After a 15-hour flight from Chicago to Hong Kong, one where I had a bad case of Restless Leg Syndrome and had forgotten to download to my iPad all the books and TV shows I had purchased in advance, I entered Hong Kong airport, a bit smelly and disheveled, with a face that had all its makeup evaporated and with hair that had frizzed and frazzed in every which way. My flight had been delayed by an hour and a half and I was afraid I was going to miss my connecting flight, so when I emerged from my airplane hibernation, blinking dumbly in the bright lights of the terminal, and spotted my name on a sign, “Davis-CarolineFowler. Contact Ground Authority”, I thought, “crap, I missed my flight.”
I bumbled over slowly to a lady dressed in Cathay Pacific’s fancy airline garb and standing near my name sign to receive the bad news. “Hm, yes, hi, that’s me. I’m Caroline.” I grumbled. “Oh, hello CarolineFowler! Here is your new ticket!” She chimed enthusiastically.
“Darn, okay, so I missed the other flight?”
“No, we are just changing your ticket, here you go. Have a nice flight!”
“Ah yes, ticket change, right,” I mumble to myself as I walk away. Is she being sarcastic? Confused, I look down at my “new” ticket. Same flight, same departure time, so why did I get a new ticket? And then I see it…
A phrase never before seen on a ticket of mine. I glance up at the heavens to see which god could possibly be smiling down on me. Seeing as I am currently dressed in a gray sweatshirt and gray sweatpants (yes, yes, I know, it is basically an elephant/rhino costume) and wearing flip-flips, carrying a tote bag with tangled cords galore poking out (cell phone, lap top, kindle, and iPad chargers, as well as one of those cords that no one really knows what its purpose is but you bring it anyway, just in case), and with the eyes of a rabid raccoon, I calmly deduce that it is not my stunning appearance or charmingly good looks that got me this upgrade. Someone out there must like me.
And so, the only way to honor such a present was to document the experience, from the pen of a stinky elephant girl, who probably should not have been allowed in business class with all of those fancy well-dressed people. Below are the thoughts that occurred when this plebeian was allowed to brush elbows with the aerodynamically elite. Actually, there was no elbow brushing because our seats were so large. Regardless, here is my play-by-play.
Just got offered a tray full of drinks. Too many drink options to choose from so I went with orange juice. Probably should have gone with something more exciting. One of the drinks had a flower floating in it. I should’ve gone with that, I bet it’s delicious.
Ow, the towel they just handed me is really hot. Like, really hot. Like straight out of a towel heater device.
Hubba hubba, the pilot has an Australian accent. Whoops, sorry, this has nothing to do with being in business class.
I am like a Zen Buddha in my abnormally large chair, sitting cross-legged and listening to classical music on my fancy airline-provided headphones as we take off. French businessman to my left is definitely impressed by my maturity and calm collectedness.
Crap, Frenchie just caught me taking a panoramic photo of my fancy cubby sitting area. Now he knows I’m a business class amateur. Gotta play it cool.
Oh my goodness, the blanket isn’t even a blanket. It’s a gosh darn comforter. And my bed lies completely flat. I could sleep for days! But I can’t. Must. Experience. Business class.
I just got given my toiletries bag. So many treasures inside! Oh yippee, they gave me a big toothpaste. Good, I forgot to pack toothpaste.
Holy Moley, the stewardess knows my name. She just said “Good evening, Ms. Davis”.
There is artwork on the walls of this plane. Artwork.
This is the fanciest food menu I have ever seen. Cheese plate. Prime beef tenderloin. A drink list with alcohols I have never even heard of. And I’m a college student! I know alcohol!
I am currently putting on all the lotions and potions from my complimentary toiletry kit. I smell like a fancy day spa.
They just gave me a table cloth and a real glass cup. And an appetizer. And I get to choose which type of bread I want from a bread basket.
The silverware is freezing cold. It definitely came from the sister machine of the towel heater-upper. My hands are confused by all these extreme temperatures.
Okay, confession. I got lost trying to find the bathroom and tried to go into a big closet/ storage area. Luckily everyone is asleep so no one saw. Turns out it was behind the curtain, which I couldn’t figure out how to open, so I just pretended I was walking up and down the aisle to stretch.
The bathroom has fresh-cut orchids in it. I poked one to see if it’s real. It’s real.
They came by with a box of truffles. I was fancy and selectively picked out one, but really, I wanted the whole box.
Just drank that drink with the flower floating in it. Just as I thought, it was delicious.
Ow, dang it, just got tricked again by a really hot towel. How many hot towels do I need on one flight?
I just slept the sleep of the gods. I would’ve had no idea I was on a plane except for the fact that…well no, nothing. I woke up and forgot I was on a plane.
And therein lies my eye-opening experience flying business class for the first time. Random notes scrawled out in a journal as I drifted in and out of consciousness. Now, if I ever become patrician enough to fly business class again, I will be sure to not forget my humble beginnings. And to remember, be careful with the towels, and the bathroom is behind the curtain.