Flying the High Life...
October 19-20, 2007
Ahhh… After traveling on loads of budget airlines, it is time to take advantage of a leg on my around-the-world ticket again.
Let me re-phrase that – my around-the-world business class ticket again…
It was actually quite funny when I got to the airport in Athens. A queue was forming at the Emirates counter but I didn’t stand
in that line. I stood in the line next to it which consisted of only one business man. Yup…just the business man and the girl that
came from the hostel. Quite a combination.
It was actually such a combination that as both lines started building up a bit more, I was getting some looks. And not super-
friendly looks. Looks that said ‘Oh. What a stupid girl. She thinks she can stand in the short line. Joke will be on her when they
tell her at the counter that she has to stand in this long line…’ I truly wasn’t imagining this. Even a worker came up to me to
confirm that I had a business class ticket.
I have to be honest. I was laughing inside knowing the joke was going to be on all these people once I was issued my boarding
pass and led on my way.
When I got to the lounge, I think there was a bit more of that kind of thinking going on. Who knows…maybe certain people
were just a bit envious since they were in there, still having to conduct work and I got to enjoy myself with a Herald Tribune,
some television and a glass of wine (or two). Once again, I was feeling a small sense of smug satisfaction.
Time to board my flight. When I gave my boarding pass to the man, he told me to wait a minute and walked off. I saw him
talking to another person on the staff and switching things around. He then came back. He handed me a boarding pass stub –
yet it wasn’t the one I had originally handed to him. It was a first class boarding pass stub. He told me I had been upgraded.
One point for the scrubby girl!
Based upon my findings, there really wasn’t much difference between business-class and first-class on this type of plane. No
cozy pod with a bed in it for me to sleep in. The main perks were noise-reducing headphones and slippers.
Then it was time for my 5-hour layover in Dubai. After freshening up with some moisturizer in the Duty Free store, I made
my way past countless people sleeping in the terminal to get to the business class lounge. And this wasn’t just a ‘lounge’. There
was an around-the-clock buffet going on in there. Everything from dates stuffed with almonds, to hot main courses to small
desserts (right up my alley!) to good-quality chocolates (also right up my alley!) to different choice of beverages of the alcoholic
and non-alcoholic variety. And there were also countless computer terminals.
And my favorite – showers! By this point (3:00am) I was feeling really tired and almost sick from being awake for so long.
Nothing like a nice, hot shower to revive me and make me feel great. It felt like taking a shower at a nice hotel – quite nice
considering I just came from two nights in a hostel with communal shower. This was also something that I was seeing as my
last luxury for a little while since I was off to India.
My plane was about ready to board. I went back to the Duty Free shop, re-moisturized and was on my way…