I’ve never flown premium, first class or really anything other than cattle class, poor person, economy, whatever they call it, but my company kindly flew me out in style. Turns out posh stuff can turn you into a douchebag quite quickly.
I qualify for fast check-in so I walk sheepishly past the many zig-zagged lines of people fumbling around for documents, ruffling through bags or shouting at kids to get off the trolley.
If you’re not used to much luxury in life you tend to be sceptical when you get handed things so I half expected to be told I had to queue like anyone else when coyly handing over my ticket. Not so. I was put right through, told I had ‘lounge access’ and off I went. Even at security there was a whole other area just for premium so I was syphoned off away from the common folk and through in no time.
THE LOVELY LOUNGE
I went straight for this mystical lounge curious to see what the paper in my hand granted me but determined not to enjoy this rich man’s game.
The lounge entry was modest– a series of dusty walkways and temporary walls due to building work. Thoughts of how this was already a waste of money and they should have just stuck me in economy were creeping in. Turning the corner, I was greeted by two women outside of a set of double doors. I handed them my ticket and said quietly “Umm… Hi. I think I can go in here?” They smiled and let me in.
It was then that my eyes were opened.
Behind those doors lay a quiet oasis safe from the constant bustle and belting tannoy, the sickly bright lights and retail buzz. There was gentle classical music, the smell of coffee and warm toast and the somehow reassuring presence of broadsheet newspapers everywhere.
It was a place of serenity. People moved calmly among delicately laid tables finished with a single flower. Waiters in bow ties glided past a buffet of delicious-looking pastries and cakes. There was a library with snugs and cubbyholes, a separate lounge and a media room with screens, desks and good old BBC news on big monitors while important-looking business folks tapped away on laptops.
The food and drink was free. All of it.
I wish I could say I had the class to hold back a bit but in little under two hours I got through all of the below:
- 15 (approx) x kalamata olives
- 2 x Peroni beers
- 1 x fish sandwich
- 2 x chocolate caramel flapjacks
- 3 x Mocha coffees
- 2 x lemon drizzle cake slices
- 1 x full cream tea
- 1 x Earl Grey tea
When my time was up I was forced to rejoin the average world in all its hideous mediocrity. Full to bursting, I waddled to my gate and sighed at the many rows of people queuing to get through – until I saw the premium entry line, empty. I walked past 100+ people feeling almost embarrassed and even though a young mum and her kids were at the head of the economy line way before I reached the desks, the moment I got there they let me through first.
You hope you have the integrity not to let a bit of luxury turn you into a twat but I failed that test. I got through to the gate waiting area and looked for some better premium members waiting area but there didn’t seem to be one?
WHAT SO I HAVE TO WAIT WITH THE MUCKY NOBODIES DO I?
I sat down childishly disgruntled but my twatty ego was massaged when the premium members were soon called to board first. I stood up, took my time to let the rows and rows of people seated around me see that I was superior, and then boarded.
When I got to my seat it was lovely and spacious, right at the front and with almost too much legroom. Then it dawned on me. There was only one TV screen above me on the wall, no sign of any others. This was outrageous! Was I supposed to watch this little screen for seven hours? How would I get sound? What if I didn’t like the movie? Was this first class? This was terrible! I was specifically looking forward to gorging on movies and this is what they offered? I would gladly be in economy if it meant avoiding this utter bullshit. Frazzled, I text my Dad just to get it off my chest.
He simply text back, ‘Look in your armrest.’
I did. Inside, a lovely pull-out screen complete with hundreds of movies at my disposal. I felt stupid. I had no idea screens could come from armrests, I just didn’t know we’d evolved that far.
The posh flight had turned me into a demanding and petulant child and I made a note to remember this silly behaviour, learn my lesson and never lose my way in the face of a bit of posh again. Well, just as soon as I’d had seven more hours of luxury, films and free food and drink of course.