Monday, February 11, 2008

Going home: Business Class

The woman checking the boarding passes at the gate stopped me. I thought "Oh no, what's happening." Apparently there was a seat change. Great, now I'll be shoved in the middle instead of the aisle where I wanted to be. I'm flying Qantas and my red boarding pass was changed for a black one.

I clear the queue and study my pass. It says "Business Class" - what's this about? Maybe they ran out of the normal forms so they're using the Business Class ones.

But dare I hope?

Well, it is. I'm quite excited. I get to turn left when boarding. The seats are grey and capsule-like. I try to act cool. Never mind that I'm worried that I won't know how to operate the tray table. Already I had to look behind me to find the plug for the super-comfortable noise-cancelling headphones. But I'm not the only one. My neighbour had to ask me where to plug his in.

Someone that looks like Billy Conolly sits to my right. Oh my god. Billy would travel Business, wouldn't he? He's also dressed in the most disheveled clothing possible. Of course the rich and famous do that - to remain inconspicuous of course. I mean, if you've that much money you can afford not to care about how you look sometimes.

The meal arrives and a white tablecloth unfurls over the tray table. It's a little bit over the top, since we're still eating with grey plastic knives (but metal forks). he menu is designed by Neil Perry (Rockpool) and the food is delicious. I have the Beef and Pancetta Lasagne. Also on offer is seared salmon with crushed white beans, basil pesto and lime.

I place my order for breakfast and hang it on the coathook, like they do in hotels.

After eating I watch a bit of Beowulf, but then recline my seat flat and have a snooze.

My neighbour turns out not to be Billy Conolly as he has an American accent. I think he's just a badly dressed American. I notice the others in Business and I think most of us in this section were bumped up from Economy. My neighbour to the left (headphone guy) certainly was. He must be as he's Australian, so going home, but didn't know where the headphone jack was. That is, he didn't travel business TO Singapore (or Frankfurt). We stick out a bit as we're the single travellers (young) and look like we're trying to look like we do this all the time. So far the tattoo artist pulls it off the best. He could be a rock star, you see (maybe he is?).

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