The Trouble with Flying Business Class

Us in Business Class. O, how we laughed.

So what I learnt quite recently on being upgraded to Business Class on an Emirates flight from Copenhagen to Dubai is that I’m able to literally and in real life do very many things at the same time, and while I’ve kind of known this about myself for some time because I own children I didn’t fully grasp the range of my abilities until this particular, happy occasion. And the many things I was able to do at the same time were the following, though there might even have been more that I’m forgetting: drink Moët et Chandon from a real champagne glass while at the same time signaling to the girl in the red fedora not to be casual around the refilling of said glass (because thirst); gobble a bowl of hot nuts; scan the menu and try to decide if it would be greedy to make them bring me two of everything; lie prostrate while being massaged by my chair; grin in a maniacal way at my husband; high-five my children, listen to relaxing dolphin sounds while still managing to direct scornful and disparaging glances at the steady trickle of passengers making their mournful pilgrimage past my comfortable, reclining chair-bed to the hell seats of Economy.

It was almost (but not quite because it also made me a bit happy) spoiling my fun having to witness their despair, and I wanted a little bit to say to the lady in the red fedora whilst making a dismissive gesture with my hand, please can you make the poor people not be here? But luckily she was very much on her game as far as the champagne went and it’s hard to be petulant under those circumstances. But the trouble with this thing is that, as we well know, all good things come to an end, and in my particular case which made things very much worse, our journey had two legs, and only the first (shorter) half happened in the party area of the aircraft. For the second (and significantly longer) segment of the journey – that being from Dubai to Cape Town – the people of Emirates didn’t think we were quite fabulous enough to waste any more of their fanciness on the likes of us and so we had no option but, on Boeing #2, to do the walk of shame to cattle class, with some of the very same people I had sneered at – also en route to Cape Town – now looking at us with eyes that said, oh, how the mighty have fallen. And they had. What’s more, they now had a touch of the babbelas.

You know that James song that goes ‘if I’d never seen such riches I could live with being poor?’ Our seven-year-old daughter looked around at the cramped bunker of sadness and shattered dreams which make up any airline’s Economy Class and said in a voice deeply etched with pain, ‘what happened to this place?’ What happened indeed. And the thing is, we wouldn’t have minded our little plastic cups and Barbie-sized bags of pretzels if we hadn’t been confronted with all that wonderfulness to start off with. Even the small polyester blanket that barely makes it to your feet would have been a nice touch if it wasn’t replacing a down duvet covered by one millionty hundred thread count cotton whilst beautiful, red-lipped angels swooped about bearing bottles of Voss and the toilet smelt of candy floss and had a marble sink. I remember a time, not even that long ago, when flying any class to anywhere was more fun than I knew what to do with but I suppose I’ve been corrupted since those days. And now, evermore, I must trundle past the (real) rich people and take my seat together with the lowliest of the low knowing very well what I’m missing even as I beg the steward, Fernando, for just one more tiny drink. So, the moral of the story is this: if you’re ever, for any reason, offered an upgrade on a flight say no if it kills you because it will ruin you for life.

20 thoughts on “The Trouble with Flying Business Class

  1. I can so relate to this – I have only flown business class once, and now dread my next long haul flight which will be in the back – just don’t know how I am going to do it! :) Always love your blogs!

  2. Really enjoyed this! I can relate.

    On Fri, Sep 8, 2017 at 11:05 AM, The Disco Pants Blog wrote:

    > susanhayden posted: ” So what I learnt quite recently on being upgraded to > Business Class on an Emirates flight from Copenhagen to Dubai is that I’m > able to literally and in real life do very many things at the same time, > and while I’ve kind of known this about myself for so” >

  3. Brilliant, have a real connection to this, travelling overseas at the moment. It’s how the world at large see the “rich” through the likes of the Kardashian’s and other garbage on television, social media, etc. No wonder there is so much dissatisfaction in the world!

  4. I flew 1st class once, just once, from Cape Town to JHB. The much important thing that being in 1st Class was that I was sitting next to Harry Oppenheimer. Being a brand new recruit in the Anglo stable I was pondering deeply on how to broach a sycophantic conversation to enable myself, as Jack Welsh pontificates, to “break free of the pack”. The champagne was passed around, Harry had some, so did I. It was passed round again, Harry declined, I did not. I was wracking my brain, how should I broach? Harry was reading Henry Kissinger “My White House Days”, should I ask if he was enjoying the Chapter on Vietnam? Ponder, ponder………
    BUMP/BUMP……we landed in JHB, I opened my eyes, I was asleep on Harry’s shoulder. I began to disengage. I had been drooling, as I withdrew a Golden Gate like suspension bridge of spit stayed connected between my mouth and his suited shoulder. I grabbed the headrest tissue…all gone.
    “Sleep well?” “Yessir” Nameless for ever. I haven’t flown 1st Class since.

  5. Oh dear – we did the same when we sneaked out of a linoleum floored chalet in Addo and into a
    triple threaded towelled gown at Shamwari for just ONE night – except we had off spring along side us whom we found hours later adorned in said gowns, feet up, cokes in hand watching triple thousand station cable tv. The Kruger never quite cut it again after that. Serious mistake

  6. I can’t stop reading this blog, Sue, you really made a big mistake when choosing your pstents!! You must have inherited your talent from one of us, since dad’s not hear to defend himself I think it was me!!! ,Love you darling girl. Xx

  7. Reading this blog at 07:23am at my desk and laughing like a crazy person lmao. Thanksfully not a lot of my colleagues come in this early so im safe… thoroughly enjoyed this mishap of an event. Also, unfortunately, if I ever find myself flying somewhere and I am bumped up to business class, I am going to accept, simply because I need to know what it feels like girl!!!

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