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"The Best Airport? The One You Know Best"
Thursday, March 22, 2012
The Best Airport? The One You Know Best
By Patrick Brzeski
Road Warrior provides travel tips from those who know best: busy executives
and other globetrotters.
The Wall Street Journal
Since Dan Mintz co-founded Beijing-based Dynamic Marketing Group in 1993, it
has become one of China's leading advertising and marketing firms,
representing Volkswagen, Johnson & Johnson and the U.S.'s National
Basketball Association in the country.
With the addition of subsidiary DMG Entertainment in 2009, Mr. Mintz has
also become a player in the Chinese film industry, producing domestic
top-earners such as "The Founding of a Republic" and "Beginning of the Great
Revival," and distributing Hollywood properties such as "Twilight" and
"Resident Evil: Afterlife 3-D." DMG is now finishing production on "Looper,"
its first major Chinese-Hollywood co-production, starring Bruce Willis and
Mr. Mintz, a native New Yorker, spoke to the Journal about fending off jet
lag with gym time and his favorite hotel in Seoul.
How often are you currently traveling? On average, probably about eight
times a month.
Where do you go the most? From Beijing and Shanghai, I go to Seoul, Los
Angeles and New York pretty regularly, [with] a little bit of Tokyo
sprinkled in there for good measure.
What's your favorite airport? I'd say it's more about the one you can
tolerate the most compared to the rest. There is something about knowing
your way around an airport intimately that really helps, though. In that
respect, I like Beijing Capital, LAX and JFK. I know exactly where I'm
How do you keep up with exercise on the road? This is actually how I often
choose hotels: I always look for a place that has a rocking gym. I have a
little system to keep me going, and part of it is hitting the gym during
What else do you do to fight jet lag? The most important thing is getting to
sleep right away after takeoff. If I can crash right away, I'm good.
Favorite hotel? A little boutique hotel in New York called the Surrey, a
very hip spot on the Upper East Side. Korea has some very stylish hotels
these days. I like the W Seoul a lot - great skyline views.
Do you have a preferred carrier? I'm more interested in what's going to get
me from point A to point B the fastest. One thing I always look for are
direct flights. This is an issue with being based in Beijing, because not
every airline is allowed to fly in and out of here. Air China has the most
direct flights to L.A. and New York, so that's the most regular for me. As
far as the actual best airline in general, Cathay and Singapore are the
strongest. They always have an air of exclusivity and a standard of quality
that doesn't slip, whereas some of the bigger Western carriers are pretty
hit or miss.
What do you do for in-flight entertainment? I really treasure my time in the
air. You're not online. You can't be reached by phone. For someone as busy
as I am, it's a great time to concentrate. One of the things I do is look at
dailies, which is the raw footage from the projects we're filming. I look at
the edits, make comments and changes. By the time we land, I usually have a
very defined point of view on where the story should go. It's not quite
"entertainment," but I find this flight time very useful.
Best in-flight meal? Singapore Airlines has the best first-class meals. They
take it seriously.
Essential travel gadgets? I have the usual MacBook Air and iPad. I also have
a nice little adapter bag, which keeps all my wires and adapters together. I
also always have to remember not to mix up my L.A. phone and China phone.
Favorite luggage maker? Tumi is smart and functional, and Varvatos gives off
the right hip-but-professional energy for someone in my industry.
Takeaway travel tip? Unpredictability is the magic of travel.Don't overload
your time. Whether it's business opportunities, new relationships or
personal inspiration, leave room for life to happen.
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