A Trip To Europe Pt. 5: Leaving On A Jet Plane(John Denver)

I flew into Prague today.  What a day. Got to YVR at around 5 pm.  My brother was nice enough to drop me off, well I drove while he slept most of the way. I checked in and we grabbed a bite to eat and had a drink in the Fairmont hotel lounge.  We wanted to see the plane I was flying in land.  It’s the new Airbus A380-800.  What a magnificent plane.

Thanks to purchases made through my family’s business I was lucky enough to score a ticket in first class using a majority of the points I had accumulated.  I booked about 10 months out so I guess I lucked out booking that far in advance.

After watching this beast of a plane land I said my goodbyes and headed through security and toward my gate.  I grabbed a couple of magazines and headed to the lounge.  Why not?  I have a first class ticket and this is probably the only chance I will ever get so I might as well take advantage of it.

The first class lounge for BA is small.  Considering it’s the only BA flight from Vancouver I can see why, but the service was something else.  From the moment \i walked in and being asked if I would like to board last just so i would be disturbed by the peasants heading back to economy(Not the actual words used but maybe a hint of it).  Self serve bar.  Sandwiches, M&M’s , newspapers, the constant checking up on you to make sure you are comfortable.    I guess that’s what they mean by rock star status.

I boarded the plane a little later than I normally would and found my seat, 3A.  I shouldn’t really call it a seat, it’s more like a private cabana.   Lie flat bed, storage for your electronics where you can charge them, an overhead bin for yourself(the same size as they give for a row of 3.  who needs that much space?), and a closet to hang your jacket and put your shoes and store your personal bag.

As I settle into my seat the steward comes and ask if I would like a glass of champagne(no thank you, not my cup of tea), just a water.  Now all settled in we take off. We get to cruising altitude and the steward comes to me and asks if I would like to look at the menu.

But of course.

I peer through it and I am just shocked at the selection.  “anything we can get you Mr. Makris?”

“Why yes.  A Johnnie Walker Blue please.”

They have Johnnie Blue for 1st class.  For free! $30-40 an ounce depending where you go.  He comes back with my drink. And I’m guessing they don’t really measure because there must have been 3 ounces of Johnnie Blue in the glass.

After a couple of sips of My Johnnie, the steward comes over and asks if I would like to slip into a night suit.  They give you pajamas.  Let me repeat that.  They give you pajamas, along with a personal travel kit with a toothbrush and toothpaste, lotions, a razor, eye cover and deodorant.  Seriously?  After accepting the night suit I was instructed to go upstairs and because the bathroom would be more roomier.  Was it ever.  It was the size of a powder room.  A seat beside the toilet to put your clothes, tons of elbow room.  I slipped into my night suit and headed downstairs where I ordered dinner which was a chicken with rice and a pomegranate sauce.  Pretty good I must admit.  I finished off my wine that I ordered with dinner as well as my Johnnie Blue and the steward then  set my bed with linens for my sleep.

I fell asleep and woke up 4 hours later a little more refreshed.  I took my personal bag and went upstairs, brushed my teeth and put my regular clothes on.  I came back down and everything was stripped down and put away and my seat back to the original configuration.

I ordered a little breakfast of fruit and a croissant and a tea and waiting oh so patiently to land in London.  After landing and saying my goodbyes the most important feature I feel came into play.  Access to the lounge.  Not for the free booze or food provided, but for the access to the shower facilities.  There’s nothing better after flying than taking a shower and washing off that stickiness of flying.

Had my shower a little snack in the lounge and I headed to my gate where I then boarded my fight to Prague which was in a much smaller A320-200.  Comfy, which is all you need for the hour and a half flight to Prague.  A little snack and a drink later and you’re in Prague.

14 hours after you leave home and you are a world away from where you call home.

Let the adventure begin!

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