Flying at the front of the pack

Business class – one of the luxury in the world that requires quite a significant financial outlay for a long distance travel. I have just flown for the first time in business class for the flight home for Chinese new year. Now a few thoughts about it.

I have been weighing the option for a few days now. I got a week off in between my ICU shifts and made a last minute decision to fly home for Chinese New Year celebration. I did manage to secure an economy class ticket for the flights home. But the return flight timing was not ideal, jetting off on the 3rd night of CNY back to Melbourne. There are flights available on the business class though, allowing more options. But the price is pretty steep, easily three times the price of the economy class.

In the end, I’ve decided to bite the bullet, snapping the up last business class seat for the return flight back to Australia 24 hours later than my previous flight, touching down a mere 7 hours before the start of my next shift. Whether that extra 24 hours is worth the price will always be called into question.

My first flight in business class in one of the world’s best airline did not totally blow me away. I realised a few things during the flight.

Flying business class is a little bit lonely unless you are traveling in a pair. There is a lack of closeness between the seats, although its one of the class’s selling point. Even if you are flying with your significant other, you can’t snuggle up to him/her, or resting your head on his/her shoulder. Flying in a larger group is even lonelier. Can’t really chat with your friend who is only 2-3 seats away from you in the economy class.

Business class just lacks humanity.

Business class made you feel like a king, although you might not feel comfortable being one. I do know that the stewardess were just doing their jobs and excelling in it. But, I realised I don’t feel comfortable being waited on. I am one who would prefer ordering straight from the guy making roti canai at the mamak stall or going to the crew stations to ask for things. I prefer to go after things than things coming to me. A surprise considering that I think I am a pretty lazy person.

You can’t stick your nose to the window in business class. I realised there is quite a distance and gizmo between you and the window. My preference had always been the windows seats whenever I fly just because I like looking out the window – the flaps and ailerons moving to the tune of the input from the pilot, picturing the dances of the pilots’ hands and fingers across the instruments puppetting a giant metal bird, the breaking of dawn across the floor of clouds – to name a few. Sticking my nose to the window, allows me a wider view on the going ons outside the aircraft.

The plus side? It has a bed where you can try to steal some rest if your schedule is that hectic. Like this trip home where time is bit of a premium between exam, work and family.

It has a power board which can power your laptop if you do need it for the duration off your trip. Lotsa leg room and….errrr… You get better service and…err…well…

One thing the airlines would never do to promote their business class:

“It’s nothing personal, it’s just business.”