Awesome lounges, eye-cream and lost luggage in winter – we talk travel with Michelle Potgieter, director: corporate marketing and communications at Samsung Electronics SA.
TS: Where is your favourite airport lounge?
MP: Hong Kong has the best airport lounges. What really makes them special are the great facilities that are available, allowing you to refresh yourself, as well as the layout of the lounges. They are very private and never feel crowded. I also love the selection of both Eastern and Western cuisine.
TS: Which airway is best and why?
MP: I really like Emirates. They have great on-board entertainment and you have a choice of the latest movies, music, magazines etc. This always helps with long flights.
TS: Any tips on how to survive those long-haul flights overseas gracefully?
MP: Lots of water, eye-cream and I always walk up and down the aisles to ensure good blood flow to the legs.
TS: Are there any special hotels you can recommend?
MP: Each city has great hotels, but I often check Trip Advisor and see what guests have to say about the hotel of interest - this gives you a good indication of what to expect. If a hotel is not listed, I won’t consider it.
TS: Passport and airplane tickets excluded, what are the items that you do not travel without?
MP: I do not travel without my Galaxy S5 smartphone and Galaxy tablet, and I often use my phone for navigation purposes to get to a meeting, a restaurant or to find sight-seeing locations. There is nothing worse than feeling lost in a country or city and not being able to find your way. I also always carry some medication for the odd occasion when you awake with a sniffle.
TS: Do you have a travel horror story you won’t mind sharing?
MP: A year ago I travelled to Seoul, Korea, during their winter, for a business meeting. The meeting was scheduled for two days. There is no direct flight and I chose to fly via Hong Kong to Seoul. The arrival time in Hong Kong changed due to the weather conditions. As a result, I missed my connecting flight and had to fly via Taipei to Seoul. On arrival my luggage was nowhere to be found. I was asked to go to my hotel and told that they would keep me posted on tracking my luggage. I did not pack an additional travel bag (which I normally do) as the visit was only scheduled for two days. There I was in the freezing cold weather with only the clothes I was wearing. I had no time to go buy anything and they do not really make provision for western women’s clothing. My bag never turned up and on the day of departure, the airline advised that the bag was located at OR Tambo. Needless to say, I spent most of my time indoors and when possible at the hotel.
Article first appeared in TechSmart Business, May/June 2014 to be found here.