Saturday, 24 September 2016

Flying away

Well, I am clearly getting older and less travel-fit. Or maybe because it's more than a year since we last flew to the UK (16 months in fact, but only 11 months since we returned from there). But I'm going for the getting older and needing more comfort for my body...

We had made the decision that it was time to join the SKI Club in earnest - you know the one: spending the kids' inheritance. So we had booked to fly over to the UK Premium Economy and back Business Class - in the interests of investigating which was preferable (can you hear David's boffining in this reasoning? I was all for jumping straight to KNOWING that business class would be better. But David likes to be scientific and conduct proper trials...

So Premium Economy it was. But wait! I had been awarded a free international upgrade on one leg of the journey. So I got to travel Business Class from Auckland to Hong Kong. Well, any scientific investigation was over as far as I am concerned.

David however was in Premium Economy just 3 rows behind me - so near yet so far! And Air NZ's PE looked to be pretty good - same meals as BC, but served in trays, not on plates, a good wide seat with two armrests apiece, and a good leg/foot rest like on a lazyboy chair, but without the same level of elevation.

But BC was amazing.

Dinner on a plate! On a table with a tablecloth!
The first course of breakfast - cereal with fresh fruit salad and yoghurt and a decent sized mug of tea! That is cream in the little jug at the back ... Went back unscathed, by the way
The second course of breakfast - sorry, I had started to eat it before remembering to take a photo. Coconut and lime hotcakes with banana, cream and maple syrup.

The food was yummy and served on plates, as I may have mentioned and as you can see in the photos above. The seat was great and extremely adjustable. But the best was the bed - a lie flat, stretch out (well, for me, but not so long for anyone tall). Being able to lie down to sleep was a gift. The service was lovely and attentive but not fawning, and the staff were really helpful. They even make the bed up for you, even tho it is a push button job. Did I mention that lying flat was wonderful?

So I was sold.

That was confirmed on the Cathay Pacific flight to London where we were both in Premium Economy. David could do a proper comparison of PE quality between Air NZ and CP. I just knew that CP's PE (keep up!) was not up to scratch. There WAS more legroom than in Economy, but the footrests were foot rests, not leg rests, and my seat didn't recline properly - but the woman's in front of me did almost into my face. And my legs hurt.

The lunch when we boarded was lovely, to be fair - Australian beef fillet. But dinner was dire and I only ate dessert.

So as far as I am concerned, the jury is back, and it's going to be Business Class all the way from now on. Oh, by the way, David agrees. So thank you Cathay Pacific, for not being up to scratch. You did my job for me. Well done, you!

PS Now that we have been here in the UK for 30 hours, the body-memory of the discomfort is receding. So I will have to keep re-reading this post to remind me!

David and I have always told people to harden up when they complain that they cannot come to NZ because they cannot cope with the long flights (2 of about 12 hour duration). So, OK, I am no longer a hard woman, much as that will surprise some people. David is made of sterner stuff than I am, and he could continue to cope. Wait till we travel home though and both in Business Class - he'll be won over completely!

So, kids, we're sorry, but there will be very little left for you when we kark it!


Lisa said...

Last year when we went to NZ, we did three day stop overs in Singapore on the way out and Hong Kong on the way back. So six extra dinners to be paid for and "Activities" plus of course the hotels to be paid for.
My David didn't like Singapore which I really did, he loved HK which I didn't see what all the fuss was about plus I was chilly. Moral of the story is that its cheaper to fly Business than rest on a stop over.
His research not mine. I said yes lets stay in Singapore both ways!!

Marilyn McDonald said...

Lisa, I am so glad that your David concurs with my assessment - not that my David and I have done stopovers since 1990. But I would have to say that it is a choice now between Business Class and stopovers to break the journey and shorten the discomfort time, and I choose the former. How surprising! Cheers, M