Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Traveling in Style

I finally met up with Shaun 250* at the airport and after a last meal of McDonald's and coffee, we went to the gate to see fi we could sit next to each other. After, getting our seats reassigned, we sat and chatted for the remainder of the hour and one half until departure. We began boarding and there was a slight problem with our boarding passes and we were again instructed to speak to the gate attendant (or “Gatekeeper” as I like to call them). We were informed by the woman at the desk that we had been upgraded to business class at no additional charge and to proceed to the plane.
Say what!?
While this was a welcome surprise, Shaun 250 and I paid merely a student's price for our tickets, at least $500 under what business class costs otherwise. We were escorted to amazing robotic seats which has controls for every angle of the seat, including a motorized, adjustable lumbar support (thank God!). Now this has turn into a 13 hour flight I don't want to end.
Not only can I stick my legs straight out, but there is a “sleep” button on the seat that essentially turns the seat into a very comfy bed. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Upon being escorted to our seats, attendants began services immediately with water, orange juice and champaign, all while referring to us by our last name, “would you like more orange juice, Mr. Stanhill?” “Um, yes please!” After take-off, they began service with warmed nuts and wine, followed by an appetizer plate of seared tuna on a bed of edamame and seaweed, cream of asparagus soup, cheeses and grilled, chilled bell peppers. After we whet our, a fresh, green salar with nuts, craisins, spinach, romain lettuce and balsamic vinaigrette lasted us unti the main dish of spicy Korean beef was delivered with a choice of three breads, rice, spicy bean paste and pickled root crop of a yellow constitution. Beyond the eccentricities of the main course, we were offered three kinds of deserts. I opted for the cheese plate with accompanying glass of port, naturally. The service has been a sustained quality found at restaurants like Ocean Club Grill in Scottsdale and Morton's of Chicago, the flight attendants personal, courteous and attentive. Shaun and I still can't figure why we were upgraded but it's a fabulous way to travel into the unknown, in style and comfort.

*According to the order in which we joined the EPIK Fall group on Facebook, members accrued nicknames in intervals of 50. I, for examples, was the 200th member to join and am therefor called Sean 200 on the forum. Time will only tell if this name will stick. When in the Philippines, there was another volunteer named Sean and I went by Sean Two, he being Sean One.