It is but natural that we forget many incidents in our life or at least recollect them after raking and shaking the shit out of our brains. However the “firsts” are something that remains etched in our memory… well at least almost. That first pen; the first bicycle; the first day at college; the first day at work; this list of “firsts” can sometimes be endless. I was fortunate to experience yet another such “first” during my travel back to Bangalore from Paris.
I have been loyal to Emirates Airlines for more than 4 years now. It all started with my inquisitiveness to experience travelling in an Airbus A380. One of the routes where Emirates operates an A380 is between Dubai and Paris [Paris to Dubai as well]. I was indeed smitten by the business class experience that Emirates offers. An experience that was good enough to return to it again and again. It was not only business class, travelling on economy in Emirates was also a pleasant experience. My allegiance to them only grew stronger as they started offering me free upgrades to business class. I clearly remember getting these upgrades on at least three occasions. About two months ago, I could also convert all the air miles into shopping vouchers worthy enough to last this entire year!
And so I naturally chose to travel in Emirates again during my recent travel to Paris. I was travelling economy onward and business return. Lady Luck smiled upon me yet again when I was about to board the flight to Bangalore from Dubai. It was the wee hours of 5th of July. I was in a hypnagogic state when I reached the gate. I knew something was not right, when my boarding pass resulted in a failed scan. I suspected that I was at the wrong gate. And just about the same time, the gentleman manning the gate smiled and told me “Congratulations Sir, you have been upgraded. You will be travelling first class, suite 2A! Enjoy your flight Sir!”
I could not hide the impish glee on my face. I must have been beaming as I hurriedly set off to board the flight and occupy my suite. I reached the first class section of the flight and Suite 2A was indeed fantastic. It was spacious enough to accommodate slightly more than three economy class seats. The in-flight entertainment was beamed VIA a large display, the size of which I had never seen before in an airplane. The accompanying head-set was kept in a nice leather pouch. There was a table replete with stationary, presumably for those who carry their work onto the flights they travel. The usual reading light was replaced with a large sized table lamp! There was an impressive retractable mini bar with soft drinks and water. A small closet of sorts for the pillow, blankets and other needs which a traveller might have. The seats were just damn comfortable and very spacious. A touch display unit served as the remote control for everything in the suite, starting from the television to the seat positioning and everything else. A flower vase added a further dash of splendour to the entire setup. And finally there was the door which I could close to enjoy the privacy of my Suite 2A!
I was definitely behaving like a kid in a candy shop. I was busy taking pictures when the flight attendant stopped by to enquire if I was doing fine. She handed me the breakfast menu and wanted to know what I would like to drink. Now, this is one embarrassing part of many flight journeys since I only ask for water. The bemused lady smiled politely and pointed to the water bottles in the mini bar. Thereafter I was aimlessly browsing the channels for any good movie. Finally I settled on some rock music.
Very soon the Boeing 777-300 took off and as it reached a safe altitude, fatigue got the better of my excitement. I converted the seat to a full flat bed, closed the doors and went to sleep. It must have been the weariness or the body clock or both, for I slept through the entire flight thereafter. It was the same flight attendant who woke me up saying that we were about to land in Bangalore.
And thus my short, but memorable maiden “first class” experience came to an end. For the next couple of days, I never missed the opportunity to brag about the experience with my family, friends and colleagues.
It is no small wonder that I just continue to love travelling in Emirates!!!