Let me start by saying that I haven’t got a clue how this happened. Two weeks ago I was in a homesick rut and booked an impulsive flight back to England. It was the cheapest ticket I could possibly get. No seat reservation, no checked bag, no meal. Bare minimum. But at the check-in desk at Fort Lauderdale airport everything changed.
I asked the woman at check-in, “Is there any chance I could get some preference on where I am sat? I know that I don’t have a seat reservation but I was wondering if the computer chooses or if you can?”
“I can choose it.”
So she starts clicking away at her computer, asks, “Aisle or window?” Prints out my boarding pass and wishes me a good trip.
As I’m boarding I don’t think anything of my seat allocation. 2J. Way further up the plane than I usually sit (I like being at the back) but at least it would mean that I will be first to get off when we arrive.
I shuffled onto the plane with everyone else, and once we are past Business class I look up at the seat numbers on the overhead bins to find my aisle. Except, the first row is number 6.
“Excuse me,” I ask the nearest flight attendant. “Where is row 2?”
“You’ve gone past it. That’s in premium seating.”
At this I exhale all of the air in my body with a kind of pfffftttttttttttttt noise and burst out laughing. “Are you telling me that I got upgraded and nobody told me?”
“Are you complaining?” she asks, laughing.
“Not even slightly.”
So suddenly I am in Business Class, watching everyone else herd through to Cattle Class and grinning like an idiot because that was me less than five minutes ago. My seat has so many buttons on it that I have to ask the guy next to me what they all do and he shows me how to extend my leg rest, pull out my tray table, and where my TV is hidden in the armrest.
I plug in my headphones and start watching The Hunger Games. Still grinning like an idiot.
An hour into the flight, the air stewardess asks the people in front of me if they would like beef or chicken for dinner, and would they like some wine too. Then she asks me and I say, “Wait! I get food?”
“Yes, of course. You are in premium.”
I have never chortled in my life. But that is the only word to describe the noise I make.
I cannot believe my luck. I have beef and potatoes, chocolate fudge cake, wine (I don’t even drink wine but fuck it, I’m milking this for everything it’s worth), and a seat so big that I can curl up under a blanket to watch a film. This. Is. The. Life. I feel like Jack in Titanic when he goes for dinner in the First Class lounge and doesn’t know which knife and fork to use first. Except my cutlery and glass are made from plastic.
There is quite a lot of turbulence for the first hour of the flight so I have to drink my wine nice and quickly to make sure none of it spills, then I get another glass. All of this contributes to my stupid grinning.
Finally, I lean my seat back as far as it will go without worrying about crushing somebody else’s knees. Tuck myself in and sleep like a baby until I am woken up by breakfast 90 minutes before landing.