Getting Upgraded to Business Class When Flying

Getting upgraded to business class is the holy grail of flying. Everyone hears of it happening, but very few people actually get to experience it. I was beginning a long-haul trip to Africa and starting the journey from home in Canada. Earlier in the year, the airline I was flying with pulled their direct flights to Denver, which happened to be the flight I was booked on. After calling them, they rearranged my flights and rerouted me with a partnered carrier.

I very rarely review the details of my flights before I fly as I’m used to 40+hour adventures on my global tours to reach my destinations.  So I didn’t realize I had been upgraded until I went to check in a few hours before my flight was scheduled to depart. I noticed I was seated in 1A, the very front of the plane. Still, I thought nothing of it as often when flying out of minor cities, the plane is small with hardly a distinguishing factor between business and economy class; the only extra feature might be in a drink or two, or an inch or two more of leg room.

Even as I boarded the plane and sat down, I didn’t realize the bonus I had been appointed to. As I settled in, the flight attendant served me a menu of breakfast choices and offered me a selection of beverages. Champagne, please! (Just kidding, I chose orange juice). It wasn’t until the menu was in hand that I finally realized I would be receiving a small amount of special treatment on this flight compared to what I was used to.

What does one dine on in business class, you might wonder?  I had several options, and chose a lovely parsley omelette with chicken sausage, cottage cheese, roasted red skin potatoes and red pepper relish, served with fresh fruit and yogurt. Not bad for being up all night packing and missing breakfast because Tim Horton’s at the airport was closed when I arrived.

My tasty and unexpected business class breakfast.

My tasty and unexpected business class breakfast.

There were only seven of nine seats filled in the privately curtained-off section, organized in rows of three. I was sitting on my own and had more leg room than my short legs needed. But the most delightful part about flying business? The air steward had taken the time to learn and memorize each of our last names, and addressed us by them. Needless to say, I was delighted by the personal effort.

Although the extra leg room would be nice for those that are tall, and getting a breakfast on such an early morning flight was a nice touch, the difference between economy and business on this particular 3 hour flight wasn’t enough for me to spend big every time I fly. I am quite content to travel in all modes to reach a dream destination and save a few dollars.

But would I happily take a free bump to business if it ever came my way again? Without a doubt.


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