Airline Contrasts -First Class Luxury


I was clearing out my e-mail this morning and found an amusing contrast in recently received messages. First there was a nifty ad from Cheapo Flights which I have used in the past to book flights. Right under that e-mail was my daily dose of Delicious, links to a variety of interesting articles online. I scrolled through the selections before coming across one that caught my eye. “What an $18,000 Suite on a Singapore Airlines Flight Looks Like”. I did a double take. Seriously? Of course my curiosity was aroused. I knew quite well what a cheapo seat looked like. I had spent many flights squished against a window if I was lucky or squashed between two other travelers if I was less fortunate. Of course Cheapo flights cost nowhere near eighteen thousand dollars.
cheap o

I clicked on the article and off I went to see just what such a ridiculously exorbitant amount of money would buy. From an exclusive check-in area to a private waiting area called “The Private Room” furnished with crushed velvet and supple leather chairs I could already feel the dollars adding up. Toss in the meal you can order while you wait and the cha-ching was fairly deafening. Oh, and you can be called by any title you feel meets your station; King or Queen, Lord or Lady, President, Prince or Princess, Dr., and so forth. I don’t think anyone checks to see if you are entitled to use these titles either. But for $18,000 they probably should just take your word for it. This appealed to me; after all I have Siri call me “Your Majesty” when I deign to allow her to speak.
private room

The next photo in this tempting array is a set of stairs rising up to the First Class Suites. It must be akin to going to heaven, although the flyer does have to mount the steps under their own power. For that much money you should be carried on the backs of willing “passenger carriers”, or at least get an elevator ride. I’m already getting greedy.

Before you stretches a long hallway with suites on either side of the aisle. Yes, suites with doors and window shades to ensure privacy when desired. What delights await the traveler in their personal space! A recliner, any newspaper of your choice, champagne, and Bose headphones (not those little earbuds that cost a couple of bucks, fall out of your ears when you turn your head, and either break or get lost before your next flight requiring another purchase). I have no clue who Salvatore Ferragamo is but a kit with cologne and assorted goodies are presented.. Just the spelling of his name sounds like a few thousand dollars worth of scent. But we aren’t finished yet! Givenchy, a name I do recognize, supplies blankets, pillows, and pajamas for the wealthy traveler.

It’s time to settle down for what surely must be a lengthy flight. If pajamas are provided that is some indication of sleeping. Comfortably reclining with a hot cup of gourmet coffee and cookies at hand it’s time to watch an in-flight movie. This is not one of those small screens on the back of the seat in front of you. Oh no. This is a larger screen with enough room to stretch out and still see the screen.
Dinner time brings a menu with numerous appetizers to choose from and a main course served on, wait for it, a PLATE! It’s a proper dinner setting with silverware, dishes, glasses, and salt and pepper shakers.

No sign of those nasty little microwavable multi sectioned trays that look like TV dinners. Wait, they are microwavable dinners. In the splendor of your private space there is no juggling to keep your elbows away from your fellow passenger while you maneuver your meal. There is no concern with spilling the glass of wine on your table. Yes, I said a GLASS of WINE! And there is even dessert! A separate not in the same dish dessert. After a sumptuous meal it’s possible to dim the lights, kick back and just enjoy the ride.
making bed fullbed

When bedtime rolls around a flight attendant will open your bed in preparation for a good night’s sleep. No you don’t sleep in the roomy recliner. There is a full sized bed available if you have adjoining suites and a traveling partner. And you each have your own movie screen. If you desire a little (cough) privacy there is even a “Do Not Disturb” light. It’s joining the mile high club in comfort for those frisky enough to dare it. Even if you had to utilize the usual room for clubbers, the bathrooms in this first class haven are larger, brighter, cleaner, and even have a seat that covers the toilet should you need to change clothes.
first class bathroom
Assuming you are unable to sleep in all this luxury your flight attendant will be happy to provide you with a late night snack. No, not a small bag of pretzels. This time you are given a giant chocolate Toblerone. For those of you who don’t know, that’s imported chocolate.
After a good night’s sleep you can order a drink with breakfast, mimosas anyone? Maybe there’s a scheduled layover. It’s possible to “Book the Cook” and have a gourmet meal prepared and brought onboard for you. No need to leave the luxury you have grown accustomed to. And of course dessert is included.
Remember your traveling companion in your double suite? Maybe you need a break from the chatter and just want to close your eyes. Put up the dividing partition and use the single bed. So if your nerves are frayed from all the amenities you can shut out the rest of the world.
While all this sounds fabulous I have a few questions. What does this do for a traveler on a two hour flight? I imagined trying to squeeze all this fun into two hours and it resembled a cartoon played at high speed. I guess the average flyer doesn’t need all these bells and whistles. However it would be nice to have a little more room, something other than miniature packs of pretzels, a free glass of wine, and did I mention a little more room to stretch out? In all honesty some airlines do offer roomier accommodations without the huge price tag and super privacy. But if I’m going to dream, I’m going to dream big!

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