BARNETT ON BUSINESS TRAVEL FOR 2011

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT CHRIS BARNETT
Frequent flyer Chris Barnett writes about business-travel tactics and strategies that save time and money and help minimize hassles. He is based in San Francisco and has written for a wide variety of major newspapers and national magazines. Barnett on Business Travel is currently syndicated by Creators Syndicate. Chris was a contributing editor of Frequent Flyer when JoeSentMe.com founder Joe Brancatelli was the magazine's executive editor and he was the first columnist Joe approached to join JoeSentMe.

December 29: THE LAST THOUGHTS OF 2011
Good thing Santa wasn't flying commercial this Christmas. He'd be busted, paying baggage surcharges on all those gifts and royally ticked off by all of the other annoying and outrageous airline fees. This year, business travelers had plenty to gripe about plus some reasons to be grateful. Where do we start? How about those egregious fees?

December 8: SERENITY, HIGH ATOP HONG KONG
Occupying the top floors of a Hong Kong high rise that also houses a 577-room JW Marriott, the Upper House feels more like a spiritual retreat than a commercial hotel. There is no ballroom, no meeting rooms, no business center, no phalanx of restaurants, no spa and no front desk. But the minimalist rooms are huge and elegantly appointed. The bathrooms are sybaritic. The staff is faultless and the top floor has turned into one of Hong Kong's brightest lights in the entertainment firmament.

November 23: THE WAY WE WERE ON THE ROAD
Business travel wasn't all glamour and glory in the "good old days," of course. One business traveler of the day remembers that he was tightly scheduled, gone from home for weeks at a time and he spent his share of holidays on the road, dining solo in hotel restaurants and diners. But, still, it was a different era and a much more gracious time if you lived your life on the road.

November 3: HIDING AWAY IN THE LAP OF LUXURY
A one-time working lumber forest called Primland is no ordinary forest: It's been transformed into a luxurious sporting retreat on 12,000 acres. With just 44 accommodations on that vast spread, guests are pampered with great service, fine food and an amazing range of sporting activities.

October 13: RITZ-CARLTON'S SECOND ACT IN HONG KONG
Sequels rarely measure up to the original, but that's not true for Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong. The first Ritz struggled mightily before the owners converted it into an office building four years ago. Now a new Ritz-Carlton, located in a remote area of West Kowloon, is booming. It's a sleek, stylish property primed for Asian business today.

September 1: CATHAY PACIFIC'S NEW ANGLE ON BUSINESS CLASS
Just four years after it installed a new business class, Cathay Pacific is rolling out a new configuration. It's much more than an upgrade of the seat it first introduced four years ago. It's a radical reimagination of the original concept with more personal and work space, a better bed and a new angle on how to place seats.

August 4: BACK TO THE PRESENT AT NEW YORK'S BAR AMERICAIN
It's too bad that Mad Men is filmed in Los Angeles. Otherwise, Don Draper's dysfunctional clan--not to mention Jack Lemmon, Fred MacMurray and the characters from The Apartment--would be right at home at Manhattan's Bar Americain. The entire enterprise is an homage to New York in the 1950s and 1960s, when America ruled the world and Manhattan hotshots ruled American business.

July 13: SURPRISE! US AIRWAYS FAILS AGAIN
On two recent flights, I couldn't find a single outstanding thing to say about US Airways other than being safely transported between three cities. The employees are unhappy and unhelpful. The services available, even in first class, are minimal and only grudgingly supplied. And my experiences belie the airline's claims of on-time prowess.

June 23: MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE AT YOSHI'S
Located just 10 minutes east of downtown San Francisco by cab, Yoshi's is an enticing, reasonably priced, after-work diversion and stress reliever for business travelers. The problem is that first-timers can easily miss the action. And there's plenty of action: an eclectic restaurant, a music hall and two fascinating bars.

June 16: THE 'GOOD OLD DAYS' IN HONG KONG'S SKIES
Dragonair has always sounded somewhat sinister to Chris Barnett. Something out of a Robert Ludlum potboiler or a James Bond film starring Sean Connery. But after a flight from its Hong Kong hub, Chris is convinced he sees a little bit of the "good old days" of American business travel on the subsidiary of Cathay Pacific.

May 5: ON AND IN THE AIR WITH KEN LEVINE
What happens when you've already won an Emmy for writing for some of the great sitcoms of the last 30 years, hosted a radio talk show and been the play-by-play voice of several baseball teams? If you are Ken Levine, you write a book about your life on the road. Chris Barnett catches up with the man who's written for Frasier, created Dancin' Homer on the Simpsons and now calls games for the Seattle Mariners.

April 21: TWO BARTENDERS, NO WAITING IN SAN FRANCISCO
Business travelers in San Francisco who want more than an elevator ride to a hotel bar should cab it to 1915 Fillmore, the former address of Minnie's Can Do Club. These days, it's an inviting brasserie and bar called Florio where first timers don't feel like strangers. Two bartenders, no waiting.

April 14: TAKE TWO ON T-2 IN SAN FRANCISCO
More than a week of nonstop pre-opening hoopla peaked when the sleek, redesigned, art-filled and eco-friendly Terminal Two at San Francisco International Airport officially came alive on Wednesday. Here's the good, the bad, the ugly and the tasty at the new terminal.

April 7: BACK TO THE FUTURE AT SFO'S NEW T-2
After sitting empty for 11 years, access to its gates sealed to thwart vagrants, San Francisco Airport's original international terminal reopens on Saturday looking more like the lobby of a luxury hotel instead of the new home of American Airlines and Virgin America. Chris got a tour and has what you need to know to master the new terminal.

February 3: FROM SYRACUSE, WITH PLANNING
Think you've had a tough travel week? It could have been worse. You could be Steve Lawrence. He lives in Utica, and flies out of Hancock International Airport in Syracuse, New York, about an hour's drive from his home. Every week during the long winters, he drives to the airport in the dead of night, through rain, snow, sleet, sludge and on ice, then crams himself into a regional jet and prays that it takes off.

Copyright 2001-2011 by Chris Barnett. All rights reserved.