Tag Archives: first class flights

Let’s pretend

OK – I am in for that. I will just sit here at my desk and close my eyes and pretend…..

I am at the airport. I am in the first class lounge because – well Darling isn’t that just what you do when you travel? Of course. As I sit there sipping my complimentary champagne I wonder if I will be able to get some sleep on the flight and whether my private appointment at Louis Vuitton in Paris will yield a new handbag or two. I do hope the Concierge at Hotel George V has remembered my preference for a feather pillow with satin cover. As I sit there worrying about all of these little details, the First Class lounge attendant comes over very quietly and says to me “I am so sorry to disturb you Madam but first class is now boarding.”

I sigh heavily and leave my half glass of champagne winking at me on the marble table and gather up my assortment of hand luggage. At least I can get straight onto the plane and get myself settled in. I get to the desk and the special check in line for first class goes smoothly and before I know it I find myself settled down in a very comfortable seat – almost a suite really – in the first class cabin while the flight attendant (a rather handsome young man) fusses over me and gets me some fresh champagne and a small plate of almonds.

I do hate it when I fly first class on a seat where the economy class passengers pass by so I am especially pleased when I see that my seat is located right towards the front of the plane and I won’t need to be the object of envy while people with oversized backpacks and crying children pass my seat.

The meal is delicious – for a plane that is – nicely served and piping hot with a good selection of white and red wines. The only problem is my fellow passenger who keeps taking selfies of EVERYTHING – his seat, his food, his glass of champagne. He is so excited because he got upgraded – never flown first class before. I know…. can you believe it Darling? I mean really? How does one get around this world sitting in the back. Oh, I shudder to think.

Suddenly there is a loud PING …. what the heck?

I look up and realise that I have nodded off at my desk. The damn computer is pinging at me trying to get my attention like a dog begging for a treat. Oh, what now? I ask it grumpily as I remember vestiges of my dream and how the reality of my plane travel is usually in the middle seat in economy. Ah well – that’s what dreams are for I say to myself as I open up my email and steel myself for another round of airline cancellation updates.

But wait – the gods are kind – a sweet little email came fluttering down and landed in my inbox….

“Thank you for all your courteous and professional assistance working through this with us.”

My day is made!

ELITE FLYERS BEHAVING BADLY

Just because you are an elite flyer doesn’t mean you can behave any which way.  Aeroflot has had to discipline its elite members because they are just behaving badly.

On its website recently it published the following announcement –

Moscow, 6 March 2018. – Aeroflot will revoke the Aeroflot Bonus elite status and associated privileges from passengers who violate the rules of conduct during pre-flight services and on board its aircraft. Any miles accrued while participating in the loyalty program will be voided, and the participant’s account will be closed.

Aeroflot has seen an increase in cases of disruptive behaviour on board its aircraft. Since the beginning of 2018 alone, there have been nine cases of physical violence against employees of the airline. Closer scrutiny of these incidents has revealed that virtually all the disruptive passengers were elite-level participants in the Aeroflot Bonus loyalty programme. A number of silver, gold and platinum Aeroflot Bonus card-holders consider it acceptable to treat the airline’s employees as second-class citizens, behaving not only rudely and aggressively but also in some cases resorting to violence.

first class

Aw sweet – there you go – all tucked in for the night in your jammies

So what led to this?  The bad behaviour is worse than you can imagine.  A flight attendant who is a contributor to The Points Guy news website commented online –

“I’ve been told to go f— myself because I had run out of a meal choice, heard a colleague called a horrendous homophobic slur for asking a passenger to get off her phone while we taxied to the runway, and had another colleague spit at for tripping over a passenger’s leg (that was dangling out in the aisle) and waking him up. I’ve even seen a mother throw a dirty diaper at a crew member because the crew member wouldn’t collect it from her without gloves. This behaviour is simply not acceptable.”

Wow – pretty bad hey?

Just for a moment let’s compare economy with first class …

coach vs first

There’s cool … and then there’s uncomfortable

This is not a new phenomenon apparently – Sid Lipsey summed it up pretty well in an article dating back to January 2016….

“There is a class of entitled travelers that don’t just believe that they deserve to be treated better than the rest of us; they believe that they are better than the rest of us,” says Christopher Elliott, travel journalist and founder of the travel site elliott.org. In a column Elliott wrote for USA Today, he discussed the growing phenomenon of “silver spoon travelers” — a class of travelers who believe their elite platinum or gold loyalty program status, their insane collection of airline miles and/or their very presence in first class entitle them to lord it over airline staff and fellow passengers. And the stories Elliott told are shocking aerials tales of “oh-no-they-didn’t” audacity.

Take one passenger, Camille Jamerson, who told Elliott she was once “ordered” to give up her first-class seat by a fellow passenger who said he had Medallion status and, therefore, wanted to move his friend from back in economy class to Camille’s seat. “That didn’t happen,” Camille told Elliott.

And there was an airline employee, Brian, who told Elliott of an incident at the gate where 90 people, many of them with some sort of elite status on the airline, were competing for 22 seats on the upgrade list. “The scene at the podium can be fun to watch,” Brian told Elliott. “Grown men and women acting like children when they don’t get their upgrades.”

boy crying

We hear tales galore of air rage in cramped economy class flights but tantrums in first class is a bit much people!  Just kick back in your pod and chill!

Courtney Love was arrested at Heathrow Airport in 2003 after Virgin cabin crew reported her for “verbally abusive” behaviour. Police were called before the plane landed on the overnight flight from Los Angeles, where Love, then singer with the band Hole, was travelling in a Virgin Upper Class Cabin.  (from traveller.com).

Looking forward to my next economy flight – there are some benefits to being 5 ft short!