Circling Eyjafjallajokul - Late Summer 2010 travel blog


chair positions

first class

Written before the flight:

Typically flights from Chicago to Europe leave in the late afternoon/early evening and arrive early the next day. Body time doesn't tell you to fall asleep until the last few hours of the flight and by the time you land, it is the middle of the night. It saves a night in a hotel, but it sure is a struggle to stay up and awake for most of the next day. If you give in and take a nap as soon as the hotel lets you in, it delays the adjustment to the new zone six hours to the east.

But when we began to plan this trip and wanted to use frequent flyer miles, the only flight we could find left Chicago in the morning and arrived in London late at night. And we were delighted to discover that we had enough miles to fly business class - a first for us. It is more spacious and comfortable and you don't have to pay luggage fees. Our only fear is that we will like it so much, that we won't want to fly economy ever again. Champagne tastes on a beer budget. We've been getting up earlier and earlier this week in an attempt to nudge our bodies more quickly into the new time zone. Jet lag has not gotten any easier with age. But between the new flight times and the opportunity to start shifting, perhaps our minds will be present in our bodies when we do land.

After the flight:

Flying business class was even better than we expected. I cannot remember a time when we were sorry that a flight was over already. The seats were huge and could be moved into countless positions. Every time my bones got a bit achy, I pushed a button and could get comfortable again. We were besieged with food. The service was so quick, I hadn't even finished my heated nuts when they were whisked away to be replaced by a fresh seafood salad. Between the double feature I watched, the flight attendant came by with cheese and fresh strawberries. Breakfast was multiple courses. It felt like the cruise already had begun. Being one of the first ones off of the plane meant that we were in the front of the passport control queue. Even so it took 45 minutes to officially enter the United Kingdom. And when we got to the other side, there sat our bags with their bright orange "priority check in" signs. Too bad we were impostors and our days of being first class are already over.

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