This is just a page for me to share bits and pieces of my writing. It started when I completed a Master of Arts (writing and literature) at Deakin University so up to 2010 these posts were from course work. Now it's just whatever and whenever the fancy to write something takes hold.
For my blog about education see http://shartley.edublogs.org/
I was not looking
forward to a seven hour flight from Boston to San Francisco after nearly 30
days of constant walking. Also, our flight from San Francisco to Sydney was
only a day and a half later. Hence, upon receiving a reminder about a week
before the flight, I took the invitation to upgrade my husband and I to
Business Class, leaving our adult children in Economy.
After going through the
online process, there was no email confirmation and no record of it on the app
or website under the initial booking reference, only the two remaining
passengers in Economy. I phoned United Airlines to confirm but had great
difficulty understanding the woman at the end of the phone call due to the
digitalised sound to her voice so I asked her to email the new reference
number. I did not receive that email. I rang a second time and had a much more
understanding and helpful person with a clear human voice who was quickly able
to give me the new reference number.
When we arrived at
Boston Airport before 6am the queues were long and people were obviously
stressed. Staff were shouting out times and flights so passengers could move up
the line and make their flights on time. It wasn’t clear where we had to go but
once we found the place, there was a queue for ‘Priority’ passengers but did not
see a sign that said Business Class to make it clear that was where we were meant to go. The man behind the
check-in desk was friendly, courteous and helpful with a sense of humour which
helped me to relax before a long journey.
Business Class entitled
us to access the United lounge before departure but we were not allowed guests,
so the kids had to fend for themselves out with the general public. It was only
for forty minutes though. It was the quietest lounge I have been in but there
was a snooty girl who had tone in her “excuse me” when I lingered too long in
front of the bread selection.
On board the cabin crew
were running about in a hurry everywhere which raised some concern in me about
what was going wrong but they settled down once we took-off, about 20 minutes
late. I was extremely grateful for the extra legroom. Doubling the price of the
ticket bought more than double the legroom. We could also tilt our chairs all
the way back to be completely horizontal and we were given a small pack of
toiletries, a blanket and a pillow.
However, they ran out of
hot food by the time they reached our row for breakfast orders. These hot
breakfasts were supposedly also available for purchase in Economy Class. How on
earth do they run out so early in the process? To compensate, we were given
both cold options of cereal and fruit with yoghurt. It was filling enough and a
couple of mimosas made me feel more convivial. After breakfast, I went to watch
a movie or some TV but none of what was offer appealed. This is something I have
never encountered before. Instead, I listened to the Hamilton soundtrack
on my phone through my Bose noise-cancelling headphones, snuggled under the
blanket and shut my eyes.
passengers are not any cleaner or courteous with their bathroom habits than
Economy passengers. I had to use the facilities twice and both times I had to
clean the seat and bowl before use and the sink was left in a mess despite a
sign asking passengers to wipe it down for the next person. The second time the
disposal unit appeared to be overflowing, but no, the previous passenger
couldn’t be bothered pushing his paper towels into the slot properly.
The flight was quicker
than expected, had only a few moments of turbulence and our baggage arrived
fairly promptly at San Francisco, but not given priority in belt arrival,
despite the big orange tags screaming PRIORITY.
It was so nice to have
the extra legroom but the extra money didn’t buy me anything else. Cold food
and drinks could have been purchased down the back and rushed crew and dirty
passengers are everywhere. UPDATE: United is going to email us a $100 "electronic travel certificate" each. I'm not sure if that's going to be of any use in Australia.