Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Business class is like novice's first experience with ***

I was as excited as I was when I had *** first, when I knew I was going to fly business class. (Censor Notes: Being a father of a girl child brings with it, such responsibilities..uff!). As with ***, it surely was not bad but not as hyped and envied by many. There were a few surprises, few things to figure out, a couple of things to get used to, at least one thing to learn by watching others do (in this case, realtime) and then there were interruptions. There were occasional curious first-timers reluctantly asking for some advice, without realizing that I am a novice myself.

Since the last time my ticket read 'First class' and made a complete fool of myself by walking into the lounge (and later realizing that I am booked for economy), I treaded carefully without showing any airs of business class traveler. I respected the sweaty smelling co-passenger like my own brethren, walked with no abnormal upward elevation of chest and din't quite stare in random directions with 37 degree tilt, unique to snobbish & "I-dint-know-cattle-class-still-exists" travelers.

Only when the male (how boring) executive in the counter offered me a business class lounge coupon, did I even realize how upmarket my fake-Christian Audiger t-shirt and tester sample boss perfume are. I couldnt really elevate my chest upwards or stare in an alternate space fashion, as the immigration queue was quite like how it would be if they had announced free H1B visa for anyone named as Venkatesa Prasad. I dint hence risk any unusual postures, fearing the mob running me down before I realize the luxury I just am being bequeathed with.

There was then an embarrassing moment with a customer company employee, flying economy class joined me in the waiting area, devising a solution for the queue problem, when boarding is announced. I had to politely participate in the operations research problem, while not thumping my chest about my belonging to elite class. The feeling did not last quite long, when I realized that the priority boarding itself has a queue of fellow-elites (which included Kamal hassan, I am told). I did not see him because of the 37 degree tilt I could practice for the first time in a fairly less populated area.

I did not take the newspapers from the entrance (as I assumed that I would get a copy of Conde Nast Traveler). I had the choice of reading the air sickness instruction or the fake deals on fake brands that they sold online. I instead decided to focus on the inflight media entertainment which had some german music, german films and german shows (all of which are as enjoyable as watching ETV Bangla). So then I decided to focus on other forms of entertainment like starring uncomfortably and yet within the harassment limits tolerated by air hostesses (only till I spotted the missing tooth in the otherwise good looking air hostess). With all usual comforts not living up to standards (of mine), my attention went to the seat. The seats were pretty big but not as plush as thought them to be. There were about 43 ways to move the 10 buttons that controlled the seat position. By the time I figured out the most comfortable position the flight was on the landing path. There was a memory button that knew exactly where my ponch protrudes and hence the next time I fly, all I need to do it click that memory button and I would have a custom seat (if no one takes that seat till then).

There were also a few unnecessary rabbit holes located deep inside the armrest which I found a use for. I threw the pickle packet into it. There wont be any need for another enterprising traveler to worry about what to use it for. That pickle will become fossil there. My contribution to preserving lime pickle eating south indian heritage.

The food was pretty average, considering I expected it to be as authentic as it can get, mid-air. There was macro-waved oothapam and idly with some poorly made upma (which all hardly qualify to be gourmet food). Emirates have a better meal plan even in economy class, hands down! Before I could gulp down the disappointment about food, I realized from my neighbor's angst that they dont come and cover you with blankets & kiss a good night, as they show in promo clips. You are on your own, with that.

Come on! What was the whole thing about flying business class? Oh then, I wrote this post & I learnt how to set the seat position preference for the next flight. Lets see if it breaks even on my return flight.

2 of my fans were here!:

Joshi Mukard on 2:03 AM said...

How about the air hostesses? Aren't they worth real time watching?

Ashwin on 5:25 AM said...

@ Joshi:

No. National carriers have a retirement age till which you have air hostess flying firm.


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