So, that extra $3000 a ticket gets you something pretty nice. I’m writing this from the upper deck of a 747 flying between Boston and London. (I'm actually posting this several weeks later, becuase I have a free afternoon...) Some hundreds of the unwashed masses, as I shall henceforth and forever call people who fly coach, sit behind and below me, cramped into their two and a half square feet of real estate. I – on the other hand – am sitting in a luxurious (though still evil and sadistic) 70 inch long sleeper pod.
- I have my own TV.
- I have a wool quilt.
- I have a full sized pillow.
- I have a little kit filled with earplugs and lotion and other apparent travel necessities I’ve foolishly been doing without my whole life.
- I have champagne and macadamia nuts.
Granted, each of these macadamia nuts probably cost my company $40, but they're awfully good.
The simple truth - Traveling to India Business Class, we will arrive in Bangalore in a condition to actually do some work that day. Traveling trans-Atlantic in coach results in a sore back and a 3-day stupor. It kills a day on each end simply recovering from the flight.
A strategic lesson from this is that if a US company wants to make global sourcing work, they better be willing to spend some money on airplane tickets. And if they’re already spending some money on airplane tickets, they should go ahead and pony up the money for business class.
An expert on this new-found luxury after one leg in business class, I have some travel tips:
- If you fly Virgin Atlantic, they give you free limo service to and from the airport.
- No matter who you fly, they give you a little kit with toothpaste, a toothbrush, and other toiletries. So you don't have to worry where you packed your cosmetic case.
- Free Magazines! Real Magazines. About stuff interesting enough to support ad revenue.
- And when you check in, ask if you’re flying in a 747. If you are, ask for an upper-deck seat. It’s quieter, and it’s an upper deck! On an airplane. That's just cool.
- If you fly business or first class, you get to hang out before hand in a lounge filled with other obnoxious rich people (or business people who would rather be somewhere else). It’s many orders of magnitude better than hanging out in the terminal with the unwashed masses.
- People with bratty ill-tempered children do not, it seems, fly Business Class. How sad for them.