Flying Business class has more advantages than anything else. How can anyone even complain about it? I was always getting super jealous about the people who can stretch their legs on a 12 hour flight rather than sitting for all this time and counting the time down. At the same time getting cramps and hitting everyone around trying to find a comfortable position. Also being tall always adds a question “what should I do with my legs now?!” My parents always joked to cut them off if they are too long but on a serious note I always find it problematic. With budget airlines I can always pay 30 euro more and get a seat in the emergency row or check-in last minute hoping that only these seats will be available and the system will assign one of them to me.
Long haul airlines and their better seats or cabins come with a high price which for an ordinary person like myself it is only a dream. The cost of the Business class seat can cost 1000 euro or more depending on the length of the flight. And for what? For a bit of luxury on the plane. It’s not the price that is affordable for everyone. So for many years I always passed the ‘more privilaged’ section of the plane with tears in my eyes and anger that I can’t afford it. Until recently… And it’s not because I won a lottery. Many airlines nowadays have implemented a bidding system to up-sale the Business and First Class seats on the plane. How does it work? You go to your booking and check if the bidding is available with your airline. You can bid the minimum (suggested by the airline) or you can bid more and get more chances of the seat you were dreaming about for a long time. If no one else has bid more than you then it’s your lucky day! In that way for 100 $ you can get a seat that it usually worth 1000 $ or more! I sometimes try to bid the minimum but I have never been lucky.
This one time when I was going to Sri Lanka and South East Asia (October 2016) I decided to go against everything what I believe about backpacking and try, and at the same time treat myself to things that I have never done before. I didn’t bid the minimum for a better seat, I even add an extra 30 euro! I know, I know – I went crazy. But… my offer was accepted and I got the Business Class seat on the Air Berlin flight. Of course the difference and quality of the flight is humongous! First of all, you have access to Business Lounges where you can relax with a very few other ‘privilaged’ people, you have an open bar with unlimited drinks and of course food – also unlimited. You have an access to a better Wi-Fi and comfortable seats. You have a priority security checks, immigration and of course boarding.
But that’s not everything! Now you go on board! You get a welcome drink, hot towel for refreshing and more attention from the cabin crew. Seats are automatically reclining so you can lay down flat. Amazing!! You also have better food option, you can have starters, mains and desserts plus of course unlimited drinks and snacks throughout the flight. And the screen for watching your favourite movies is also bigger. Blankets and pillows are better quality and of course… bigger . Wish I could travel like this all the time. Of course I took an advantage of it and after watching one movie while having a dinner I slept for the rest of the flight.
When you disembark, you leave the plane first before everyone else and in my case we had a shuttle bus waiting for us outside. Also different to normal ones. With big comfy seats and carpets and only for the Business Class passengers. The rest had to wait. So you have a few minutes to get the immigration before the rest of the plane.
The experience was amazing and not for that much more! I can definitely recommend trying it out 😀
Another new thing that I tried was ‘Boxtel’. It’s like a small motel inside the terminal. It has small little rooms which you can use per hour depending how much time you want to have a rest for. They are usually 2×2 metres rooms with a bed with fresh linen, a small table with charging points and a good Wi-Fi. At the airport in Bangkok where I had to wait 10 hours for the next flight I decided to use the room for a few hours to catch up with some sleep and to be away from other people for a little bit. It costs 600 THB for the first 2 hours and then 350 THB for each hour. They weren’t as soundproof as they advertised it but I had my earplugs which allowed me to have a good nap I had to spend a few more euros again but it was well worth it. I know, you could say to me that as a backpacker I should have slept on the floor under the stairs but you know what? I don’t regret it and I will do it again and again if I have to.