A five-course meal and champagne? Yes, please.
When it comes to travel, getting there is half the fun — except when it comes to flying, in which case getting there is more often than not a series of vexing and demoralizing events. We’re talking two-hour security lines; crappy (or nonexistent) food; and cheek-by-jowl seating that practically guarantees you’ll walk off the plane with swollen limbs of tree trunk proportions.
Like any broke-ass person resigned to coach, I had more or less accepted my fate as an interminably crabby (not to mention, cramped) air traveler. That was, until I got my first taste of business class on a recent trip from New York to Lisbon. During the six-hour United Airlines flight, there were fudge sundaes, fluffy pillows, designer toiletries and — the crowning glory — seats that reclined all the way. All the way, people! For the first time, I finally understood why upgraded seats are worth the splurge. Here are five reasons why.
Halfway through my flight, I was swaddled in a cashmere blanket and watching a cheesy ‘90s rom com with a glass of champagne in hand. To say I was in heaven, was an understatement. But then a three-tiered sundae cart emerged piled high with coconut shavings, whipped cream and fudge, and that’s when I really started wishing the flight would never end.
Not willing to drop $350 on a pair of noise-canceling headphones, I’ve always relied on good old-fashioned earplugs to drown out engine noise. But in United’s BusinessFirst cabin, every seat came with a powerful pair of headphones that blocked everything from the sounds of crying babies to snoring seat mates.
I slept on a plane, guys. And that is no small feat. Turns out, a fluffy pillow, eye mask, fuzzy socks and 180-degree flatbed seat go a long way.
Business class meals are a far cry from the peanuts and pretzels you get in coach. We’re talking a five-course gourmet meal with a chilled appetizer, salad, a choice of four entrees, a cheese course and the aforementioned sundae service. And as if that weren’t fancy enough, there’s even real, metal cutlery, actual plates and a white tablecloth.
We all know flying wrecks havoc on your appearance. Luckily for all those beauty-obsessed travelers out there, a business class ticket comes with a tan leather saddlebag filled with luxurious Cowshed toiletries (y’know the ones from SoHo House & Co. hotels). Inside: refreshing towelettes, moisturizing balms, hand creams and lip treatments.