by Cherszy (@cherszy)
Last December, I got an unexpected early Christmas present. If you’re thinking that it was a box of chewy, yummy brownies left in front of my house, then that would have been definitely interesting (and a bit creepy at the same time) and I would have tweeted that in all caps. But, no, that’s not what I got (sadly). Instead, I got something a lot fancier than some rectangular sweets (no offense brownie babies). So, in case you haven’t been carried away by my brownie sentiments, you must have already guessed by now that my early Christmas present has got something to do with business class (the title says it all – look – well, almost all).
And I’m not just talking about me simply booking a business class seat for my trip to Singapore because, well, that would entail me paying. When I said that it was a present, I didn’t mean to seem like that I meant that I treated myself for Christmas. You see, I only call something a present when it’s free. Besides, who doesn’t love free shiz over having to treat yourself for a special occasion, right?
So, thank you, Cathay Pacific, for giving me (and my family) a FREE upgrade from economy class to business class even though it was a bit last minute. You are beyond awesome! My family and I had the most relaxing 3 hours with those spacious reclining seats and scrumptious plane food.
Since I was lucky enough to have comfortably lied down for a sweet nap while many other passengers were struggling to find the perfect position to catch some shuteye in their rather narrow seats and since it’s not everyday that one gets to sit in business class for free, I guess it would be quite a waste to keep my wonderful experience to myself. Therefore, I’d like to share with you my experience. Not that I want you to feel envious or anything (trust me, that’s the last thing I want you to feel), but I just want to share with you several reasons why you should book a business class seat the next time you fly, especially if you’re in for a long-haul flight.
Disclaimer: I am not in any way affiliated with Cathay Pacific nor was I paid to endorse on its behalf, so everything that you’ll read in this post is entirely based on my opinion and experience.
1. Your life seems to be worth more.
Instead of having the usual two-piece seatbelt around your waist in the economy class, you are strapped to your seat via two seatbelts across your torso, forming a gigantic X on your chest, when you’re seated in business class. And that, my friend, sounds like having twice the chances of survival of an economy passenger. For one, the probability of you being thrown out in case something impacts the plane is less because you’re literally tied to your seat. Second, you won’t get much of a painful and dizzy forward thrust if ever the plane hits something really hard.
In general, your life seems to be much more “insured” when you’re in business class. You definitely seem much more important, and the plane company seems to want to protect you more from the grips of death.
(Well, you’ve paid quite a huge amount anyway, so I think providing extra seatbelts is the least thing they could do .)
2. Privacy is a sweet, sweet thing that you can finally enjoy.
With business class, you don’t have to worry about your sleeping seatmate’s head suddenly falling onto your shoulder while he’s in a deep slumber (which is downright annoying if I may say) or about how to “politely” wake up your snoring seatmate because your urinary bladder is about to explode in 3o seconds’ time and his legs are blocking your way out of your seat (seriously, planes should start providing “walking spaces” in front of people’s legs for those who are seated near the window and who want to get out of their seats). You don’t even have to worry about your noisy seatmate or the possibility of your seatmate spilling something on your pants or being nosy about what you’re typing on your laptop. In business class, all you’ve got to worry about is how to enjoy your privacy to the fullest in your cozy little cubicle. Not that it’s actually worrisome but you just want to make sure you get the most out of a seatmate-free plane ride.
3. Your space feels like a mini luxurious home.
A chair that reclines all the way and adjusts itself according to your preferences and puts your reclining chair at home to shame? Check. (If only there was a massage option on it too – damn!)
A soft foot stool for your tired feet? Check.
A widescreen TV beaming with clarity? Check.
A private storage for your items? Check. Now, you don’t need to wrestle the other passengers in trying to retrieve your items from the overhead compartment before they do.
More windows than usual so you can enjoy the scenery outside more? Check.
A reading lamp that is readily adjustable, sterilized noise-canceling headphones, and clean white pillows? Check, check, and check.
So, sit back, relax, grab a pillow, put on those headphones, turn on the radio, adjust your seat to the most comfortable position, and get ready to take off to Dreamland. And don’t you worry – stuff like your chair being accidentally kicked by the person behind you or having a stiff neck after you wake up are really the least of your worries, so snooze off mister.
4. You are treated like a real VIP.
While the rest of the plane’s passengers have to wave to passing stewards or press their “steward call” button to request for a cup of water, cabin crew designated in the business class area (and I’m sure, in the first class area too) are handing out cold beverages served in crystal glasses almost automatically once almost everyone in that area is seated. I haven’t even flipped through the second page of the magazine that I was holding – heck, I haven’t even noticed that there are two seatbelts attached to my seat – when a steward approached me, smiled at me, and asked me to pick a beverage from his tray. He even came back a second time, asking if we’d like to have another round of drinks. This time, I declined because I’m afraid my bladder might beg for a trip to the loo during takeoff.
In addition, long before meals are served, a stewardess comes over, puts down your table, and lays a clean-looking table cloth on it. And you’re probably thinking, “so what? There’s just that added table mat. Nothing special”. Well, hold your thought right there because the pre-meal experience is not yet over. After the table mats, the stewardess comes back with a small tray of dried almonds for everyone. And just when you thought you were special being served first among everyone else in the economy class because you requested for a special meal, you gotta think again – everyone here gets almonds before anybody gets their special meal back in the economy section. And yes, the almonds are unlimited – you can keep on requesting until the meals are served.
But the VIP treatment, of course, is not only limited to getting food and drinks before everybody else. It also entails being addressed by Mr./Ms. followed by your surname – even by your first name sometimes – instead by an “excuse me madam/sir/ma’am”. It definitely makes you feel important even if you’re a total bum in real life (case in point: me. Alright, so maybe I’m not a total bum, but I’m definitely no one important compared to Bill Gates, Tim Cook, Katy Perry, Ryan Murphy, and countless others).
5. Your stomach is more than well taken cared of.
It is pampered.
From the usual chicken in yellow sauce and pork chops with potatoes, the dining experience turns a total 360 degrees once you get to the business class. With pan-seared duck breast with taro, Mediterranean sea bass, and braised beef on the menu, all you want to do is request for all three to be served (but of course, we want to stay civilized and decent, so we have to carefully choose the dish which our stomachs call out for the most). In my case, I got the pan-seared duck breast with taro just because it sounds the most scrumptious. And yum! I was not disappointed at all. It was way too tasty, and it definitely got a thumbs-up from me.
Unlike in economy class where you get your main course, your salad, and your desserts all in one go, in the business class, they’re served one after the other. And at the end of the entire meal, you are treated to a large selection of cheeses and chocolates for a bit of an aftertaste. Royal, huh?
As for the beverages in store, I don’t think you’ll be surprised to hear that they serve almost all kinds of drinks, ranging from cocktails and spirits to softdrinks, juices, smoothies, and milk teas (yay). And here’s a suggestion: try both the Hong Kong style milk tea and the Pacific Sunrise.
With all these delectable treats brought to you at your request or at meal times, your stomach may as well be in paradise. God, now I know how Ron Weasley feels like when the food trolley’s near or when he’s at dinner in the Great Hall.
And these, ladies and gentlemen, are the reasons why you must book a business class seat the next time you are planning to go on a vacation. Really, you deserve some pampering from time to time. And admit it, economy class seats are never really made for long-haul flights unless all you do is sleep throughout the entire flight – the space is way too small and you start getting all sorts of pains/cramps after sitting for 5 or 6 hours. So, treat yourself to a relaxing experience sometime and book for business class, okay?
Great! I’ll be waiting for your wonderful stories then!
As for me, I’ll probably wait for my next lucky day because I really can’t afford a business class ticket. I’m still a full-time college student. My only income comes from my weekly allowance that’s probably not even enough to buy me a space in the aircraft’s wings, and my parents definitely won’t spend a fortune just so I could get another taste of business class. Well, they’re loving like that, you know.