In the midst of the Era of Air Travel Hell, it is rare one gets a little treat. But fortune shined upon us last weekend as we checked in for our Cathay Pacific flight from Bangkok to Singapore. We had picked up a couple of tickets of the economy type at about $150 r/t, even cheaper at the time and short notice than budget king Air Asia. If I understand the fine print we don’t even get air-miles credit for the darn thing. So the heavens opened up and shined a beam of golden light on us when were told “We are upgrading you to Business Class.” But I said I wanted a WINDOW seat! Wait… what did you say???
And so it was, one week after our wedding, and though we publicly contend that my four-day Singapore renew Thai visa run was not a honeymoon, it sure had a honeymooner’s start. Being an independent travel writer I am typically pinching the hell out of all pennies to make this work. First or business class is unlikely to ever be intentional (except for that year I was Platinum at American Airlines… give a wistful moment here… OK.) So any time I do get a chance to sit at the grown ups’ table, I get a little giddy. It’s like Huck Finn when he sees a door with a proper brass doorknob on it for the first time out in the country. “I hadn’t seen no Pinot Noir in coach before. And this was out of a big glass bottle!” A wine list, port, whiskey, Perrier. ‘Scuse me, ma’am, are these free? And I can have as many as I want?? I slowed down halfway through the flight so Ms. Peung wouldn’t have any carry-off luggage. But really the best treat of biz and first class? A flight attendant kissing ass rather than being one. My bag’s not under the seat in front of me? She apologizes to have to tell me what I should already know. Sorry, sir, she says as she bends to move it for me. Oh, no, I’m sorry! I reach for it as well, sorry! And she says sorry and we are all sorry and everyone is so happy to be sorry. Let’s have another drink. I have a name and they use it. Is there anything else I need? Sure, no problem. Room to work on my laptop. Room for feet and elbows. Yes, I would like a hot towel.
Champagne and orange juice. (So I made myself a mimosa, Sarah!) I’m still a little surprised to find a Buddhist monk in First Class by the way. What would Buddha do? Take the upgrade and Recline:
Fast forward to the return leg and we stood like hopeful beggars, big smiles on our faces as we received a set of tickets for… coach, of course. Sigh. I’ve always felt that the myth of the punishment for the Titan Tantalus — the waters that reclined from his thirst and the hanging fruits that pulled away from his grasp — would have been far more effective if for just one moment he had gotten a taste of them.
Come back to the blog this week for more about Singapore!
If my blog title seemed obscure to non-Wisconsinites, see this short video: