This was my first time I had flown business class with other airlines than Air Canada (and the reason is in this post: United vs Air Canada – $339 vs $908).
We had our meals served and one passenger (an old lady who seemed foreign) was about to ask something and the flight attendant visibly irritated repeated again ‘Mushroom soup?’, she seemed to hardly stop herself saying ‘Just say yes or no, nothing else to discuss.’
“Red wine or white wine?” and it was the only choice.
Air Canada would offer 2 varieties for each, but I realized that United’s way was more efficient. The AC passenger would make their selection and then the FA would have to say again ‘Malbec or Shiraz or whatever?’ and perhaps further time consuming discussions would ensue.
And for first time I’d seen the following: a FA pulled a kind of fence and she was standing behind it. This made me very curious, what’s happening in the kitchen? And the mistery revealed soon. The other FA brought food to the pilots so the door to the cockpit opened briefly.
When we landed in Chicago I would have expected the business class passengers to be let get off (I was about to use the word ‘deplane’, but read an article that made me change the mind) first and then coach. I was on a reward ticket but if I had bought it I would have not been too pleased, I paid lots of money for the ticket, perhaps I would have a very tight connection, it would not be too much to ask to let business class passengers disembark first.
Chicago – Brussels
I liked the big IFE screens and the selection seemed to be better than Air Canada’s not that it would matter too much (who’s got the time to watch all movies).
However, every time I fly internationally I like to find some good foreign movies to watch. Last time it was Enthiran a 2010 Indian Tamil film (it claimed to be the highest-grossing Indian film of all time). Now I found “The Raid: Redemption” an Indonesian action movie (84% on the RottenTomatoes site and Sony Pictures might produce a Hollywood remake).
When I flew Air Canada business class they had individual pods which I think are better than having seats beside each other. My wife is quite mobile so she would have not had a problem ‘jumping’ (not really but you get an idea) over my bed if she wanted to go to the washroom in the middle of the night. But what if as a stranger was beside me or I was by myself and got the window seat. I would have not mind being waken up but I would not have liked to wake up someone in the middle of the night. S/he would have hated me for sure.
Again, are the grapes washed? Next time I will ask? It is a question that I have to find the answer to, but I have no plans to travel soon so it might take some time. Perhaps a reader already knows so s/he is kind enough to post it in the comments or they can ask and post the answer later.
In Europe I flew first class Lufthansa, Air Dolomiti and SwissAir. They don’t have special seats for business class, for example Lufthansa has an empty seat between two normal seats and this is the business class plus the extra food.
When I booked the reward ticket I didn’t want business class for Europe as I knew the distances would be short (in comparison with North America) but I was told the miles would be the same so I didn’t bother, also I did not realize I could have saved on the fees as business class trips are taxed higher. Even if I had not saved too much it would have been worth it as I did not care too much about the food served on the plane; I have status so anyway I had eaten in lounges before getting on the plane (so far best food and selection I have found it in the Lufthansa lounges).
1. If I would be reimbursed for the business class (slim chance, but one can only dream ) I would choose Air Canada over United;
2. For a reward ticket, it would not matter too much, my main objective would be to pay fewer taxes and here United is still (much) better than Air Canada;
3. Business class in Europe is not worth it (unless of course the company pays for it) and even that for a reward ticket you cannot save miles (i.e. fly business class North America – Europe and then economy within Europe on the same ticket) you can save $ in taxes (don’t know how much).
REMINDER: The contest to win a seat for the Star MegaDO 4 event ends on 11:59:59 pm MT on October 7, 2012.
All participating blogs are in the Rapid Travel Chai’s post.
My blog name has been misspelled ‘Sceptical’ instead of ‘Skeptical’ but I don’t mind it. Someone misspelt it at the beginning and after that the copy/paste spread the mistake to every post where the contest was announced.
So to the reader who commented that now he is “a reader of sceptical traveler”: Don’t worry you will not be disqualified .