If you have a passion for travel then the necessary evil is flying on a tin can for several hours.
I am a sucker for the budget airlines because if I’m going to Europe you can pick up some bargain deals – and I’m only travelling for a maximum of 4 hours. On long haul, unfortunately, I am not wealthy enough to travel business, it’s pretty much economy class all the way.
If you’re lucky enough to travel business/first all the time, you’ll have probably seen me scowling at you as I’ve walked on through the plane. It’s only jealousy. Pure and simple.
The problem is I’ve been lucky to have been upgraded in the past, so once you’ve experienced the stars, it’s hard to go back to the gutter… Some might say that’s where I belong…
Getting off to a good start
On our recent trip to Las Vegas, I was fortunate enough through a family member to get my BA executive card upgraded to Silver. This meant that we could get fast track check-in, fast track boarding and use of the business lounges at Heathrow Terminal 5.
Being a lounge first-timer, I was pretty excited. Normally, I don’t like to spend a lot of time at the airport before I fly. But on this occasion we made an exception. Well, we wanted to make use of the complimentary food and drink, and chill out before a 10-hour flight.
There are two business lounges situated at the North and South ends of the terminal and we made sure we checked them both out. Both had really delicious hot food stations – we had choices of soup, chilli and a green curry, a salad bar, sandwiches, cakes and snacks, as well as free wi-fi and lots of comfy chairs to sit in. Soft drinks, coffee, tea and more importantly wine and fizz were on tap.
The Terrace Lounge in the north side, didn’t feel as relaxing, as it was stuffier in temperature and smaller than the Galleries Lounge – which had a ‘help yourself’ bar. Yes, the gin and tonics were especially good. But we made sure we took it easy on the booze. For one thing, I didn’t want to experience a hangover in the air!
I must admit, it was a lovely way to begin our trip. I normally feel a little stressed out before I fly, so spending a couple of hours chatting, drinking and eating in a really quiet space was a great experience, and I can understand why so many frequent business flyers find these lounges a haven from the hustle and bustle of the main airport.
Back down to Earth…
Did I ask for an upgrade? Yes… and I milked the fact it was hubby’s birthday. Did we get one? Did we heck!
The plane was full, we had the likes of ex-Chelsea footballer Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and his posse taking up First Class.
But even though it was a cramped 10 hours, and I had a man the size of a wrestler elbowing me, it didn’t matter as the excitement of our holiday began to build.
Plus we got to live the high-life for a few hours at least… and it was better than a kick in the teeth – and an extortionate sandwich from Pret a Manger.
I could certainly get used to lounge access every time I fly… but alas! My upgraded card it only valid for a year. So, next time, if you see a chinese woman pressing her face up against the glass looking forlornly at you – it might be me…