Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Gods of Business Class

As anyone who has ever flown in the good seats can attest, once you fly Business Class to Europe, it is VERY difficult to go back to the economy section. There is nothing like actually sleeping to Europe.

I have flown to Madrid really a lot of times over the years. And, like most normal turistas, I always flew economy. But then I got a little older, a little wiser, more spoiled, and finally joined the frequent flyer club. I also signed up all my credit cards, business expenses and personal, in the frequent flyer program so every dollar I spend goes toward miles - because it is now my goal to only fly Business Class to Europe. This is not an easy goal. It takes planning, perseverance, money, and luck. I have never actually paid a full fare to fly business class. I always have been able to use points, maybe points and some money, maybe find a deal, and the best of all worlds – just getting lucky.

This brings me to this trip. I was screwed. I did not have enough points and I could not use some points and some money because they did not have any available “points seats”. I was resigned to fly with the civilians and suffer to Madrid.

As a last ditch effort I called British Airways the day before my flight and asked the dude if there was any chance I could get in with the rich people by using points, money, flattery, whatever. I said that this call is just a shot in the dark, etc. He said that the only thing I could do is buy a seat for $14,000! I joked with him and said, “Is that all! No problem!” Then I said, “Well maybe next time. I tried, no big deal.” I then thanked the British Airways man and hung up.

As a last, last ditch effort, I also asked at the airport if there was any possibility of upgrading and basically got the same reply – pay an S-load of money and you can. Oh well, it looks like the cattle car for me.

Then an amazing thing happened. As I gave the lady my boarding pass for her to scan at the gate there was a curious beep and she said, “ Mr. Carl, we have a seat change for you. Please step inside the gate for a moment.” Holy Shit! The Gods of Business Class smiled upon me and upgraded my seat for NADA!

Now I’m trying to figure out the mysterious ways of the Gods. Why did that happen? I’m thinking it was because I was a human being to the British Airways man on the phone. I’m sure he talks to a bunch of Dicks all day long giving him a hard time about their stupid seats. I was polite, joked with him, told him that it was no big deal, etc. What I didn't realize until now is he probably has it in his power to put a little tick in my computer record that says, “Give this guy a seat if one is open”, etc. In short, he is an angel of the Gods of Business Class.

Moral of the story: Always treat people well, they may be messengers to the Gods.


Jever said...

In all the years of flying this happened to me once. My niece and I were flying economy from Florida via Chicago and we were asked if we would like to fly business class - or was it first class? ( Sorry, I did not know the difference and I guess I still don't...), because I still fly economy:(

But I also remember I had to talk extensively to a lady at the check-in counter before because of my passport/visa/looking suspicious because of an American last name/blah, blah/too boring to tell-
and she was the same person to offer us the seat when we boarded. She remembered us, so we had acted on the principle of "pay forward", not realizing it at the time though.

Anyway, we were so tickled to be so lucky and yes- the flight experience was so different. This was a fun ride!!

Carl said...

Business class is First class to me. Of course there is a "First Class". I have no idea what goes on in there. It's only for Angelina Jolie or something.

Anonymous said...

Hi Carl.
Sorry, but i was reading your blog and i´m realising that 2 years before you came here, you must think the spanish were all the time claping and dancing Flamenco in dark houses like in Franco´s years. I´m absolutely convinced that more to the half of LA citicens think Spain is like we really were after the Civil War.
Can you tell me if i am wrong?

I´m sorry about my english but i´m only 15 years old (futhermore i got a 9/10 [A+] at the end of the High School] ),
NOTE: Sincerely, What do you think about my english? Because I´m looking for a Californian Exange for a month.