Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What's in a class ??

I always check-in online, even in India where I have to explain to the perplexed older generation that I have my boarding pass even before going to the airport and some of the suspicious ones still say ‘indha boarding passa othuka maatenu sollida pora” ! I check-in online to avoid queues, to choose my seat and above all to avoid going to the airport many hours before the flight!

The cool thing in India is that online check-in and business class check-in counters are the same, so the queue is almost always empty when one gets there. This time was no different...oh...well..atleast thats what I thought. I dropped off my bags, helped the guy at the counter find my visa (with the number of color stamps in there, it is always difficult to locate the right one) and explained what it means (since everything is in german) and when I finally got the boarding pass it said ‘Business class’ on it. As I looked up confused, the fellow gives me a big smile and says ‘you have been upgraded to business class’. I don’t know whether it was the too-many-empty seats in the business class or my politeness (:D) or the fact that I was traveling alone but I simply grinned and thought to myself ‘not bad’ !

Everyone from that point on – at immigration or security check – respectfully nodded anytime I had to show my boarding pass. When the boarding started, it was actually a little embarrassing to walk past all those people who were waiting and I don’t know if it was my imagination but I had a feeling they were staring too! But I forgot everything when I got to my seat and saw the comfy cushions and pillow, the leg room and the wide TV screen. The seat could recline to a proper bed and I settled down comfortably not to sleep but to watch movies :D….it was just like at home ! To add to it, the air hostess came at regular intervals with hot towels, fresh juice, fresh fruit, meal (hot and tasty masala dosa and sambar vada), cappuccino (my first one on a flight!), nuts and what not! She even came to me with separate wine and champagne menus and when I turned them down I thought of all those wine-lovers who would’ve said ‘adipaavi’ !

When I landed I thought that getting back to traveling in economy class would now be more difficult, then I was reminded of this Seinfeld episode where Jerry gets bumped up to business class while Elaine has a horrible time in economy and finally ends up shouting in frustration – “our goal should be a society without classes”….yes, indeed ! We should live in a world where everything is business class :D !
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