Its 5am in the morning and I am invariably awake on my second day of travels to our marine site in Indonesia. The journey was relatively stressful especially in the beginning, after arriving to the airport 3 and a half hours early, we still managed to have some of our bags checked in after check in closed! This was due to stringent weight allowances and the need to shuffle weight around all our bags and hand luggage to somehow conceal 10 kg of extra weight each without paying through the roof for it. This issue was solved by filling our pockets with items such as aquarium pumps and heaters, battery chargers and dive torches! Although we did still end up paying for 6kg extra, at 35 pound a pop still very pricey!! The journey did however go quite well, on the way we were given emergency exit seats, which was good, especially for my 6.6ft friend! On the second journey after a 4 hour layover at Dubai I arrived to the gate to my boarding pass causing a almighty screech when the attendant tried to scan it, I was pretty worried thinking they would arrest me or something but was pleasantly surprised when the attendant said ‘nothing to worry about, you’ve just been upgraded to business class!’ Imagine my delight, I felt like id won the lottery! Imagine the prospect of a cramped 9 hour flight transformed instantly in to 9 hours of luxury!
I’ve only even been upgraded once, and that was on an hour flight from Paris to London and was just 4 seats at the front of the plane separated by a curtain! On the Emirate flights its like a secret word, you get your own entrance to the plane and I have only ever caught glimpses of what it must be like on the other side of economy. Here I was, a scruffy scientist with my backpack and dive regs, living it up with the businessmen! I felt out of place, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me! On arriving to my huge throne, I was offered champagne and an array of buttons and screens which I immediately began to explore, much to my embarrassment when I realized one button put a screen up between myself and the gentleman next to me, I think he thought I was avoiding him! I also found that my seat reclined in to a fully flat bed and had massage functions! It was surreal I really couldn’t believe my luck and things just got better, I was handed a wine list and a bar menu which included fine whiskey and cocktails. For dinner I was treated to a 5 course meal with canapés, mezze, fillet steak, desert and a cheese course! I was given a wash bag filled with perfume, face potions and hand lotions, the toilets were stocked with toothbrushes and razors, we were given silk lined blankets and plump pillows, I really didn’t want it to end! I did however feel bad as my previous seat had been an isle seat who I had agreed to swap with my 6.6ft friend but now had been replaced by an Indonesian lad so my friend was stuck in the middle of several petite women, but was too polite to ask anyone to swap with him. I did feel bad, but this was soon replaced by relaxation, head spinning champagne bubbles and a massage!
So now its up for another day of travels, today we fly to Makkasar and then to Bau Bau before getting on the overnight boat. I’ve just filled myself to the brim with chicken, possible the last meat i will get all summer and defiantly the lat decent meal until Friday night!