What is really beyond the curtain – business class

By Lucy Dore

I looked at the business class flights when I was planning my trip to New York and thought boy wouldn’t that be nice. But it cost a fortune, almost four times the cost of the economy ticket. So my husband and I brought the very sensible and less glamorous economy tickets. But luck was on my side.

For a couple of years I’d been amassing frequent flyer points so I put in for a hopeful upgrade with points request and promptly forgot it about. (I’ll post another time with my tips for amassing frequent flyer points).

Then the day we were due to fly out I logged on to download our ticket information and like winning the lotto we’d been upgraded! I actually jumped up and down on my bed with my husband as we sang – It’s business time baby!

Five things that made it great:

1. You get priority

Watch out, coming through. As we boarded the A380 – there were two queues, one for about 700 people queuing to get into economy, one for the lucky few in business and first class. After having a few drinks at the business lounge, we glided past and went through the priority queue, up to the second floor of the plane (that’s right there is a second floor).

Then when we landed we were also given an express pass for customs, your baggage is unloaded first and generally the whole checking in and arriving process is just smoother.

2. The seat 

The seat was also a lay flat bed. I’m only five foot nothing, so when I fly anywhere I normally don’t have to worry about space. In fact when I fly people look at me as I walk down the isle hoping I’ll be sitting next to them (please let that small women sit next to me, not the 6 foot something giant behind her).

But it was so over the top awesome to lay flat and have that much room.

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If you look at this photo of me you can see how far in front the next seat is – about a metre and a bit – its not about leg room – its about whole body room

The chair also had a massage feature – I know right! It was so stressful having to choice what movie to watch on my personal in-built entertainment unit – lucky I could de-stress!

You have overhead storage, but you also have these great side storage bins which mean you can pack your things away, but have easy access when we need them again.

On this connecting flight (a 747) we were in the pointy end of the plane – this meant we didn’t have anyone in front of us – just a coffee table which some newspapers were resting on. I know – a coffee table – great for your latte at 35,000 feet.

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 3. The food

You get a menu which you select your meals from. You get entrée, main and dessert! You get the meal with a white linen table cloth, silver knife and fork and cracked pepper. The food was divine! The service was amazing – the plane turned into a Neil Perry restaurant.

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4. The pjs and amenities

Okay so I felt like a bit of an idiot changing into the ‘qantas’ pjs – but they were really comfortable. I liked mine so much I took them with me and I took my Husbands. I amassed a few pairs over our connecting flights. I still wear the pants around the house. The amenities were also great – a little lip balm, moisturiser and wool socks made me feel snuggled.

5. The excitement

Above all it was exciting. I hate flying –I really don’t enjoy it at all. I spend most of the time in the air making little deals with myself, because every time I land it is like I’ve survived a near death experience. I have trained myself to grit and bear it – I’m actually a gold frequent flyer from the amount of travel I’ve done, so I don’t let it stop me. I’ve got to say this was really the first time I’d been excited to fly in ages. The crew on the Qantas plane were amazing, they delivered me many peppermint teas, gave us recommendations for things to do when we arrived and generally treated us like rock stars.

At one point I made my husband come downstairs with me to economy to have a sneaky look at what the A380 economy was like – I was glad I did as it gave me an even greater appreciation for my amazing seat.

We were so excited we found it hard to sleep (I can never really sleep on a plane, but this is the closest I’d ever come). So my husband and I decided to try out the on-board lounge – one of the crew mixed us some drinks to enjoy at the little bar – that’s right there was a freakin bar!

Was it worth it?

This is a hard question to answer. Sure who’d say I’d hate to fly business class every trip – no one. But what about if you had to pay for it yourself? There would be few people that could afford business class– most people forgo the expensive air ticket so they can afford the holiday in the first place.

I had on a bucket list to fly first class once in my life – basically having flown international business class I cannot imagine how you could take it to the next level. For me, having done business class I’ve ticked that one off my list.

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