Sunday, March 28, 2010

on how my traveling companion, who would never ever ever spend a penny more on travel than he has to, flies business class to Europe

There is irony in the fact that when you try your damnedest to not spend money, you get rewarded. The fact is that neither Ed nor I would ever use dollars or miles on comfortable travel. Oh, sure, I love upgrades when they are offered. For free. But long hours moonlighting will not be frittered on comfort.

On transatlantic flights, upgrades are rarely offered. I haven't had one for years. Us sardines, even those with golden frequent flier marks, points and statuses, will stay packed in the tail of the plane while the business class section stands empty and that’s okay with most airlines. You get what you pay for.

But today, Air France was feeling flush.


Perhaps it’s the airline’s jubilation at having just narrowly averted a strike this week. Perhaps, as Ed tells it, the clerk at the counter found him a formidable presence (must be the jeans: for once he agreed to leave the Farm and Fleet pair at home). I’ll never know the true reason for today's nod to my unwavering loyalty, but the clerk asked me if I, along with my partner (blessedly, neither of us corrected her on that one) would consider a free upgrade. As a favor to the airline.

Oh Air France, I take back all the bad thoughts I had about your sometimes stern crew of attendants. I’ll stay loyal, really I will. For that leg room alone, Ed (who is 6’4”) thanks you as well.