BUSINESS REALLY IS PLEASURE
Ihave a confession: I’m terrified of becoming a business-class wanker. I’ve been to the front of the (seat) class and I’m not sure if I can ever go back. As a travel writer I fly a lot and I realise what a privilege it is. More times than not I’m at the back of the plane but, on the rare occasion a business-class seat is waiting for me, it’s like scoring a Christmas bonus.
After flying home from London in Emirates business class at the start of last year (yay, points!) – where I gained an insight into the diva behaviour of some privileged passengers – I flew back two months later in economy with my mum. Before we’d even left the ground, reality hit like a postholiday comedown.
Where were the warm towels? Where do I put my bits and bobs? Who the heck is this person sitting right next to me as if personal space is a foreign concept?
Fortunately, it’s part of my remit as a travel writer to delve into the HIGH-FLYER Keeping your feet on the ground can be challenging after the bonus of flying business class. trenches of seat classes and service comparisons, and I recently accepted the challenge of flying business on Singapore Airlines’ A350-900 from Brisbane to Stockholm. (Don’t hate the player, hate the game.)
The flight was six legs in total so there was plenty of time to soak it up but what scared me was how quickly I became accustomed to life at the pointy end. That’s the danger of business class. Once you know what it’s like, you can’t “un-know”.
Among the perks of the journey were free Wi-Fi for business-class passengers and the opportunity to eat “off the menu” by pre-ordering from Singapore Airlines’ Book the Cook service – a special menu created by an international culinary panel of celebrity and Michelin-starred chefs. Lobster thermidor, anyone?
But it didn’t take long to start to feel the niggle of first world problems.
First the FOMO that came with eating my braised short rib – preordered since the dish was designed by International Culinary Panel chef Alfred Portale – but kind of wanting Matt Moran’s seared beef fillet in red wine sauce off the in-flight menu.
Learning? More than two meal options is dangerous for indecisive travellers.
Then the complimentary Wi-Fi. One refresh of Instagram was all it took to eat up 30MB data, which left me checking and rechecking in case it would magically top up again.
Learning? Not having data is better than getting a taste then losing it.
Seated in 19K on the second leg of my journey from Singapore to Stockholm (via Moscow), I was amazed at the extra leg room the bulkhead afforded and incorrectly assumed I was on a different aircraft. Reality hit on the return leg when I realised the row in front of me had the luxurious full-width leg room and I was back to one of the seats with a “foot cubby” that means you have to lie on an angle. What can I say, when you’ve been to the top and are knocked back a notch, perspective can be warped.
Learning? Even in business class, seat selection matters. (However, the width is glorious no matter where you sit – Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A350 business-class seat measures 28 inches wide, or about 71cm, one of the widest on the market.)
I know what you’re thinking; You give a girl a set of slippers and next minute she’s demanding Dom Perignon. But in reality there is no bad in business class. Only the danger of losing touch with reality.
THE WRITER TRAVELLED AS A GUEST OF SINGAPORE AIRLINES