What It’s Like To Travel As The Thirsty Tourist
Most of the time when I travel I am with the 99% of people that seated in economy. I make due with the limited leg room, but since I am short and depending on how cramped the seating is, it doesn’t usually make or break my trip. To make my trips easier I usually check my bag, as it’s always a game of Russian roulette on whether there will be enough overhead space or you have to check it at the gate. Everyone is always trying to get out of paying baggage fees! I usually keep my fingers crossed for a window seat to minimize the amount of strangers I will be seated with and hope for a pleasant seat companion. Imagine my surprise when I finally got to travel as the 1% and was upgraded to business class.
One Day In The Life…
Here’s a brief timeline of how my VERY awesome day went:
6:30AM: Hello and Good Morning. I spend a good 30 minutes attempting to wake up since I detest early mornings and well, mornings in general. Can you tell I’m not a morning person? Let’s skip over the morning routine which ends up with me running out the door and quickly throwing all my baggage into the car so I’m not late for my flight.
8:15AM: I start my approximately hour and fifteen minute drive to airport. I’ve left plenty of time so I can follow all speed limits and make sure I leave enough time for the almost inevitable traffic jam I will incur closer to downtown Vancouver. I’m pleasantly surprised that there is minimal traffic which puts me in a fantastic mood.
9:00 AM: Still no traffic, and the radio is playing my favorite songs. I of course sing-a-long.
9:30 AM: The internal GPS keeps increasing my travel time as I sit in a horrible traffic jam. This is the worst part of living in a city that is surrounded by water and bridges. I have lost track of the times I’ve been cut off by some self-involved driver who has no regard for the well-being of their vehicle and is clearly more important than me.
9:45 AM: I arrive at the airport and park in the long-term parking lot. Thankfully there are plenty of spaces available. I grab my suitcase and head toward the terminal.
10:00 AM: Check-in goes smoothly. I am informed that my ticket has been updated to business class, which of course is AMAZING. It’s like winning the lottery – this kind of thing never happens to me. The lady advises me that I will be able to make use of the elite Maple Leaf Lounge before my flight.
10:10 AM: Baggage drop off and I breeze through security line-up with my Nexus pass. This is the best part of my day as the line up is out the door. This would have added at least another 30 minutes of stress to my trip.
10:30 AM: After being turned around and some troubleshooting on a map, I find the lounge. Time to relax…for only 20 minutes. Everyone seems to leave their bags unattended and no one seems to care. I guess it’s only the regular people’s bags they are worried about being suspicious? No radio speakers blare here that if you leave your luggage unattended it will be confiscated like in the main boarding areas.
10:32 AM: The washrooms in here are sweet! It’s almost like being in a hotel. I am fully hydrated and relaxed in the comfy leather lounge chairs.
10:48 AM: Check out of the lounge and head to gate 82. Thankfully the lounge is between gates 84 and 85 so I don’t have far to go. Pre-boarding begins, and since I am in Zone 1 (with the rest of the elite) I am able to walk right onto the plane.
10:50 AM: As I sit in my seat everyone else walks by me. It’s kind of embarrassing so I pretend to look busy so I don’t have to meet the stares of 200 other people as they shuffle back towards economy. I’m also not wearing business clothing so my extremely casual yoga wear must scream that I don’t belong here.
11:10 AM: Everyone is all settled in and they close the main doors. I am offered a refreshing drink of water and a choice of newspaper. I gracefully decline the newspaper – it’s not my thing. Look at this legroom…
11:15 AM: The aircraft pushes back from the gate and taxis to the runway. There are many planes ahead of us, this is going to take awhile.
11:30 AM: Up, up and away into the blue skies: Take off!
11:45 AM: I am handed a hot wet towel to refresh my face and clean my table tray. Just like in the movies.
11:50 AM: Complimentary headphones make their way to my seat.
12:00 PM: A menu is delivered so I can peruse the upcoming meal. My meal choice is one of two fine options, and I also select my drink. Alcoholic beverages are on the house but I have a strict policy about day drinking. My Ginger Ale is delivered with some delicious warm cashews.
12:10 PM: I’m enjoying sipping on my Ginger Ale. Since I’m overly enthusiastic, I finish my initial glass very quickly. Fear not as I’m brought a refill in the form of a whole can. Which of course I’m not going to drink out of as I have a fancy glass.
12:22 PM: Lunch is served: Pasta, salad, fresh dinner roll and delicious cheesecake. Even some of the best restaurants I’ve eaten at haven’t had service like this. Since I’m a newbie to this, I take way longer to eat than anyone else.
1:00 PM: The flight is pretty uneventful. The view is gorgeous and I get some work done while relaxing to my favorite tunes. I wasn’t in the mood but the in-flight entertainment system had all the latest blockbuster movies for free.
2:00 PM: Plane begins its initial decent into Anchorage, Alaska.
2:40 PM: Plane arrives at the gate. I switch my cell phone on which syncs my watch back 1 hour to the Alaska time zone. After gathering all my belongings I wait patiently for the plane doors to open.
2:45 PM: Deplane and I navigate my way to the baggage claim. Most airport layouts are similar so it’s just a matter of following the airport signage. I’m pleasantly energetic as I was one of the first ones off the plane and don’t have the normal cramps from sitting towards the back of the plane. Imagine flying like this all the time? I definitely wouldn’t dread it that much.
Experience Everything At Least Once
Well that’s all folks! I’m finally back home and can blog about the experience. Flights can be enjoyable but there is nothing better than enjoying the actual destination or returning home. I can’t get used to business class as on my flight home to Vancouver I was seated at the very, very back of the plane. I think that was to make up for my awesome flight on the way to Alaska. Have you ever flown in business class? It makes for a great experience! It’s similar to how I imagine being rich and famous for the day feels like.
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