The Comfy Chair

25 03 2008

Common etiquette dictates that white should not be worn after Labour Day. Unfortunately however, it doesn’t suggest what should be worn in order to procure an upgrade to Business or First Class.  I can state that wearing long white stockings to the knee, large brass buckles on your shoes and an enormous triangular black hat most definitely does the trick, however.

Sadly, I have rarely been fortunate with upgrades. I have tried enquiring politely, batting my eye-lashes flirtatiously, wearing sun glasses and imitating Bono, and even feigning injury. All without success. Resorting to a new tact, I decided to try dressing as though I belonged in the more auspicious cabin – until I discovered that most of those occupying the comfy seats are actually wearing jeans and t-shirts. My new dress code didn’t work either. I was tempted to try folding-up a $50 note and tucking it into my passport, but thought better of it.

The reality is there are a lot of people already in the queue for the socks, eye-masks and Evian spritzers before the fickle finger of fate plucks someone from the cheap-seats and lands them in the lap of luxury.  Firstly, there are those who actually bought the big seats. Yes, some people really do pay for them! Then there are those with billions of air miles who spend as much time flying as Amy Winehouse at a rave, and consequently get upgrades whenever space permits. There are airline staff and their families, and the occasional misplaced celebrity. And then, if there’s space in comfy class and they’re overbooked at the back, they might just pull a normal person and indulge them with that most impressive of airborne status symbols: genuine cutlery.

I once followed a pirate in the check-in line. He was a very tall buccaneer and sported a great red jacket with impressive long tails, the requisite hat, footwear and white puffy shirt.  I snickered as he politely handed over his economy ticket and passport and proudly told the airline agent that he was headed to the world Town Crier competition in England. He had the last laugh however, as the agent promptly upgraded him to Executive Class while my suit jacket and I were once again relegated to the back of the bus!

Oh yea, Oh yea, Oh yea.

Post by: Simon Vaughan © 2008