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My First Time in Business Class Ruined Plane Travel For Me — Forever


QuotaMan

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https://www.yahoo.com/travel/my-first-time-in-business-class-its-like-flying-in-93258259672.html

 

 

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You don’t realize how much you need business class in your life … until you ride it. (Photo: Thinkstock)

 

If everyone could fly business class, there would be no more war, is the somewhat heady conclusion I came to after being upgraded from economy on a recent return flight from Munich to New York City.

 

Before last week, I had never flown business class, and, truth be told, never thought much about doing so. Most of the flying I do is either on airlines that have a reasonable economy set-up or too short to merit spending the extra dollars on a few inches of leg room.

 

I’m also a bad flier. When I say bad, I mean the sort of flier who gets worked up about a flight days ahead of departure and then for the duration of the trip, is entirely convinced the only thing keeping the plane safely aloft at 30,000 feet is my total and undivided attention.

 

This makes me feel ridiculous spending the extra money for business class since I am so busy sitting upright and willing the plane to stay afloat … with my mind. Even if I could afford it, it was hardly worth it. Or so I always assumed.

 

Boy was I wrong. About everything. The flight to Munich — where I had been asked to moderate a panel at a conference, all expenses paid — is just over eight hours. Add to that the time spent on the runway at JFK International Airport when you are number 47 in line for takeoff, and you’re looking at an extra 90 minutes. Much to my surprise, the economy seats on Lufthansa were tiny even by economy standards. By the time we finally rolled onto the runway, a solid hour after boarding the plane, the four inches between my knees and the seat back in front of me became increasingly panic-inducing. Not four minutes into flight, the woman seated in front of me slammed her seat back. All the way. Four inches became two, and I spent the next few hours getting up close and personal with Ingrid Bergman (“I ran away from you once. I can’t do it again.”). (Side note: Why hasn’t anyone banned reclining seats in economy? They are, in my opinion, a hangover from the days when travelers’ comfort was an actual business consideration, but they have since become a force used only for evil.)

 

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If Dante were alive today, he would create a new circle of hell for the inventor of economy class. (Photo: Thinkstock)

 

By hour six, I was gazing at the aisle floor as though it were some sort of luxury spa, contemplating how much I would be willing to pay to lie down flat on it, and wondering if, in fact, I would ever lie down flat again.

 

Slightly more than 48 hours later, I returned to the Munich airport, dizzy with jet lag — my newfound revelation that this turnaround was somewhat nutty confirmed on the faces of the passport control officials — only to discover my flight had been delayed six hours due to “technical difficulties.” Those of you who share my fear of flying know this is the last thing you want to be told, particularly during a week in which the news cycle was dominated by terrible airplane stories.

 

Many hours, and one extremely large Milka bar later, we were finally called to board, at which point the agent at the desk announced there would be seat changes. Whatever civility remained in the crowd of tired and cranky travelers waiting to board our much-delayed flight quickly disappeared as everyone simultaneously considered the torment of the middle seat and rushed the gate, where after you scanned your original boarding pass, a ticket dispenser punched out your seat fate. If I hadn’t been so tired, the dread might have overwhelmed me.

 

But then, in the immortal words of Rick Blaine, destiny took a hand: I had been upgraded.

 

Seat 14A BUSINESS CLASS.

 

As I shortly discovered, it’s not flying I’ve been terrified of all these years. It’s flying economy.


This is what it’s like to fly business class. The first and most important thing you need to know is that the seats recline all the way. ALL THE WAY. It’s like flying in your bed. It’s like flying in your bed if your bed came with a waiter who served you endless glasses of Champagne and three meals (“Ms. MacNicol, would you prefer the steak or the halibut?”) and brought you glasses of water and juice and turned down the lights when you got sleepy. It is that good.

 

What actually happens is this: Once you’ve been seated, stored your carry-on in the vast overhead space, and gazed triumphantly at all the plebes making their way back to the morass of steerage, there is time to consider your surroundings, or in my case figure them out (the older gentleman seated beside me, obviously an old hand, had already removed his shoes, retrieved his earphones, and reclined his seat). The seat, or the pod really, comes with a blanket that is essentially a clean sheet on one side and a comforter on the other. There’s also a large pillow and stored below, a little case that contains clean socks, a toothbrush, toothpaste, sleep mask, fresh foam covers for your earphones, ear plugs, and a small tub of Nivea cream.

 

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What more could a girl ask for? (Photo: Glynnis MacNicol)

 

The armrest contained headphones, a remote for the TV, and a rocket-launch level control pad that lets you adjust just about every aspect of your chair. While I was considering the particular angle of support I wanted for my lower back, a flight attendant came around and handed me a large dinner menu. On my particular flight, I had a choice of three appetizers, including rare steak, deviled eggs with Roquefort, or prawns. For the main course: two types of fish or beef (one variety of beef was served in July, another in August), and cheese or fruit for dessert.

 

The same flight attendant returned, this time with a drink cart. Champagne? Absolutely. (The drink cart reappeared every time I emptied my glass, but I stopped at three.) Shortly thereafter, a hot towel was handed to me so I could clean my hands, and this was then promptly collected with silver tongs. Dinner was served on a white tablecloth. Afterward, a small box of chocolates was placed before me. And then, the crowning glory: Time to RECLINE. ALL THE WAY. Which is what every single person in the cabin did. At one point, the impossible occurred: I looked at the clock and wished my flight was longer.

 

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Wait, my seat goes how far back? (Photo: Glynnis MacNicol)

 

Before we landed, I was served some tomato soup, a salad, and chocolate cake. 

 

It is heaven in business class. Maybe literally. Let me put it this way, if heaven turns out to be seat 14A on a longhaulLufthansa flight, I actually won’t be disappointed. Business class is essentially the solution to every problem incurred in economy class, except for the financial aspect (Note: You still have to pay for the Wi-Fi in business class, which essentially just provides a handy excuse not to get on it). This, I realized, is how people who have to do these sorts of business turnarounds do it. Voila! 

 

But what about the fear? There is no fear in business class. Perhaps the greatest discovery I made on this trip (other thanthis BBC series about bears in Alaska) is that comfort is a great antidote to anxiety. It turns out that I’m not actually scared of hurtling through space at 30,000 feet in a metal tube; it’s that I am scared of doing it while strapped into a tiny, endlessly uncomfortable seat, which simply exacerbates the feeling that things are totally out of my control and destined to end badly.

 

This was put to the test, by the way. After a mostly smooth flight, we hit a bad thunderstorm an hour outside of Newark, N.J.; flight attendants were instructed to sit down, and lightning exploded just outside my window repeatedly. The plane bounced. A lot. Normally, I would have been petrified (in the literal sense of the word), heart exploding, limbs shaking. But up in seat 14A? I simply laid back and adjusted the angle of my leg rest so that my feet fit more snuggly into my footrest.

 

Ninety minutes later, I was safely on the ground and ricocheting along the New Jersey Turnpike in the $16 shuttle to Grand Central, where I could catch the 4 train home. For the first time in my life, I wished myself back on a plane.

 

Now, my only fear is that I’ll never be upgraded again.

 

 

 

GFE: Gull Friend Experience

 

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And this is why I go Biz 555

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Lufthansa business class is efficient but not particularly glamorous. They are currently upgrading equipment with new lie flat seats but the pics in OP doesn't look like they taken on a Lufthansa plane. The seat could be a first class seat on Emirates/Qatar and pic of the economy class seat in 2-3 config is rarely seen on a wide body these days
 

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Ah but when the $5000 saved means nice room and thai women for 2 weeks and non-stop partying, I am more than happy to travel economy, and book the extra leg room seats, hang the expense.

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The ONLY way I fly between USA and BKK.  And no, she doesn't come with the seat.

 

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The ONLY way I fly between USA and BKK.  And no, she doesn't come with the seat.

 

royal-laurel-onboard-header-en_tcm35-269

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@LRanger Absolutely :Agree1: I will never get more money for flight, if I had all the way in standing position :GrinNod1:

THAJEC Thajský muž TRIP 37 - 30.November 2018 - 28.1.2019

 

 

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£500 Economy from UK is fine for me-it means more money for pussy-that,s why we all come isn,t it :Think1:

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Nothing worse than cattle class than this .... :) don't mind cattle class myself, I am only 5.8 tall

image.jpg

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This is the curse if intercontinental travel . Business Class is addictive. When you get a family the frustrations get only worse.

 

I have been upgraded to 1st class for Business class 3 times with BA, from respectively Taipei, Tokyo and Bangkok. That was in the days when there was VHS and seats . turn into beds on 1st class only, The good news is that with the new seat configurations in business class  . cubicles with beds - you are really getting 1st class treatment in the old days. I dont know but I presume 1st class has moved on also

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Typical yahoo article. The picture's of a business jet interior and has nothing to do with business class on a commercial airline.

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I am opting for Business Class on my next trip, usually agree with the consensus that I can get over flying economy when having extra cash to spend on the ground. Nevertheless, I am treating myself this time. I am sure I will enjoy it!

 

 

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I've always had loads of leg room in cattle class.  Perhaps being 5' 4'' might have something to do with it!

My Pattaya budget is perfectly adequate as long as I don't spend any of it

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I've never flown Business class. In away I'm kind of afraid to try it because I might get hooked on it and have to fly that way all the time.  Right now I've made the compromise and fly Premium Economy across the Pacific. 

 

£500 Economy from UK is fine for me-it means more money for pussy-that,s why we all come isn,t it :Think1:

 

Just a guess on my part, but I don't think the guys flying to Pattaya in business class are making any sacrifices on their spending in pattaya just so they can fly business. They fly BC because they can afford it and feel it's worth the money.  :Think1:

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When not in business class, I try to think of what I get there, and give it to myself in coach.

 

-  Comfort:  Pick the seat I want in advance.  Easy access to toilets but not too close.  Checking seat availability online close to departure lets me frequently make a last minute change to a seat with no one beside me.

-  Pillow:  I use a neck pillow.

-  Rest:  Ambien

-  Snacks throughout:  Bring my own.

-  Beer/wine:  Bring my own.  Did you know those mini-bottles are small enough to pass through immigration and customs?

-  Variety of movies/tv:  Bring my own on phone, laptop, iPad

-  Socks/toothbrush/etc:  Bring my own.

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I fly to BKK and back from China about every 2 months, well worth the extra £200 for business class, no hoards of noisy Chinese clearing their throat and spitting in the sick bag every 2 minutes, lots of space in the overhead for my carry-on, no long queues at immigration as walk straight thro'............

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While I couldn't agree more with the text of the article, that does NOT appear to be a business class seat to me -- as noted above, it looks far more like a first class seat.

 

I am COMPLETELY spoiled by flying first and business class using miles.  I can't imagine flying in coach/economy, but I THINK (but I'm not certain!) that I could tolerate premium economy.  I'm dreading the day that my war chest of air miles start to run out....

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Business class maybe an option for some but from the East Coast of the US it is like a 4 thousand dollar upgrade and that is an entire other trip.  I flew steerage on China Eastern, not the best experience but for 1350 round trip, good enough...

 

Joker

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Flown business a couple of times. Mostly fly from airpoints so makes no real difference other than a few more points but I choose only to fly economy as not worth IMO. I am 6'4" and it still doesn't bother me...

 

Never eat airline food so waste of points / $$$ to me.

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Nice report though Lufthansa are pretty poor when it comes to Biz seats, for example, the last time I checked they didn't have flat beds.

BA used to have the #1 spot but so many airlines now realise that some people are willing to pay extra for comfort and many are upgrading their layouts.

I always fly Biz class and will not only check out the airline in advance but also what type of seat I am getting - A flat bed is a pre-requisite and the airline must give out fasttracks for BKK. Use Seatguru to check your plane out before booking as it will tell you enough about what type of configuration/seat you will be getting

The best airlines tend to be the middle eastern ones, Emirates, Etihad etc however there is a relatively new kid on the block, Oman Air. There biz seats are almost first class on some airlines and the service was exceptional - Can't recommend them highly enough, the only downside is that their prices are starting to climb northwards.

Btw, don't be too excited if you are travelling Biz./First in the states, unless the thought of sitting at the front of the plane in a slightly larger chair is your idea of comfort.

Flying Virgin Upper to HKK in a few weeks time and Emirates First class to BKK, all in all paid around £1600 - for what will be 30 hours in the air its worth it.

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