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Come fly with me

December 31, 2013

This blog is coming to you from 38,000 feet. It’s a mile high and a little scared of flying. It may emit involuntary whimpers of terror, digress into meaningless tangents, and make little or no sense. In fact, it’s much like any other blog, but at least this time it has an excuse.

Day One of our USA roadtrip couldn’t have got off to a better start. Ben and I somehow managed to blag ourselves a free upgrade into Business Class on an overcrowded BA flight. We had been unable to check in online due to a website error and so were dismayed to learn we had been allocated seats five rows apart. (Note – I was dismayed. I rely on Ben’s shoulder to blub into, and hand to crush, during take-off, landing, and various indeterminate points during the flight, so the thought of him not being within grabbing distance was disconcerting. Ben looked quite cheerful.) I think it was the pathetic sight of us trying to split a pack of fruit pastilles in half that made them take pity on us, and so we find ourselves guided into armchair-sized seats, one facing forwards, one back, and glasses of fizz forcibly shoved in our hands.

I’m now reclining at 45 degrees, feet propped on a footstool, whilst a very nice air steward (in his 50s, keeps winking at me) plies me with Taittinger and peanuts, to the extent that I almost forget we’ve taken off and are somewhere over the Irish sea. To be honest, I’d be quite happy to spend the next eleven hours taxi-ing around the airport, being fed Shetland orange-cured gravadlax and sirloin steak, then go home. It seems like a bonus that we’re going on holiday too.

Two hours in…

Well and truly sozzled. Fizz turned to kir Royale, and then dinner arrived with four different types of wine to choose from, followed by a 15 year old drambuie and possibly more fizz – things got a little blurry at this point. I’m only glad I can blame my slightly staggered walk to the loo on the turbulence.

Three hours in…

The new Alan Partridge film is quite funny. But that might be the Taittinger talking.

Four hours in…

Fully reclined. Oh God…

Four and a half hours in…

I’m ruined for life. Damn you BA. Thanks to your ‘Involuntary upgrade’ I will no longer be able to fly cattle class on Ryan Air, knees hunched into sick bags and in-flight magazines, being stared at by the weird kid in the seat in front of me, trying to pretend like I don’t want to kill everyone within breathing distance. I have just checked how much these flights cost, and am wondering how much I can sell a kidney for. Ruined.

Five hours in…

Back to 45 degrees. Maybe I just don’t like enjoying myself, but lying horizontally just felt weird, and sleeping through a £300 an hour flight just seems wasteful. Those bottles of Taittinger aren’t going to empty themselves.

Six or seven hours… Who’s counting?

The business class toilet is never occupied, and has never-ending supplies of toilet roll. And hand cream. The mirror doesn’t show up my silver hairs and for this reason alone is worth the ticket price. It seems insanely immoral to have four toilets between 80 people (rather than the same amount between 200) so to alleviate my guilt I’m using it lots.

Somewhere over Canada…

I’m composing my thank you tweet to BA, to be twittered the moment we land and can find some wifi. Gravadlax and Taittinger are quite long words however, and I have limited wordcount. It seems a shame to shorten them to fish and fizz. My tweet needs to be humble and sincere, yet convey the sheer awesomeness that is Life Behind the Blue Curtain. I want it to appeal to BA’s marketeers, thus earning me a retweet, yet not appear too brown-nosing, as though my intention is to secure an upgrade for our return trip. That’s not my reasoning at all. Oh no.

Maine? Looks snowy.

After much debate my tweet reads as follows:

“Huge thanks to the amazing BA for our upgrade to business class this afternoon. Our booking ref is zxhj12. Just sayin’.”

I’ve never been one for subtlety.

Two hours to go…

I’ve just realised I’ve spent the last half hour hunched in my seat, footstool in the upright position. I’m not cut out for this type of luxury.

Preparing for landing…

Lovely shiny plane, I shall miss you. I’ve enjoyed your hospitable staff, your feather pillows, your afternoon tea and metal cutlery, your fully reclining seats, hot towels and intoxicating beverages. In fact, this is the most luxurious hangover I’ve ever had. I have been dreading this journey ever since we booked our trip, but it’s been a pleasure. Until next time (and on occasion of us winning the lottery) …


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