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It’s been said that “it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind”, and just as well or I’d be eating my hat. There are many things that I don’t like being wrong about, but the experience of flying business class was not one of them.

As a frequent flyer, and travel aficionado the list of my must see places grows longer by the year, whilst my bank balance shrinks in protest, and with it economical ways to live. And fly. Sleep, watch a few movies, edit photos, cloud gaze out the window, ignore the hundreds of others encroaching on my personal space, pray the person next to me doesn’t have bad breath. Oh wait, it’s my husband, at least he won’t snore. Repeat. Mental note to self, “fly business class one day”.

But then reality surfaces, and I remind myself of what I’ve always said, “why spend extra money on business class when it’s just a mode of transport. Sufferance in economy for savings will all be worth it, but the developing cramp in my leg isn’t convinced with my mental pep talk.

Business class seats
Inflight service

Ready to board, I hand the Cathay Pacific attendant my boarding pass and prepare to board the plane. Scanning my ticket, she looks up and says “Please Step aside, you’ve been upgraded to Business Class”.

The world stops. Out comes Snapchat. Followed by Insta Stories, I’m gesticulating wildly by now and even contemplating “phoning a friend”. Briefly I consider announcing my luck to the person behind, until reality hits and I realise I’m probably now off their Chrissy list. Oh wait, it’s my husband. Yep, definitely off the Chrissy list now. But he’s gracious, so gracious and smiling he says “it’s not every day you get to fly Business Class. Enjoy it babe, I’ll see you on the other side.”

I think he’s still talking… but I can’t be sure, I’m already heading towards the light. To the realm behind the curtain, where all of us frugal, economy class traveller’s have dreamt of flying in, and convinced ourselves it’s not worthwhile, despite never having stepped foot behind that mysterious curtain.

I’m barely seated before a smiling Cathay flight attendant appears, offering champagne, fluffy bedding and a a doona. I ask her for a paper bag. I’m hyperventilating by now, it’s all too exciting. Ok, so truthfully I’m only hyperventilating on the inside.

We’re still on the tarmac and I feel as though the journey has already begun. How wrong I’d been to assume that flying is simply a means to an ends. That it’s just a mode of transport. And whilst in reality that is what my budget will dictate for the foreseeable future, the reality is I now understand and know better. Business class with Cathay Pacific was an experience.

The opportunity unveiled that the journey can be as important as the destination, and as my first meal was presented, on crockery, with silver cutlery and glassware I began brainstorming ways to fly this way again. To have hubby experience it too. I thought about all the favourite people in my life and how I couldn’t wait to convince them that they should try a business class experience at least just once in their lifetime. 

Pre-flight service
Inflight dining

But the thought of loved ones was fleeting as I was immediately distracted by the gourmet chocolates making the rounds through the business class cabin. I’d barely decided on which chocolate to have, when the air hostess appeared and offered me a second.

I’m not much of an alcohol drinker, but by the time the beverages were re-offered the whole occasion called for a celebratory drink. I knew I was flying, but I didn’t feel that way. I felt relaxed, calm, pampered, and most importantly comfortable. Judging from the snores heard from my neighbouring passenger, I think he too was comfortable. I could hear him, but I couldn’t see him, yet another bonus of flying Cathay style business class.

Flying on a new A350, I found the seats were arranged in such a way as to maximise comfort yet without compromising on privacy. Once again I find I’m pinching myself that I’m seated in one of the newest and best planes in the air at the moment.

In all my years of air travel I have never had time fly the way it did on this flight. Moments before landing a friendly elderly voice with a thick English accent is directed my way… it’s my neighbour asking, “Did you sleep well dear?” To which I replied, “…about four hours in to the flight I got up to go to the toilet and saw all of you flat on your backs. I had no idea I could lie completely flat down. After that, I was out cold.”

My peripheral vision caught the amused smiles of fellow passengers at my answer. Yet another passenger joined the conversation, questioning, “I take it this must be your first time in business class?” It was a no brainer. I heard myself respond with an unequivocal , “Yes. Yes it is, and it definitely won’t be my last. Once just isn’t enough.”

Disclaimer- I value integrity, and authenticity more than much else in the world. I hold dear the life philosophy that “Your word is all you have in life, and if you don’t have that, you stand for nothing.” With that in context, whilst this was a Cathay Pacific sponsored experience, my opinion remains my own. I was granted full creative freedom in storytelling, and I would not hesitate to spend my own money with Cathay Pacific in the future. They were fantastic.

Fully flat bed

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