I’ve had a mad week or so, bouncing from the World Travel Market in London, to the Swn Interactive Conference in Cardiff, and now over to Berlin for the day before heading back to Melbourne tomorrow morning. Oh yes, and writing my first article for the Inside LP blog.
This, unsurprisingly has resulted in rather a lot of air travel – particularly of the long-haul type – but today I get a treat. Lonely Planet doesn’t fly anyone business class, it’s economy all the way. But occasionally, just occasionally, there’s no choice. You book late, you have a meeting at a time you simply can’t move, and the extra few pounds is worth it to make it on time.
Getting up at 4am is never fun, but with the prospect of a two hour flight to Berlin in total comfort, as well as a settled wait at the new Terminal Five in the Club Lounge ahead of me, I had a slight spring in my step. Silly me.
Traffic on the M25 was non-existent, which simply meant I was here three and a half hours early. Ahh well, comfortable club lounge here I come. Automatic check-in failed (I must be too early) so I headed over to the flight desk, and was told, by a yawning clerk who couldn’t care less that the flight was over-booked and I probably would not get on it, go away come back later, when there may be a space on another flight perhaps (yawn again, no ‘I’m sorry’). But then the magic happens. There’s a ‘c’ on my ticket – that means club! It’s all different now (the yawning hasn’t stopped – but I spy a hope) – I can go through to the club lounge to wait, but probably still wont get on the flight. Yawn.
Joining the queue through security I was ‘fast tracked’ into a long line of slow moving people… ‘why can’t I go through the normal one? There’s no one there?’, ‘You have a club class ticket sir we can fast track you’. Ah. Little point in arguing. Fast track also means I have to remove my shoes. The other normal lines don’t seem to be doing that. Oh well. I’m then treated (because I’m special) to a good search by the rudest security person I have ever met. ‘Put your arms out straight’. ‘They are’, ‘no straighter’, ‘they don’t get any straighter’ (perhaps I am odd), ‘whatever’. Meh.
Now I sit in the club lounge and all is right with the world. I still don’t know if I’m going to get on my flight (and therefore make the exceptionally important meeting that could mean exceptionally important things for the company), or if I’m resigned to sitting next to the free food buffet. It’s a tough choice. There’s only one thing I know for certain. Neil Diamond rocks.