I spent this morning talking about planes.
It was sparked by a Buzzfeed link that appeared on my Twitter feed called 12 First Class Cabins That Will Make You Hate Flying Economy.
The photographs are predictably impressive. Flat beds all round of course. Lots of smiling air hostesses (and hosts) some lovely looking canapés and some very smiley people enjoying their space in the sky. One airline has even created a three room suite on board for those who have $20,000 to spare. That’s the price for a one way ticket by the way.
Ordinarily I wouldn’t base a blog post on Buzzfeed. But then ordinarily Buzzfeed has posts entitled things like 17 Cat Reactions For Every Thanksgiving Situation and 46 Reasons We Should All be Thankful for Leonardo Di Caprio.
This piece was a little more my scene. It’s not something I’ve done a lot of, flying on these flat beds in business or first class. I’ve certainly not had my own three-room suite! But I, like so many people, see these chairs and dream of flying on one of them – stretched out with a movie and a glass of champers. Somehow it has become one of the ultimate experiences around.
Which is strange when you think about it.
Imagine for a moment that you took that chair and put it anywhere else. It would be a thoroughly unimpressive photo that wouldn’t make any of us bat an eyelid. If it were billed, for example, as a budget pod hotel you’d expect that space to cost less than a meal for two in a chain restaurant.
Pop it in the sky and we’re talking serious money. And unless something goes very wrong you’ll be in that seat for an absolute maximum of 24 hours and most of the time far less time than that.
Whereas when you reach wherever it is your flying to you could be there for anything from a couple of days to three weeks.
Yes economy seats are not as comfortable and yes it would be lovely to have a duvet and not have to ask anyone to move when you want to go to the loo. But I think I’d rather hang on to that money, sit upright for a few hours, and then arrive in my destination knowing the bulk of my holiday cash has been invested in the place I’ll be living in for a few nights. That, for me, is when the holiday begins and ends. The getting there is the price you pay for wanting to see a new place (or revisit an old favourite) and stay in a beautiful little hotel.
Perhaps there’s an idea for a new Buzzfeed article there: 12 Small Luxury Hotels You Can Stay In for a Week – For the Price of a First Class Plane Ticket. That one would really get me excited about my next trip.