Thursday, April 15, 2010

a stroll down memory lane: scenes from business class

the view from the business class bathrooms on SAS
i'm feeling nostalgic after having meetings with loads of vendors and old friends from my previous professional life. you know, back three years ago when my suitcase was never unpacked and i didn't know what time zone i was in or which continent i was on without checking my blackberry.  tho' it feels good to be back in the hugo boss suit these days, now i'm all iPhone and ecological and stuff. but those days of jetting around in business class were well, da bizness. i asked a friend yesterday if we properly enjoyed them and he said, "yes, we definitely did."

a few moments for your enjoyment:

~ my first time in business class was on a upgrade that a kind gate agent in atlanta bestowed upon me and a colleague after i got sent back to the check-in by security so i could check in the small kitchen blow torch i'd bought at williams sonoma. he got such a kick out of us, he upgraded us as a surprise and we didn't know it 'til we got to the gate. i still have the souvenir glass i took from that flight. and would you believe the airline was actually air france?

~ my first actual trip where i was booked in business class and there intentionally was together with a colleague who had spent most of his childhood in business class and related how world-shattering it was for him when he realized that all those people downstairs on the plane got to the destination at the same time. sigh.

~  the time we got upgraded from business to first class on thai, but only on the short flight from bangkok to phuket. first class on thai airways is so heavenly - with the softest, cushiest purple leather seats you've ever seen and room for dinner guests and their pony - we said we were staging an environmental protest when it was time to leave the plane. the protest was that we refused to leave that environment. when we encountered the customs officials, it turned out that we should definitely have stayed on the plane. corrupt bastards.

~ the time on south african airlines where i sat next to a hilarious guy from finland (seriously, finnish humor is totally underrated) who insisted we try ALL of the wines (south african, of course) and then do away with most of a bottle of amarula, all while regaling me with stories of his travels that kept me laughing the whole way and not even minding the lack of sleep. strangely, i don't even think i learned the guy's name.

~ one time in chennai when a lufthansa flight was delayed by several hours - really a drag because they tend to be scheduled for 1 a.m. anyway. we were finally let on the plane and seated and served our champagne, only to have the whole plane flash and go dark. a few worrying minutes later, the captain came on and said the plane had blown a fuse and they were looking for it. a little disconcerting in light of how old and un-modernized the biz class seats were on the 747. we said to the stewardesses flight attendants that we didn't really mind that much at that point, as long as they kept the G&Ts coming. it got even more interesting once we arrived in frankfurt, hours late, missing our gate and found that someone had forgotten to order stairs, so we waited on the tarmac another 45 minutes before some were brought out to us. so much for german efficiency. and in the end, we flew back to copenhagen on the same flight with skeptical environmentalist bjørn lomborg, who was wearing his signature tight black t-shirt and trying to act like he wasn't pleased to see the recognition in people's eyes. (i have actually written about this before, but it was a memorable flight.)

~ hurrying through the airport in tokyo to make our SAS flight and we overtake some really elderly SAS stewardesses flight attendants hobbling along making their way to the gate. my colleague says, "i'm sure those geriatric specimens will be the flight attendants on our flight and they'll ignore us the whole way." sure enough, they were, tho' they did keep the wine coming, which was all that really mattered. SAS stands for Sexy After Sixty, i tell you, so it's not too late yet for my dream of becoming a stewardess, unless, of course, they go bust, which just might happen.

~ with the same colleague, we used to choose the same movie our individual screens, then count down and start it simultaneously, since it would be annoying to watch the same movie but be at different points in the film.

ahh, those really were the days and sometimes i do miss them. i blame the hugo boss suit for bringing it all back and making me feel a bit nostalgic.


Elizabeth said...

How good it feel to look back on the 'good ole days'.

You know what. In another ten years you will look back on now. So what do you want to see, feel, remember than?

Have fun.

xoxo Elizabeth

Barb said...

Ahh, business class. When I was part of the corporate world my company would let us fly business class but would offer us half of the cash difference of a coach flight if we agreed to fly coach. So, on an 11 hour flight to Buenos Aires, I chose the cash. It was about $1100, so I was thinking I would make $50/hr round trip just to sit on the plane. What a mistake! The flight was jam packed and it was the most miserable flight ever. The flight back was not crowded and ok. When I had to fly to Barcelona and to Sweden I flew business without a second thought about the money.

Psychedelicsister said...

What a great image and I loved flying SAS. American airline companies are terrible.

Char said...

what? there's another class besides coach?

Zuzana said...

Just that plane view gives me the chills.;) I am a very nervous flier and simply could not live from traveling constantly.;)
With that said though, I think I can understand how sentimental one can get about the past. You never know, perhaps the day will come, when you again will wear business suits and fly around the world.;)
Be glad those days are not now when you would be stranded at an airport while most of European flights are grounded.;)
Have a splendid weekend,

mrs mediocrity said...

That was a fun little walk through of your travels, and a great image. And really, really impressive that you remember all the little details.

Lisa-Marie said...

What a brilliant picture.

I am in awe of your stories, having only flown twice!

Anonymous said...

Great post! I loved reading about the travel. Very interesting reading.

Teri and her Stylish Adventure Cats said...

Amazing could write a book!