of our cus-       Make sure that you leave
anxiety of getting to the air-      tomers will use our service       plenty of time for a trip on
port has been removed by            again so we want to deliver       the Piccadilly line to Heath-
the opening of the Heathrow         the highest levels of service.”   row. A recent trip from
Express, now coming up for          He adds that later this year      King’s Cross took 90 minutes
its 10th anniversary. While         the company will be intro-        – and that was without
today’s opening of Heathrow         ducing e-ticketing and other      apparent delays.
Terminal Five is a milestone        “exciting initiatives”.             However, there has been a
in the life of the airport, it is     Heathow Express high-           huge investment in prepar-
also a big moment for the           speed trains leave London’s       ing for the line’s extension to
airport rail service, which         Paddington station for T5         T5. As a spin-off from that
makes the bold claim that it        every 15 minutes and the          work, the station at Terminal
will deliver the fastest and        21-minute      journey    ends    Four has also been com-
most         environmentally-       underneath the terminal. A        pletely refurbished.
friendly way to travel              standard return costs £28           T4’s upgrade means pas-
between central London and          (£46 first class).                sengers will benefit from
Terminal Five. A cynic might          You can buy a ticket from       more information about their
say the company has had 10          anywhere in the world at          journeys, a state-of-the-art
years to get it right, but run-     www.heathrowexpress.com,          customer announcement sys-
                                                                      tem and enhanced security
                                                                      through better CCTV. Relia-
                                                                      bility has improved sharply
                                                                      since new signalling work
                                                                      has been completed.
                                                                        Plus points: the journey is
                                                                      relatively cheap – the single
                                                                      cash fare is £4 from King’s
                                                                      Cross to Heathrow terminals
                                                                      1,2,3. Oyster card holders can
                                                                      purchase a single fare from
                                                                      £3.30 Mondays to Fridays
                                                                      from 7am to 7pm and £2 at
                                                                      all other times.
                                                                        Snags: Those with a lot of
                                                                      luggage would do well to
                                                                      give the Tube a miss – espe-
                                                                      cially in the rush hour when
                                                                      the whole journey becomes a         Plus points: You can hail a    the airport, 15 miles west of    pre-booked passengers. If you
                                                                      cramped and unpleasant            cab day or night from any-       ce ntral London, is very         forget where you have
                                                                      experience and the chances        where in central London.         accessible from both the M4      parked, there is a car finder
                                                                      of a seat are almost zero.          Snags: It can be more          and the M25.                     system to help. There is also
                                                                                                        expensive than you think           T5 is on the Western           a new business parking area
                                                                      Black cabs                        and the traffic can be a         Perimeter Road with access       a short courtesy coach ride
                                                                      You will be able to take a        nightmare.                       from junction 14 of the M25.     from T5.
                                                                      London licensed taxi from                                          If you are coming from the         Snags: Variations in park-
                                                                      the taxi rank at T5 bus and       Driving your own car             M4 leave at junction 4b and      ing costs are huge and there
                                                                      coach station, which is on        “Driving to and from Termi-      follow the M25 south to junc-    is really no such thing as a
                                                                      Ground Level Arrivals, oppo-      nal Five will be stress-free     tion 14. T5 has added an         sample price. Think pricey
                                                                      site the main terminal build-     and direct,” claims the Brit-    extra 5,600 parking spaces at    though. Try this url for
                                                                      ing. The journey to or from       ish Airways website – a hos-     Heathrow and it puts you as      details:              http://
                                                                      central London should cost        tage to fortune if ever there    close to the terminal as pos-    secure.baa.com/baa/baa-
                                                                      between £40 and £70 and it        was.                             sible. The new six-level         book.asp?p=p&src=WBAA05.
                                                                      take between 30 minutes and         Stress-free road trips to      short-stay car park, next to     There are also environmental
                                                                      an hour, depending on the         Heathrow are extremeley          the terminal, will offer 3,800   issues to consider if you are
                                                                      traffic and time of day.          rare and no one expects that     spaces.                          a lone car traveller.
                                                                        Journeys inside London,         to change with the opening         Plus points: Finding a
                                                                      and within 20 miles of the        of T5.                           parking space will not be a      Chauffeur services
                                                                      airport, are priced using the       Nevertheless, T5 will be       problem with the airport’s       If you use a global company
                                                                      taxi meter. But if you are        the only Heathrow terminal       state-of-the-art bay monitor-    such as Tristar, booking a
                                                                      travelling outside London,        to have direct access from       ing system. There is number-     car can be done by phone,
                                                                      make sure that you agree the      the M25 motorway. If traffic     plate recognition system to      web, email, fax, GDS or
                                                                      fare before getting in the car.   is flowing well – a big “if” –   make entry and exit easy for     through a corporate travel
FINANCIAL TIMES THURSDAY MARCH 27 2008                                                                    13


                                                                                           Global Traveller
                                    “and we drop you right to
                                    your door or at the entrance
                                    to the terminal”, says Mr De
                                    Beer.
                                      Plus points: Reliability;
                                    there are no long walks
                                    along endless airport corri-
                                    dors to get to the check-in
                                    desk; and someone will carry
                                    your bags for you: a great
                                    option if you are taking a lot
                                    of luggage.
                                      Snags: It is not cheap and
                                    there is the environmental         T5 is the only
                                    question again, even though
                                    the company proclaims its
                                                                       Heathrow terminal
                                    green credentials.                 to have direct
                                    Executive views
                                                                       access from the
                                    ● Bill Muirhead, a founding        M25 motorway
                                    director of M&C Saatchi, the
                                    global marketing business,
                                    says: “I try really hard not to
                                    go to Heathrow if at all possi-
                                    ble. I think it is a disgrace
                                    and a blot on Britain. There
                                    has been no investment in
                                    this important airport for
                                    decades [by successive gov-
                                    ernments] and even the
                                    thought of being there makes
                                    me feel ill. So, I try very hard
                                    not go to Heathrow.
                                      “However, when I do
                                    [twice a month maybe], I go
                                    by car [I have a driver] and
                                    from London via the M4. The
                                    journey is usually OK and
                                    takes about 30 minutes out-
                                    side the rush hour. I have
                                    tried the train, but didn’t
                                    find that particularly pleas-
                                    ant or fast.
                                      “T5 may change things,
                                    but I prefer Luton which has
                                    an excellent Silverjet service
                                    to NY, or Gatwick any day,
                                    to Heathrow.”
                                      ● John Williams, Fair-
                                    mont’s executive vice-presi-
                                    dent for Europe, Africa and
                                    the Middle East, travels from
                                    Heathrow about 70 times a
                                    year.
                                      But, although he lives in
                                    Knightsbridge and has an
                                    office in the Strand – and use
                                    of a chauffeur – he always
                                    uses the Heathrow Express.
                                      “Ninety-five times out of a
                                    100 it gets you there in 20
                                    minutes,” he says.
                                      “There’s plenty of room for
                                    baggage and I can buy a
                                    ticket on the train if I’m
                                    rushed – although there’s
                                    lots of easy-to-use ticket
                                    machinery – and the staff are
                                    unfailingly pleasant.
                                      “I could have a driver or
                                    use a taxi but there’s no
Take your chances: the              proper freeway from central
Piccadilly Line, the M25 or         London to Heathrow and it’s
chauffeur­driven car. Each          a real stop-and-go journey
mode of transport to the            regardless of the time of
airport has its drawbacks     Jim   day.
Winslet/Alamy                         “The problem with the
                                    Tube is that there’s no room
                                    for baggage and if you’re
portal. Agents are on call 24       standing all the way with
hours a day. They will dou-         bags it’s a circus.”
ble-check     your     booking        He does not mince his
against flight and address          words when it comes to driv-
databases to ensure they are        ing himself to the airport
in the right place at the right     either.
time. After taking your ini-          “Parking costs are egre-
tial business, they can make        gious,” he says.
subsequent bookings even              His only regret about the
quicker.                            Heathrow Express service is
  Dean De Beer, Tristar’s           that there is no longer a bag-
chief executive, says that          gage check-in facility at Pad-
given the service his com-          dington so you can travel to
pany offers, pricing is very        the airport unencumbered.
competitive.                          “I miss that check-in,” he
  Expect to pay about £70           says, “but I guess that’s all
from central London to T5 –         down to security.”
14                                                                                                                                                      FINANCIAL TIMES THURSDAY MARCH 27 2008


Global Traveller
                                                                                                                                        Agony Uncle
                                                                                                                                        Q: How do you know what           out of consideration for
                                                                                                                                        you'll get to eat on a            long­legged customers,
                                                                                                                                        flight? On a recent               however, but to keep
                                                                                                                                        mid­morning flight from           maintenance costs down.
                                                                                                                                        London City Airport to Zurich     Why don't more airlines do
                                                                                                                                        in BA economy I was               it? The world’s largest,
                                                                                                                                        provided with a sandwich. On      American Airlines, says it
                                                                                                                                        the return flight (to Gatwick),   tries to strike a balance
                                                                                                                                        scheduled to depart at 7pm,       between the user and the
                                                                                                                                        there was nothing but a           passenger in the seat behind.
                                                                                                                                        packet of nibbles – even          “It would not be practical to
                                                                                                                                        though it was dinnertime.         lock seats upright for very
                                                                                                                                        The stewardess told me the        short flights of an hour, say,
                                                                                                                                        flight was too short for meal     when the same aircraft
                                                                                                                                        service. Why the                  might have to be used for
                                                                                                                                        inconsistency?                    longer flights. A few years
                                                                                                                                        JC, UK­based consultant.          back a Washington­based
                                                                                                                                        A: There doesn’t appear to        company created a stir by
                                                                                                                                        be any reliable, central          coming up with a small
                                                                                                                                        source of information on the      device* that passengers
                                                                                                                                        type of food you’ll get. It       could use to lock the seat in
                                                                                                                                        appears airlines are anxious      front into an upright position.
                                                                                                                                        to keep their options open.       According to the company's
                                                                                                                                        For example, information on       website this is still available.
                                                                                                                                        one flight provided by            American considered whether
                                                                                                                                        timetable specialist OAG          to ban the device. In the UK
                                                                                                                                        showed there might either be      ,the Civil Aviation Authority
                                                                                                                                        no meal service or catering       considered doing likewise.
                                                                                                                                        “appropriate to the time of       But the US airline says: “If
                                                                                                                                        day”. And an early­morning        we had seen anyone using it
                                                                                                                                        flight from Edinburgh to          we would have stopped them
                                                                                                                                        Amsterdam, presented as an        because you can’t have
                                                                                                                                        option via KDS self­booking       passengers interfering with
                                                                                                                                        tool, showed passengers           equipment that needs safety
Must see: the Apartheid Museum with its acclaimed exhibition guiding visitors through South Africa’s troubled past              Alamy   would be offered a “snack or      certification.
                                                                                                                                        brunch”.                          *It is called the Knee




Hanging out with
                                                                                                                                            BA tells me it tries to       Defender and according to
                                                                                                                                        tailor food to the time of        the company’s website is still
                                                                                                                                        day. “We recognise that           available.
                                                                                                                                        sometimes due to                  Q: I am an American who
                                                                                                                                        operational difficulties or       flies through Heathrow on
                                                                                                                                        delays some customers are         a somewhat regular basis. I




the business elite
                                                                                                                                        regrettably eating maybe a        either fly in for work or fly
                                                                                                                                        mid­afternoon snack into the      through in transit. On a
                                                                                                                                        evening when they should be       number of occasions the
                                                                                                                                        having a more substantial         immigration officer has
                                                                                                                                        amount of food.                   scribbled “In Transit” or “In
                                                                                                                                            “We are constantly            Transit 1” (if I am connecting
                                                                                                                                        reviewing what types of free      through Terminal 1), and that
EXECUTIVE GUIDE                   restaurants visiting execu-      boutique hotel (011 325 2422)      recommends one of the             food and drinks we do offer       makes sense. But on one
JOHANNESBURG                      tives frequent.                  where we meet and hwhere e         organised tours of Soweto.        to ensure that we stay            occasion, flying from Paris
                                     “I am a Jo’burg inzile,” he   regularly     has    business      How get about                     competitive. Many...airlines      through Heathrow with a
Alec Russell talks                says contrasting himself with    appointments. Just south of        Business visitors should rely     now charge substantial            10­hour stopover, the officer
to a Jo’burg ‘inzile’             those who fled into exile
                                  under apartheid. “As a child
                                                                   Sandton, it has a spacious
                                                                   garden and a relaxed and
                                                                                                      on taxis.
                                                                                                      Special events
                                                                                                                                        amounts...[but] BA has no
                                                                                                                                        plans to charge customers
                                                                                                                                                                          wrote “W” and circled it.
                                                                                                                                                                          What does a circled “W”
                                  [in the 1960s and 1970s] com-    even rural feel that defies the    Cape Town, Johannesburg’s         for on­board meals and            mean on a stamp? Am I now



S
        ince     the     Wit-     ing in from Soweto was like      hubbub of the busy street          dreamier rival city, is better    drinks.”                          on a watch list because I fly
        watersrand gold reef      going to a foreign land. We’d    outside. He also recommends        known for concerts and exhi-      Q: Why don't airlines just        through Heathrow often? As
        was discovered more       come in in borrowed time, do     Auberge Michele, (011 883          bitions. But there are always     weld seats upright in             far as I know I do not need
        than 120 years ago        business transactions and        7013) in Sandton, for its “five-   good plays at the Market          economy class. Personally, I      a visa for work or leisure
underneath        what       is   then get out,” he says. It has   star” cuisine.                     Theatre, the centrepiece of       never recline. I don’t see        visits and surely I don’t need
now Johannesburg, the city        become a lot friendlier since      Then, somewhat counter-          the vibrant and revamped          how anyone gets anything          one to change flights.
has had a reputation as a         then and there’s a lot more      intuitively, he urges visitors     arts centre in Newtown, on        out of reclining a seat six       WF professional
harsh, get-rich-quick and         racial tolerance than before.”   to wangle a lunch invitation       the edge of the city centre.      degrees. However, when you        photographer,
violent place with little to      Hotels                           to the Rand Club, (011 834         What to avoid                     do, it makes a huge               San Francisco
recommend it beyond its           To get the buzz of the place     8311). Founded by Cecil            There is only one word:           difference to the passenger       A: The answer appears to lie
fabled money-making oppor-        he suggests the Hyatt (011       Rhodes and other early             crime. Johannesburg has           behind you. Their already         in the number of times you
tunities.                         280 1234) in Rosebank.           Randlords, as the mining           long been known as one of         minimal space is cut in half.     have entered the UK. I have
  Born and bred Jo’burgers        “You’ll see a lot of Johannes-   magnates were known, it            the most violent cities in the    Can't eat, can't use a laptop,    checked with the Home
have long bridled at this         burg’s business community        was modelled on London             world. Mr Manyi concedes          even reading can be a             Office, which says that,
image – and Jimmy Manyi,          coming together and a lot of     gentlemen’s clubs. It occu-        this is a big issue but says      challenge.                        although travellers making
the head of the Black Man-        BEE [black economic empow-       pies a magnificent Victorian       business and the city author-         I have the sneaking           occasional business trips to
agement Forum, the lobbying       erment] deals are crafted        building in the city centre.       ities are doing their best to     suspicion that people recline     Britain do not need visas,
group for black business peo-     there.”                          The food has a distinctly old-     address it now, installing        only out of habit or to assert    those coming frequently are
ple, and group executive, cor-      He also recommends the         fashioned club feel – includ-      more security cameras.            privilege and not because         required to apply for them.
porate affairs of Tiger           Michelangelo (082 782 3142) in   ing, of course, a tendency to         If there’s a group of you,     they actually gain any               The “W” in your passport
Brands, South Africa’s big-       Sandton which has a similar      serve heavy puddings.              “you will be fine. It is just     comfort. The worst are those      is an indication this time you
gest food producer, is no         deal-making reputation, and      What to do           (on    an     you would be advised not to       who recline the seat as they      were allowed entry at the
exception.                        the Melrose Arch, one of         afternoon off)                     walk alone – which is per-        sit down when first getting       discretion of the immigration
  As a Sowetan by birth who       Johannesburg’s          newer    Mr Manyi, 44, is not a golfer      haps no different to some         on the plane, grudgingly          officer and to alert
has since the end of apart-       hotels, which he appreciates     and says he hardly ever has        other major cities”.              raise it when told to for take    colleagues to this fact next
heid become one of the lead-      for its African themed décor.    time to “chill”, but he high-                                        off and then slam it back as      time you come. However, I
ing lights of the new black       Then there is the Westcliff      lights Johannesburg’s repu-          Jimmy Manyi worked as a         soon as the plane hits            and the Home Office are
middle class, he knows            (011 481 6000) which perches     tation for some of the best        geologist at Anglo American       10,000 feet.                      surprised that the officer
Johannesburg and its envi-        on a ridge and has a spectac-    golf courses in South Africa,      the giant mining group from       PBJ software sales                failed to explain this to you.
rons as well as anyone.           ular vantage point looking       in particular the course at        1985 – 1994. After a stint at     executive,                        You should surely not have
Every weekend he visits his       out over the city.               the Johannesburg Country           Harvard’s senior executive        Washington, DC                    been left in doubt and if this
family in Soweto but his          Restaurants                      Club.                              programme, from 2000 to 2003      A: It seems you could             is a frequent omission by
home is in one of north           Johannesburg’s restaurant           A “must” is the Apartheid       he was head of marketing          become a big fan of Irish         immigration staff, it surely
Johannesburg’s fancy white-       scene has so diversified and     Museum, which has a perma-         and business at Nedcor’s          low­cost carrier Ryanair,         needs to be addressed.
dominated suburbs and dur-        expanded in recent years         nent and highly-acclaimed          short-lived People’s Bank.        none of whose aircraft has
ing the week he is part of the    that Mr Manyi finds it hard      exhibition guiding visitors        Since 2006 he has been group      reclining seats. This is not                      Roger Bray
business     elite    flitting    to pick any favourites. He       through South Africa’s trou-       executive, corporate affairs of
between the smart hotels and      cites Number Ten Bompas, a       bled past. He also strongly        Tiger Brands
FINANCIAL TIMES THURSDAY MARCH 27 2008                                                                                                                                                              15


                                                                                                                                                            Global Traveller

Tricks of a half­century in hospitality
CEO INTERVIEW                      I was a child the toilet wasn’t   iers, it may even have low-
KURT RITTER                        there in the room,” he says.      ered service standards, he
                                     Some new “basics”, such         accepts.
Roger Blitz talks to               as internet access, have             “But through this process
a hotelier brought                 emerged. What surprises him
                                   is coming across hotels
                                                                     it made you think, ‘what
                                                                     kind of hotel am I, where do I
up in a ‘pompous                   charging for its use.             position myself, who is my
background’                          “In Las Vegas the other
                                   week, I called down and
                                                                     customer, what does he
                                                                     expect of me and how do I
                                   asked where the internet          price this?’ My parents’ place
Every time Barack Obama            was. It was in the minibar.       was by no means a five-star
trots out his “Yes We Can”         They were charging 25 bucks       hotel, but it probably gave
slogan across the US primary       just to be connected. This is     away five-star service.”
hustings, Kurt Ritter is           short-sighted,” the elegantly        By the mid-1990s SAS was
tempted to reach for the           attired Mr Ritter says.           stuck in a rut. It had 100 per
number of his copyright law-         He attributes this approach     cent brand awareness in
yer. “We should charge him         to what he disarmingly calls      Scandinavia, but zero aware-
for that,” jokes the chief         the luck to have have been        ness outside, and was close
executive of Rezidor Hotel         brought up in a “pompous          to bankruptcy. In 1995, Mr
Group whose employers were         background”. Schooled at the      Ritter struck a franchise deal
wearing “Yes I Can!” badges        renowned Ecole Hôtelière de       with Carlson Hotels to man-
on their lapels long before        Lausanne and at deluxe,           age its Radisson US brand in
Mr Obama stepped into the                                            Europe and other regions.
political limelight.                                                 Following a decade of com-
   In the hospitality business,    He lays claim to the              pound annual growth north
Mr Ritter is used to observ-                                         of 20 per cent, Rezidor
ing the new kids on the block      ‘grab­and­run’                    floated.
apeing his methods. He lays        lobby breakfast and                  “The main thing we
claim to several innovations                                         learned from the US was
– from the “grab-and-run”          the three­hour                    marketing,” he says. “In
lobby breakfast and the
three-hour laundry service,
                                   laundry service                   1995, we had all kinds of com-
                                                                     panies like Marriott, Holiday
to laptops in hotel bedrooms                                         Inn and InterContinental and
and the industry’s migration                                         no one allowed us to do a
from owner of real estate to       upmarket establishments           dual name.”
manager of hotels.                 such as the Bellevue Palace          A half century in hospital-
   Aged 61, he has been in the     in Berne – “there were two        ity leaves Kurt Ritter well
hotel industry for half a cen-     or three waiters on each          placed to observe the shifts
tury, having begun checking        floor” – he was overpro-          in the industry. “People five
in guests at his parents’          moted, as he puts it, by Ram-     or six years ago did not care
hotel in Interlaken.               ada to run its European           which brand they stayed in,
   Now, he heads a group           chain.                            they just wanted to stay in a
whose brands – Radisson               Mr Ritter worked his way       certain area. But people can
SAS, Regent Hotels &               up to the top of SAS Interna-     go the other way. They like
Resorts, Park Inn and Coun-        tional Hotels, the hospitality    to stay in a particular hotel    Kurt Ritter: his European chic never blinded him to the trends emerging from the US
try Inns – run 66,000 rooms        offshoot of the Scandinavian      or a particular brand. There
in more than 320 hotels in 50      airline, which opened the         is much more loyalty.”           home. Levels of service may        Some chains overcompli-         emerging markets, notably
countries. Yet his approach        first designer hotel in 1960.        The single, independent       be higher in Europe than in     cate things by adding extra        India, China, and Russia.
to hospitality is as simple as        But his European chic          hotels are diminishing, and      the US, higher still in Asia,   brands. “If you can’t describe     Which prompts him to claim
it was when he was told as a       never blinded him to the hos-     the big groups growing. Rezi-    but the real growth is in       it, you can’t sell it,” he says.   another first.
10-year-old to sing to the         pitality trends and advan-        dor finds itself somewhere in    niche markets.                     Like other sectors, hotels        “We were the first foreign
guests “because people will        tages emerging from across        the middle, which suits Mr         “People have more and         may be heading for tougher         hotel in Russia with a Radis-
pay you”.                          the Atlantic. US systemisa-       Ritter just fine.                more individual needs and       times, but Mr Ritter says all      son. People called us stupid
   Nothing has changed in          tion may have brought a              Hospitality is not rocket     maybe feel more comfortable     its problems are about cop-        or very brave. but there is a
the hotel business, he con-        more “calculating” approach       science, he argues, it boils     in a smaller lifestyle hotel    ing with increasing demand         huge opportunity there.
tends. “It’s still the basic bed   to priceless service quality      down to providing guests         than in a cookie-cutter big     from the healthier, wealthier      That’s where we have done
and bathroom, though when          familiar to European hotel-       with their needs away from       chain hotel,” says Mr Ritter.   baby-boomers and from              right.”
16                                                                                                                                                   FINANCIAL TIMES THURSDAY MARCH 27 2008


Global Traveller



BUSINESS ETIQUETTE                                                                                                                                                    ted single women to stay in
                                                                                                                                                                      hotels alone, while some
Simeon Kerr on                                                                                                                                                        women travellers stay at fur-
the list of dos and                                                                                                                                                   nished apartments attached
                                                                                                                                                                      to hotels – but the rules con-
don’ts in Saudi                                                                                                                                                       tinue to make it difficult for
Arabian society                                                                                                                                                       women to travel without a
                                                                                                                                                                      male guardian.
                                                                                                                                                                        Similarly, western busi-



H
             ow quickly, and                                                                                                                                          nessmen travelling to the
             slowly,     times                                                                                                                                        kingdom with their wives
             change in Saudi                                                                                                                                          should adopt a cautious and
             Arabia. A few                                                                                                                                            polite attitude if challenged
years ago the Islamic                                                                                                                                                 by the religious police. Non-
extremist insurgency had                                                                                                                                              Muslim women should wear
many expatriate families                                                                                                                                              the voluminous abaya to
fleeing for the safety and                                                                                                                                            cover the entire body, while
creature comforts of neigh-                                                                                                                                           keeping to hand a headscarf
bouring Bahrain and Dubai.                                                                                                                                            to wear in public – though
Embassies barred non-essen-                                                                                                                                           many Saudis no longer
tial travel to the oil-rich                                                                                                                                           expect foreigners to cover
kingdom as bombings and                                                                                                                                               their hair. Last, to err on the
kidnappings targeting for-                                                                                                                                            safe side, westerners should
eigners turned the dream of                                                                                                                                           avoid being alone with a
tax-free salaries into a maca-                                                                                                                                        woman in the workplace.
bre nightmare.                                                                                                                                                          Gender politics aside, most
   Now, business is booming                                                                                                                                           visiting businessmen will
again – and the memories of                                                                                                                                           find plenty of charm as they
those darker days have                                                                                                                                                seek to close a deal or make
receded. A six-year bull run                                                                                                                                          new contacts. Longstanding
in the energy markets has                                                                                                                                             Saudi residents urge visitors
left the world’s biggest oil
exporter with hundreds of
billions of dollars in surplus                                                                                                                                        Nice polite
revenues. A commitment to
building infrastructure and                                                                                                                                           conversation and
reforming the economy has                                                                                                                                             interest in society
also opened the doors for for-
eign companies to do busi-                                                                                                                                            works, but asking
ness in the Gulf market with
the most untapped potential,
                                                                                                                                                                      difficult questions
from construction, engineer-                                                                                                                                          isn’t a good thing
ing and finance all the way
through to retail.
   But the businessmen – and                                                                                                                                          to spend as long as possible
it is still usually men – trav-                                                                                                                                       with their potential business
elling to the capital, Riyadh,                                                                                                                                        partners.
the more liberal trading cen-                                                                                                                                           Plenty of small talk over
tre of Jeddah or oil conurba-                                                                                                                                         coffee is a great way to
tion of Al-Khobar in the                                                                                                                                              break the ice. You can show
eastern province, should also                                                                                                                                         off your cultural nous by
remember that Saudi society                                                                                                                                           shaking the small cups of
and customs have not neces-                                                                                                                                           sweet, cardamom-infused
sarily moved on at the same                                                                                                                                           coffee or qishr – a drink
clip as the economy. It is                                                                                                                                            hewn from the coffee husks
still a very conservative                                                                                                                                             – to signal that you’ve had
Muslim society – despite a                                                                                                                                            enough. Lunch and dinner
healthy dose of debate about                                                                                                                                          usually revolves around a
the country’s future heard                                                                                                                                            traditional feast of roast
across the coffee shops and                                                                                                                                           lamb and rice. And many
parlours.                         How do you do: it’s best to be overpolite in English as that is the closest to correspond with Arabic’s flowery etiquette   Alamy   courses can arrive before the
   Guidebooks and the declin-                                                                                                                                         rich, heavy centrepiece




                                  Never, ever lose your
ing breed of wizened old                                                                                                                                              arrives – so pace yourself.
expatriates who came out to                                                                                                                                             In private, conversations
the scorching climes of the                                                                                                                                           can be expansive, often cov-
Gulf when the British                                                                                                                                                 ering politics. It may be best
Empire was only starting its                                                                                                                                          to refrain from commenting
decline will lay out a long                                                                                                                                           on the local political situa-




                                  temper with officials
list of “dos and don’ts”. This                                                                                                                                        tion, but mocking US presi-
guide is deemed essential for                                                                                                                                         dents – a common thread in
the confused foreigner to                                                                                                                                             the Saudi conversation these
make his way through the                                                                                                                                              days – is probably OK.
etiquette minefield of this                                                                                                                                             “The interface between
society that remains rooted                                                                                                                                           religion and politics isn’t
firmly in the desert life of                                                                                                                                          something Saudis like to
the Bedouin: never show the       especially to elders – it’s best   aware of tight security in          Still, the photography        been known to descend upon     talk about with strangers,
soles of one’s feet; never use    to be overpolite in English        the kingdom to control the        probably was not the worst      international conferences in   but if conversation moves to
your left (toilet) hand to eat    as that is the closest to cor-     lingering threat of extremist     offence here – it was the       the kingdom, which have        the case for change and how
or shake hands; and don’t         respond with Arabic’s flow-        attacks.                          intemperate reaction to offi-   adopted some more liberal      things moved on and where
ask after the health of your      ery etiquette,” says a Euro-          Be careful when photo-         cialdom. The golden rule:       codes: women – unveiled –      is it going and general con-
contact’s wife.                   pean businessman with              graphing. One hapless exec-       never, ever lose your temper    mixing freely with men,        versations – there isn’t a
   While abiding by these old     years of experience in the         utive got himself into trou-      with officials.                 rather than participating      problem with that,” says one
customs cannot hurt, nor is       kingdom. “That doesn’t             ble while searching for             It is rare to come across     from a separate room. Con-     seasoned diplomat. “It’s all
breaking them such a crime        mean you can’t be tough            accommodation with a cam-         the mutawwa, or religious       ferences provide the easiest   down to presentation – nice
these days. There are few         when negotiating – just            era and maps. An unfortu-         police, who drive Muslims       avenue for single business-    polite conversation and
faux pas that a little com-       always be polite.”                 nate incident with the secu-      into mosques at prayer times    women to enter the king-       interest in society works –
mon courtesy and politeness          There are also some red         rity forces led to an angry       and enforce Saudi society’s     dom, but invitations from      but going for the throat and
will not fix.                     lines.                             confrontation and an uncom-       gender segregation. These       companies can also work.       asking difficult questions
   “Always show respect,             Travellers should still be      fortable two-day stint in jail.   guardians of virtue have        The government has permit-     isn’t a good thing.”

				
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