I certainly had a warm welcome to India! After flying for 10 hours on a Qatar Airways economy flight, between London Heathrow and Doha Airport, then spending a subsequent 9 hours hanging around Doha Airport, unable even to afford a plate of fries, the thought of getting on another plane just made me want to cry my eyes out.
Me and my friend stood as the only two westerners, in a ridiculously long queue of people destined to fly into Cochin. Once we reached the check-in desk the lady asked with a smile
“are you going to be staying at Fort Cochin”
“oohhhh…that’s my hometown, you are now upgraded to first class….Welcome to India”
I couldn’t quite believe what I was hearing, me and my friend had toyed around with the idea of asking for an upgrade, however when we arrived at the initial check-in desk, the surely woman behind the counter, glaring at us with contempt did not look like someone that I wanted to ask a favour from, and after bumbling something inaudible at her about fear of flying, I looked at her grumpy face and just shut-up!
I sat humbly in the tiny chairs for 10 hours and accepted the offer of cheap orange juice once an hour, because I am poor, and this is what I deserve. Oh how quickly things can change, from the moment she said first class, my voice went up a few decibels as I over-pronounced “ooohhh…lovely madam why thank you” before dancing my way to the front of the queue jumping around with all the excitement of a gay Teletubby on smack, showing my ticket to the staff saying “oooohhh….first class don’t you know” In my best impression of the Queen. This was my behavior, and my friends was even more exaggerated because she actually was on drugs, anti-anxiety tablets mixed with wine, she was like that scene in bridesmaids, except that she was allowed into fist class, so instead of being mean she was just incessantly wooo hooing. As we ran off towards the plane I’m sure that the airline immediately regretted their decision.
I can’t describe to you how much better first class is than economy. For starters we had Bollinger on arrival, wide screen TV’s, foot rests, massaging chairs, proper blankets and pillows, baileys on ice, menus, a three course meal, cutlery, fabric table cloth, salt and pepper shakers, vodka, more Bollinger, more baileys, chocolates, an unlimited amount of razor blades and shaving cream to steal from the toilets and guess what more Bollinger. I was absolutely wasted by the time we landed.
Flying first class is amazing, I would offer some tips on how to get upgraded if I knew any, however all I know is this; many westerners that I spoke to had been upgraded on this leg of their journey between Doha and Cochin, due to full flights and being one of the only foreigners, however this is not guaranteed and it is simply a case of being in the right place at the right time.