Nothing quite makes travelling long distances easier than a lie-flat bed/seat. And occasionally, I am lucky enough to be given an upgrade (or as the check-in staff so carefully call it, a “seat change”) to Business Class. And so it was as I boarded my Emirates flight from Brisbane to Vienna via Dubai. With all my deadlines met and a Peter Temple crime novel in my bag to read on the flight, I was all set. Time to settle in with a gin and tonic, watch a movie through the dinner service and then recline the seat to its fullest extent. And to my surprise, along came the flight attendant with a slim “mattress” to make the seat just that little bit more comfortable. Then it was eye-mask on, socks on and lights out. Later, I lift my mask to look around, and see tiny pin-pricks of light in the ceiling of the cabin like so many stars. Nice touch.
The upgrade was most welcome, especially so on a night flight, leaving at 9.45pm and arriving in Dubai at 4.30am after 12+ hours in the air. Sleeping on flights is not something that comes easily to me, even in the lie-flat seat (and I’m not one for chemical assistance to sleep). It’s really more about being comfortable for that long stretch of time. Sleep, if it comes, is a welcome bonus. And comfy it certainly was. These days, the seats also have privacy screens so you are not staring into the face of the stranger in the next seat either.
Because I am not a man, I did not know what kind of plane I was on. All I care is that it gets me there safely and in comfort. But for those to whom these things matter, I can now tell you that it was a Boeing 777-300ER. With lots of bells and whistles, and lovely helpful flight attendants. And on the last leg of my flight to Vienna, on another plane, I sneaked a peek into the First Class cabin, which has little private booths (with doors that close).
Despite the cocoon, getting there is always the best bit. It’s raining in Vienna, but that won’t bother me a bit.
A Glass Half Full travelled as a guest of the Austrian National Tourist Board.