After arriving at an ungodly hour of the morning at Soekarno-Hatta airport, I checked in for my Emirates flight back to London via Dubai and then went to find a cup of coffee. As the noisy tannoy spluttered and gurgled the announcement for my flight, I made my way to the boarding gate. Handing over my ticket and passport to the girl at the desk I was a little alarmed when she scanned it and then said ‘I’m sorry Madam’ ‘there seems to be a problem with your ticket’ I was still half asleep and therefore not really capable of thinking as my problem ticket was whisked away and handed over to an efficient looking woman for closer inspection. ‘Wait over there please’ said the younger woman pointing to a row of seats close by. Whilst waiting, it occurred to me that maybe there really was a problem with the ticket, and maybe just maybe, my plan of traveling to Spain and finding a house to buy would be thwarted before even leaving Jakarta. If Irishman had booked this ticket on some dodgy credit card then I was going to have his guts for garters.

Just as I was on the point of breaking into a muck sweat, the efficient woman came over and handed me a new ticket. ‘We’ve upgraded you to Business Class Mrs. Nevin, enjoy your flight’. Speechless, I flung my arms around the efficient looking woman’s neck and gave her a huge hug. My fellow passengers in Economy turned a visible shade of green as I was lead through the riff raff and out into the cordoned off area exclusively reserved for those with pots of money.

I soon discovered that life is very different when you take a left turn onto a plane instead of a right. No sooner had I parked myself into the comfortable armchair style seat, than a glass of champagne was being handed to me. The roomy seat had loads of legroom and with partitions between the seats there was none of the usual argy-bargy regarding fellow passengers hogging both of the arm rests. In that moment I thought I might well have died and gone to heaven. Taking full advantage of the free flowing champagne, I snuck in another glass quickly before the flight took off.

No sooner had the fasten seatbelt signs been switched off than my every need was taken care of. ‘Mrs Nevin, would you like to see the wine list?’ ‘A hot towel Mrs Nevin?’ ‘Mrs Nevin, would you like to see the lunch menu?’ ‘Some cocktail snacks for you Mrs Nevin’ ‘How would you like your steak cooked Mrs Nevin?’ ‘Mrs Nevin, some port to accompany your cheese?’ ‘Some more champagne Mrs Nevin?’ ‘Belgium chocolates with your coffee Mrs Nevin?’ ‘An extra pillow Mrs Nevin?’

By the time Mrs Nevin arrived at Dubai airport eight and a half hours later, she was so stuffed, sorry replete, that she half staggered, half waddled off the plane. Making my way to the next gate for the onward trip to London, I was already dreading the prospect of having to re-engage with life in the economy lane.

I’m still unclear as to why my luck was at such an all time high that day but suffice to say when I boarded for my next flight I found myself once again making a left turn. Having indulged to excess on the previous flight I vowed that I would moderate my intake on this one. But the flesh is weak, and Mrs Nevin couldn’t help herself but get stuck into yet more of the fine things on offer. After watching 3 movies and gorging myself on every available food and beverage that was offered to me, I reckoned it was time to take advantage of the lie-back facility on my chair. Pressing various buttons I soon had a comfortable berth to lie back on. ‘Ah, Mrs Nevin, you might want a mattress and an extra cushion?’ How very nice to be able to actually lie down on a flight. My legs stretched out, the headphones on, the faint roar of the aircrafts engines in the background….

But then I got bored. I noticed that there were some natty controls on the handset which when pressed, turned the chair into massage mode. Before I knew it, there was a strange but very pleasant sensation tingling me between my legs, over my buttocks and up and down my back. It was very nice, very nice indeed, almost too nice. I quickly turned it off for fear that in this heightened state of ecstasy and relaxation, I might fall to sleep and wake the other passengers with loud moaning sounds from coming from my cubicle.

I am not sure why, or for what reason I became the darling of Emirates that day, but it was such a pleasure and a treat to have the experience and it was much appreciated. Over the past couple of years we have flown with Emirates a number of times and cannot fault them. Their service is always excellent even in Economy Class. However, having been gifted this fabulous, lux trip back to London, it did feel like winning the lottery. I fear though that now having had a taste of the high life, I’m always going to feel cheated when having to do battle with the arm rests back in Economy. Just for fun I checked out the price of a Business Class ticket to London and it came back as $4,059.00 as opposed to the $1,200 that we normally pay. Guess I won’t be taking a left turn any time soon!

27 Comments

  1. I remember the days when people used to get ‘bumped up’. Never happened to me. Well done.

    Some years ago BA (I think) was doing cheap price business class flights to Aus, a friend snapped up a couple immediately, it was really good value. After the last economy long haul flight I took, I swore I would never fly econ again = I’ll never fly again.

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    1. Thanks Ms Rough. I have to admit that now I’ve had a taste of the left turn experience, it’s made me even more jealous of those that can enjoy the benefits of flying Business Class, especially on long-haul journeys. My flight back was the most terrible come down (probably not the best expression to use in regard to flying!) but hey, at least I had that amazing stroke of good fortune.

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      1. My worst flight was from Sydney to London, economy (obviously). We had what must be the worst possible seats on the whole ‘plane. Rammed against the toilet compartment with no opportunity to put our seat back while the people in front selfishly pushed theirs back into us.

        The only good thing to say about that trip was that there was a delay setting off from Auckland. It was long enough for them to provide free tea and coffee. There was a huge queue. We went to the bar and asked if we could have free beers instead. We could. Tea and coffee queue jumpers tried to get their beverages via the bar. No way. Alcohol only. Only time I have ever seen a queue for tea and coffee and none for free alcohol 🙂

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  2. Are you sure you weren’t in first class, Lottie? I think it is wonderful that the sun shone on the righteous and you were given a massage seat. I alas am nowadays doing the reverse. Having spent so many years flying business or first class at the shareholders expense (of whom I am one) I now find myself shopping around for the cheapest deals available without dropping to cattle class. Hence we are flying FinnAir business class via Helsinki rather than fork out obscene amounts of dosh to those licensed bandits, BA or CX. This is the absolute bees knees in search engines for flights. http://matrix.itasoftware.com Every possible permutation you can think of. A friend of mine travelled to NY a while back and returned saying that he thought he had joined the mile high club on the flight back but then discovered there were supposed to be two people involved. The joys of air travel, eh?

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    1. What a great link, thanks for sharing it on here Andrew – Pete is already checking it out.

      PMP about the Mile High Club! I suppose my lux seat was the nearest I’ve ever got to it 😉

      Having had a taste of the high life, I can sympathise with you now having to make the occasional right turn. Just imagine if I got an upgrade on that magnificent A380!

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      1. Lottie I never book a flight without going onto this site. It is what our travel agent sees as far as I can tell. It is a gem not enough people know about. If people used this more I’m sure the big carriers would hate it because it just shows how they rip us off.

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      2. Pete’s just been playing about on it, making up fantasy flights, destinations etc Interestingly, Emirates crops up quite frequently. I think compared to some of the other ‘biggies’ they are not overly greedy with their prices. Considering how much it costs to travel by train in the UK, flights are cheap as chips 😀

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  3. Soo jealous; in all the flights I’ve taken I’ve never once been upgraded. Not sure what the trick is. Someone said should ‘look professional’ whatever that means.

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    1. I have no idea what the secret is Sarah. As for looking professional, I looked like I’d been pulled through a hedge backwards that morning. I’m not sure that I’d even brushed my hair. I was wearing a sort of shalwar kameez get up and a very tatty pair of shoes. I did have my very nice fake Hermes hand bag on me though. Maybe that did the trick? 🙂

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  4. So that’s what they mean by ‘Living the High Life’. Well done, it must have made the Spanish venture seem like it’s destined to be…..and I hope it is. xxx Huge Hugs xxx

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    1. Thanks so much David. I couldn’t have wished for a better start to my Spanish adventure. It certainly helped inspire me with confidence and put me in a very positive frame of mind for the next few days. Lots of hugs back. Lottie xxx

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  5. Wow, this almost makes me want to fly again, Lottie. Most likely, though, I’d just get a seat next to the loo. 🙂 Such fine treatment was obviously a good sign for the trip’s success.

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    1. It certainly felt that way. I’m sure we’ve all had the seat next to the loo at some stage and it sucks 😦 I’m a lot more savvy now and book aisle seats about 3 rows back so that I’m close enough but not too close. I also prefer being towards the back of the plane as it means you board first and don’t have to fight for room in the over head lockers for your luggage. Of course if you turn left you have none of these problems!!

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  6. I think the clue might be in your comment that you fly frequently with them. Also that you were flying on your own.This used to happen to Malcolm’s family. They always recommend that you dress smartly,, just in case..The first time that I went to Bangkok,, I had to fly home on my own, as I needed to get back to work ,, school holidays not being flexible.. AA very stroppy woman informed me that I was in her seat. The stewardess told me to follow her and I thought II was going to be turned off the plane!! Panic set in,, it was pre mobile phones and I hadn’t a clue as to what to do. At the time my knowledge of Thai ran to a cup of tea and toilet!! As you”ve probably guessed, I was ushered into First Class – caviar,, great food and loads of attention, plus I was given pyjamas so that I could sleep comfortably!! I spent the whole fight feeling like a fraud!!

    Apologies for typing mistakes,, things keep coming up in duplicate and I can’t get rid of some of them!!

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    1. I felt a bit of a fraud too. Especially when the stewardess commented on my ‘gorgeous Hermes bag’ I thought oh no! she really is going to think that I’m some rich b**ch with tons of money. I felt obliged to tell her that it was 100% fake just so that she knew that I was a complete fake and shouldn’t even be sitting quaffing champagne in Business Class. How fabulous getting a seat in First. I can’ t even start to imagine what that must be like! 🙂

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  7. Good fortune shines on those who wait or something to that effect. I’m glad that you had such a nice experience. Maybe you and Pete will get lucky again when you leave Jakarta behind. I really enjoyed this post. Something new for me since I have never flown and refuse to fly. I tell people I don’t fly, sail, or go by rail. But I love to read travel stories etc. Loved reading this ,Lottie.

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    1. You are not alone Yvonne. I have a number of friends who hate flying and some like you who don’t even want to set foot in an airplane. It’s not for everyone. I’m not the best traveller, impatience being one of my many faults but I do relish the opportunity to visit new places and flying is often the only way. I’m going to make a special post just for you today to show you some volcanoes that we visited yesterday on Bali. There’s a little surprise visit from Irishman too…..XXX

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    1. I felt horribly guilty leaving my fellow passengers behind. There’s a sense of solidarity that us lesser mortals have when stuck together in cattle class. The guilt trip only lasted a matter of seconds though – by the time I was on my second glass of champers I was away with the fairies 🙂

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  8. I’m sure your upgrade was well deserved. You obvious looked like the kind of person in need of upgrading. Em, let me rephrase that. Deserving of an upgraded booking class.
    Glad you were spoilt. That vibrating chair sounded like it was a lot of fun, but probably a wise choice to limit the experience. I once woke myself up in business class with a very load snorting snore. Sheepishly looked around and am quite sure there was a look of relief in other passengers’ eyes that I had woken up
    Another time I was watching a movie (A Fish Called Wanda, I think). I was laughing so hard at the movie, when I realized I was the only one laughing, and many weren’t wearing earphones talk about turning a bit red in Helsinki!
    Hope you get some more first class opportunities.

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    1. Irishman does that roaring with laughter gag on the plane too! I think by the time he’s had a few beers, he’s quite forgotten that there is anybody else on there. I envy his ability to sleep all scrunched up in Economy. I’m like a bear with a sore head, shifting around, stiff neck, unable to stretch out whilst he snores away in blissful sleep.

      The vibrating chair was something else. Heavens, it should really be licensed! I LOVED being spoilt though I don’t believe for one second that I deserved it. It was just one of those incredibly lucky things that happen every once in a while. It certainly made for a very auspicious start to my trip 🙂

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  9. It seems like your whole trip was charmed, Lottie! Clearly, the universe had excellent plans for you…

    Glad to know it can happen, too — a mysterious upgrade. It sounds like everything it’s supposed to be. 🙂 Cheers xxxxxxx

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