Last week I was lucky as fuck enough to fly to Australia BUSINESS CLASS. The downside of this is that I’m ruined for life now.
I live in London and my father has lived in Australia for some 20 years, so I’ve spent a lot of time on very, very long-haul flights. It’s far from pleasant, of course, being strapped into an upright chair squidged next to strangers and screaming infants for 24 hours but obviously these are first world problems.
I’ve developed a formula, and coping mechanisms, and mainly it all revolves around drinking heavily and knocking myself out with sleeping tablets until it’s all over – somehow managing to keep it together during the layover – before emerging, Gollum-like, on the other end.
It’s all fucked now that I have experienced what it’s like to fly from London to Australia up at the front of the plane. I flew Cathay Pacific, which I’m told is the best in the world for business class, but how would I know?
So this is what the flight was like, in case you were wondering.
There’s no waiting around at the gate. You wait in a lounge, with plug sockets everywhere and food and free champagne. Then you get to cut the line and board the plane first. This is great because you get to plop yourself down in your prime bit of real estate and watch all the cattle class filter past you.
You’d think, because I’m English, that I’d feel guilty and apologetic at this point. Nope. I appear to be the sort of insufferable shit who derives true pleasure out of this kind of thing.
When I’m flying economy (always), I specifically do not make eye contact with the business class passengers as I hobble through their domain. I don’t want to give them the satisfaction of throwing me a pity look.
This time, I was actively attempting to elicit eye contact. I had to bite my cheeks because of the grin that was spreading persistently across my face.
This isn’t a seat, I thought, this is a bed booth! And this isn’t a blanket you’ve provided, it’s a duvet!
I am guilty of being a total hamster, meaning that I love darkness and bedding and being tucked away into a little cove. If I won the lottery, I wouldn’t have big, airy, art gallery-esque rooms in my house. I’d have a tunnel system of dens and coves and I’d probably turn into a sort of Howard Hughes character.
So anyway, this little airplane pod suited my character perfectly. All throughout the journey, I was nervously checking the ‘flight duration left’ count, willing time to slow down so I didn’t have to get off.
It was almost a waste really, how much I slept. When I wasn’t sleeping, I was scrunched up under my duvet on my roomy bed watching Sex and the City and ordering more wine than was sensible.
I was also studying all the other business class passengers as they got drunk and scrunched up under their duvets and thinking, about most of them, ‘But how are YOU rich? You look like a chav. Your shoes are shit. And you’re not even slightly good-looking.’
I’m a charming person aren’t I?
When I got off in Hong Kong, I made a beeline for the lounge, where I sipped on champagne and got some writing done in a very comfortable smooshy booth.
The second leg (to Adelaide) was just as sublime as the first. And I was delighted, when I finally landed, to be reunited again with my father and siblings.
Next trip? Sydney with my good friend Mr B.