Expert tips for air travel with Ann Sherry

Photography: Michael Amendolia

We talk to Ann Sherry, executive chair of Carnival Australia, about her flying routine and the must dos and donts of plane travel.

Where do you travel for work?

"With more of Australia embracing cruise tourism, I've been spending more time in regional areas. Domestically, I fly frequently to Melbourne and Brisbane, and internationally to Miami and Europe."

How often are you away?

"About 60 to 70 domestic trips a year and about 10 international trips a year."

Suitcase of choice?

"Samsonite. I like my bags strong, light and on wheels and always bright red so I can identify them easily on the carousel. I've never owned a black suitcase."

Pre-flight routine?

"I always load up my iPad with books before I fly. On longer flights, I have a facial at the airport before I board."

Essential cabin items?

"My iPad, earplugs, moisturising creams and pressure socks."

Onboard routine?

"When I'm travelling long haul I change into airline pyjamas and get comfortable straight away. I do my reading and paperwork for meetings, then I read a book or watch something in-flight. I eat small and I drink only still water."

Roll or fold?

"I've learnt to roll since I've been in this job and now I roll everything except my suits, which I pack in plastic and paper so they don't crush."

Aisle or window?

"Domestically, I prefer the aisle for ease of access, but on long-haul flights I always choose the window seat - it's usually quieter."

Who do you fly?

"Domestically, I fly both Qantas and Virgin, based on timetables and convenience. Internationally, it depends on my destination but I travel a lot with Qantas/Emirates to Europe and Qantas/American Airlines to the US."

Favourite airline lounge?

"Virgin Australia's club is fabulous - the food is by Luke Mangan, whose food also features on our P&O ships. Qantas International First Lounge is also a favourite - I particularly enjoy the luxury of having a facial in the lounge before my flight."

Favourite hotels for business?

"In Melbourne, I like the Sofitel on Collins. In New York, I stay at the Four Seasons - nothing is too much trouble for them, even when you have to make conference calls in the middle of the night. In London, I often stay at the Haymarket Hotel, which has a fabulous indoor swimming pool that's open 24 hours. When I can't sleep during the night I can relax by doing a few laps."

How do hotels get it wrong for business travellers?

"Some hotels have very little space for bags. I often find there aren't enough power points in the room and it's surprising how many hotels don't offer international adaptors. A lot of bathrooms have poor lighting. And don't get me started on ineffective hairdryers."

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