My first time getting on a plane was when I was 7 years old; I was leaving the country that I was raised, the Philippines, and traveling to my new home in New Jersey. After that, I’ve traveled an average of twice a year via air and always in economy class, or as I call it, the “regular people class.” As I board plane, I would always walk past business class and constantly wondered what it was like to sit here; but sadly I usually find myself sitting a few rows past business class and watch as the curtains slowly close in front of me, leaving me to just imagine what happens up there.
This year everything changed, Santa Claus put an amazing gift in my Christmas stocking! After 29 years of flying economy, I was given the opportunity to fly Asiana Airlines in business class. The flight was a mere 3.5 hours, starting from Manila and ending in Seoul.
I had the privilege of boarding the plane first and bypassed the long line of people. This was already a different experience as I would always wait in line to board for economy. I was ecstatic when I got on the plane and found my seat in the front! I immediately sat down as I didn’t have to find space and wait for the 20 people in front of me to store my carryon luggage. The first thing I noticed was obviously the amount of space available to me; it seemed like I had room to dance with the amount of legroom I had. Not even a minute has passed and I was greeted by an FA with a smile and she gave me an option of water or orange juice to drink; I opted for water and was provided with refreshing cold water. I was also given a hot towel to wipe my hands and my face with! Another welcoming surprise before takeoff was the inflight manager greeting all the business class guests which has never happened to me in economy class.
When I had a few minutes to myself before takeoff, I wanted to see what the reclining capabilities are of my seat. I kept on reclining my seat and I was delightfully shocked that it reclined all the way to a bed-like position; unfortunately it was slightly uncomfortable to sleep in that position, because it was an angel flat seat, but thankfully there were tons of positions the seat had to offer and finally found a comfortable position. I also found my seat table which was conveniently stored inside my right arm chair and had ample space to eat or work on. In the pouch in front of me stored a couple magazines and a noise cancelling headphones for my personal use. The FA came by a few more times, handed me some slippers and offered newspaper.
Once we were in the air, I toyed with my personal television to see what it had to offer; there as an array of movies; foreign and American. It also offered a few TV series, music stations and some games to keep me entertained for hours on end.
As soon as the seat belt lights went off, the FA’s came around once again to take our drink order and a dinner menu order. I chose the stir fried beef with mushroom on the menu and Pinot Noir, to accompany my dinner. Before my drinks came by, she put a large tablecloth to cover my table and polished utensils tucked in a napkin; all of which made me feel like I was eating in a nice restaurant. As my FA came by with the red wine bottle, she did the proper way of serving it: first showing me the label of the wine bottle, then pouring a small amount for me to taste, finally, with my approval, pouring a full glass for me to enjoy. She also gave me a glass of water. Not too long after, I was given my appetizer, which included a salad and some ham slices; I do have to add that it was plated very nicely. I noticed the FAs were very attentive to every need I had.
My drink glasses were never empty, as they would come by and fill my drinks when there was only a quarter of my drink left. Once my appetizer was finished, they came back and cleared my food and instantly brought my dinner. My dinner consisted of a beef stir fry, rice and a side of vegetables. The plating was regrettably not as attractive as my appetizer but was a decent meal nonetheless.
Once my dinner was cleared off my table, I was offered more wine which I politely denied. I was then handed a fruit and cheese plate, which included brie, Gouda and an array of fruit. At this point, I had to unbutton my pants, as I was bursting at the seams. I was then also offered a dessert wine, which I also passed but did try my travel companion’s ice wine and I must say it was very pleasing to my palette. Mango cheesecake was on the menu for the dessert, which with the dessert wine I regrettably had to turn down. I again took a bite of my travel companion’s plate, and I have to say that it was definitely a piece of heaven!
My excitement of being in business class was overtaken by tiredness. I reclined my seat to my sleeping position, popped on a movie and slowly dozed off. This is the first time on a plane that I was able to really sleep without struggle! I couldn’t believe it, I slept on a plane! I woke up to the pilot communicating that the plane was close to landing. I was one of the first to leave the plane and once again did not have to wait to get off. My experience ended with smiling faces and thank yous as I left the plane. WOW what a difference Business Class is, this is something I will not forget!