Flying to india

For the first time in my 10 years of transatlantic trips I get to fly business class. Not that I am paying for it. My tight fisted scots mentality will have me flying coach for the rest of my life. Instead my company is picking up the tab.

So what do you get in return for the small chunk of change my company to fly me business class. First I get a busy lady at the United check in line look at me and say “Coach is over there”, I reply “no I am business class” she looks at me in a way that made me wonder if she believes me then let me proceed to business class ‘self service’ check in counter. For international flights this makes almost no sense, all it does is collect your name, scan your passport and allow you to change your seating assignment. It then prints out a ticket that you give to an clerk who types some stuff tags your bag checks your ID and issues you a boarding pass. I am not exactly sure how that saves time but I am glad I didn’t have to stand in the coach line for an hour.

I walk down the hall to the hell that is security at Dulles. Every time I fly out of Dulles the more it renforces my wish to never visit this airport ever again. I keep walking past the hordes of travellers. At dulles you can join the queue at both ends of the terminal. I kept walking to see which end would be shorter. I counted over 70 steps before I reached the center spot. I kept walking wondering which side was shorter, then I spotted it the pemium passenger line.
I Walk up, nevously handing over my boarding pass and ID waiting to be told that business class does count as premium, and I would have to join the end of the coach line. He looked, he stamped and I moved on. I looked at my ticket wondering where the special mark was that told them I was a premium customer.

I have travelled by air many times and know the drill, cellphone and wallet go in my backpack, laptop out and placed in a government issued grey box all on it’s own, shoes and keys go in another. I am smart, I stack the backpack on top of the laptop to make it easier to carry laptop bag till I have to sperate everything at the X-Ray machine. This time I put everything down and am working on taking shoes off and I hear ‘Who’s bag I this’ as TSA reprentative spies my bag on top of the laptop. Then I hear “it needs to go in seperately” I say “its mine, and I was just about to do it’ she sneers “Sure you were!”. It doesn’t take much to be nice and this lady needs a reminder in what customer service is.

After taking the Dulles people movers to gate C. I enter a narrow crowed walk way that looks like it has more people in it that it was designed for. As I walk further down the coridor I spy a sign that says “United Red Carpet Lounge” I walk through the frosted doors hiding the awaiting luxury from the unwashed masses, I hand over my boarding pass and she hands it back with a free drinks coupon. Things are looking up. I enter and pull out my laptop but alas it is a T mobile hotspot that you have to pay for. So I make my way to the bar to exchange my coupon for a glass of Red Carpet Ale. After another drink, some complimentary crisps, cheese and crackers, a miini twix or three, it is time to board.

The PA system at Gate C5 sucks I couldn’t hear anything so walked up to the special line with a special red carpet and stand and wait. The lady at the counter works through a few more passengers the spots us waiting. She stops the normal line, opens retractable devider and ushers us in. I haven’t seens the likes since my days clubbing and dc when you arr out with a girl who knows the bouncer.

Now the real fun starts. You get a seat with lots of leg room. It reclines almost flat. You get choice of wine or beer, and an almost constant supply of water. The food was a little better than your average plane fodder but nothing to get excited about. Except it was served on a real plate with a real knife and fork. So I am not allowed a nail file on board but if I fly business class they give a real fork that could do more damage than a nail file.

The movies were average. There was a choice or 6 or 7. I ended up watching the latest Hugh Grant movie which turned out to be better than I thought it would.

After sleeping for all of 5 minutes they are now serving breakfast. I have no idea what time it really is……

2 Responses to “Flying to india”

  1. HY says:

    so did you feel way under-dressed sitting with the business class folks? And seriously don’t get use to the real fork and plate, and the extra leg room, the red carpet lounge with free drinks and snack, and the complimentary beverages of beer and wine. We are NOT flying business class when we go to china that is unless your company pays for it:-). You’ll have to be content with 12 hours of babes’ cries, little brat vomits on your lap, and the fat guy next to you taking up your armrest, and half of your seat.

  2. ian says:

    Nope, my dress code was fine, remember this was a flight to India.