After the hideous experience of trying to redeem Emirates frequent flyer points for a flight to Bangkok, we turn up at Sydney airport to check in.
Standing in the queue, feeling suicidal at the thought of 9 hours in economy, I’m doing my usual silent cursing of Neil for yet again consigning us to the non-pointy end of the plane.
One day I’ll take a deep breath, superglue my mitts to the credit card and book myself into Business Class while leaving him in Crap Class. I’ll be whisked into a world of champagne, chocolates and a lie-flat bed, while he’s shunted off down the back towards the bendy plastic cutlery, the hyperactive kids trying to kick a hole in back of his seat and the screaming babies from hell.
I’m feeling very sorry for myself, and then the check-in chick says ‘You’ve been upgraded’, hands us the tickets (‘NLA’ scrawled on them in large letters -No Lounge Access – but I wasn’t complaining) and sends us on our way.
I’m convinced that this happy event has been created solely due to my genius as an influential blogger (Neil’s sniggering). Two of the blog post views were in Dubai – not the usual cosmopolitan spread of Dundee, Edinburgh, Sydney and Maggieknockerty.
I’d like to think that the Emirates Customer Experience Fairy read my bitter outpourings and tried to make amends. Neil says I’m deluded; it’s purely down to luck. Whatever.
On boarding, normally they say hello very nicely, glance at your ticket then wave you vaguely in the general direction of ‘away’ ie off to a seat down the back.
This time however, it’s ‘Oh welcome Ms McDonald’ like he’s been waiting all his life to meet me. He takes my ticket in both hands and holds it reverentially cupped in his palms. It’s comical but, wow, do I feel special.
We’re shown to our seats and it’s all wonderful – the ridiculous amount of space, the lack of people, the quiet. Heaven.
Then nothing happens. For ages.
Row 10 is getting a lot of attention from one of the flight crew. I hear him ask them ‘can I get you the wine list?’ I’m thinking ‘Here we go, the wine list is coming, the champagne won’t be far behind’. Five champagne corks go off in the galley.
Row 10 get their drinks; the giggling with the flight crew continues and….. nothing happens. It’s so noticeable that it feels embarrassing. I think ‘oh well, this is how you’re treated as an upgraded passenger’ but people behind us had paid full fare through to London and start to complain quite loudly about not feeling the love.
Not loudly enough to make any difference though, because it’s that sotto voce semi-whine, beloved of the English, that never achieves anything. I’m half English so I practice whining at Neil and he ignores me.
That glowy, I’m special feeling dissipates and I’m starting to loathe Row 10 who are now in full party mode, very probably drinking champagne meant for me.
So we sit and sit. There’s no-one in First and only about 10 of us in Business so who’s drinking all the fizz?
I feel a little bit depressed. We’d got to the airport really early and hadn’t done our usual thing of getting trolleyed in the bar to dull the pain of Economy. Instead, we’d kept ourselves pure for the Emirates Business Class Extravaganza, so there’d been 2.5 hours of anticipatory build up before getting anywhere near a plane.
The lower lip is beginning to tremble with disappointment and I start to fret about the 5 bottles of champagne going flat in the galley. Then a flight attendant arrives with a tray of Moet and suddenly it’s all forgotten. The order for dinner is taken, the wine list is waved around and then it’s time to take off.
After a decent meal, Neil goes out like a light but I get carried away with the entertainment options, watching stuff until I’ve gone past being able to sleep. This is when I realise I’ve left the vintage valium (c 1999 – only 5 tablets left) in the hold luggage.
But we arrive in Bangkok quite chirpy and head off to attend Linda and Yoon’s wedding in Krabi. Excellent.
No upgrade on the way home so the first 20 minutes the trip was a bit grim until I decided to cheer up. We’d had a relaxing break, attended a really wonderful wedding and had a great time in Bangkok.
Now plotting how to get Neil to agree to an upgrade for our trip to the UK at Xmas.
I’ve dug out the credit card; now where did I put the superglue?