Right off the bat I discovered the first perk of business class: you waited on a separate, priority line to board the plane. It still took some time for the people ahead of me to file into the plane, but I must have spent a good half hour enjoying the cabin instead of being slowly herded through the airplane connection tunnel.
Right away, I was treated to a glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice and a travel pouch complete with everything from toothbrush/paste, earplugs, skin cream, eye mask, lip balm, and even dark navy socks.
I thought a lot of money went into the dinner and the lounge, but these cabins definitely showed their polish. The middle aisle I was in contained four seats, with the aisle seats facing the opposite direction that the middle seats. There was also a large, opaque, collapsible privacy screen separating the middle from the aisles. The other intern and I got the middle seats, but the cabin was empty enough that he moved elsewhere after finding that his seat controls didn’t work.
Each seat could pivot, tilt, and eventually recline into a bed if you pulled down a footrest in front of you. With both privacy screens up, you really didn’t see /anyone/. As this was a “sleeper” flight that travelled through the night, they dimmed the lights and served food only at the beginning and end of the flight.
For an additional meal, the food was actually pretty good. There was a small salad, a choice of either a beef and provologne sandwich or provologne and asparagus and zucchini, and of course drinks (orange juice, teas, hot chocolate, etc). For such a simple sandwich, it was delicious. Even though there were a scant two hours between my first meal and this one, I gobbled that shit down.
They also gave us a hot towel, petit four for dessert, a bottle of water, and some salted cashew nuts for if we got hungry. Apparently there was more of the same available in another cabin if we wanted it, but I was alright. Since it was only a five-hour flight, and I would have a whole day ahead of me, I needed sleep.
Normally I sleep (or at least doze) very easily, whether in a car, bus, or even a train. But something about the plane, whether it was the loud roar of the engine, the occasional tilt of the plane, or the new surroundings, made it impossible for me to get any sleep. I tried, believe me. Insomniacs, I feel for you, I was bored as shit. I pushed the button to prop my seat up, flipped out the tv monitor, and started channel surfing. They had at least two dozen channels, and extra channels with foreign subtitles. I rewatched a bit of There Will Be Blood and some of Sweeney Todd, which was surprisingly good. Both had Chinese subtitles. I then flipped to The Other Boleyn Girl, which lasted me until the captain turned the lights back on.
We were nearing Heathrow, London, so the stewardesses walked around again handing out hot towels. They followed this up by a light breakfast of a croissant, some butter and jam, a muffin, some freshly-squeezed orange juice, and some fruit. I was offered a bacon roll, but upon my inspection it was Canadian bacon. Outraged, I flung it into the stewardess’s face and cried out, “What is this blasphemy? You call this bacon? Well I call it a complaint sent to your manager!”
Snapping out of my reverie, I set the sandwich aside and watched strange television shows featuring British-accented hosts until we touched down, preparing myself for the unending amusement that comes from listening to English pronunciation.
In the coming weeks, I would not be disappointed.