Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Good manners. They will take you a long way. Right into the first class lounge at JFK in fact. And let me tell you it's worth it. No one in first class is paying for the extra leg room and better food(okay maybe a few) they are paying to get into the lounge. Free food, free drinks, internet access, newspapers in every language, showers! Baggage check, couches and comfy chairs. It has it all. Even a restaurant and smoking area. It was nice. You see, on a family trip to Scotland British Airways made a slight error on our tickets. They printed them twice which drove the computer nuts. So my brother and I had to wait 45 minutes at the check-in counter. The reservations people were very nice about it and kept us up to date with what happened. There was nothing we could do. Yelling and stomping and blaming everyone else wasn't going to get us help any faster.(which is what the guy in front of us did) So we just hung out and waited patiently. Finally our tickets were fixed. We got prime seats in coach too. Near a bulkhead not too far from the bathrooms, but not too close either. See what being nice gets you? And the lounge. Ah, traveling Nirvana. A place we all aspire to, yet the deserving seldom see. As I said couches and comfy chairs with footrests. In leather. That swivel! And the food. Cookies, danish, cheese and fruit. Every type of drink. Juice, bottled water, soda, milk, tea and coffee(they had a do it yourself latte station) and alcohol. It was an open bar. Martini mix, high class rum, single malt Scotch(this was British Air) and wine. Ah, the French chablis. I had two glasses. And they had a wall of coolers with more beer than I ever knew existed. Japanese, Chinese, Belgian, Czech, German, American, British and Irish ales. My brother choose the Tsingtsao. I settled in with a few British tabloids, my wine and some fruit. I didn't even need to go anywhere. I did send a few e-mails to friends. Hey, they had the computers there. It would have been rude not to use them! We didn't use the showers or go to the restaurant. But there's only so much time before they call your flight. And you never have to leave the lounge to get on the plane. There's an elevator that takes you right to the gate. I felt like a rock star. Of course we did thank our mom for all of this. If she hadn't raised us with manners and intelligence we would have been flying strapped to the wings of the 747 that day. And first class would be a forgotten dream.