Do you remember the first time you flew short or long haul that wasn’t in economy?

Mine was back on New Years Eve in 2011 and I didn’t even know I was going to be sat in business class.

What was going to be a run of the mill New Year’s Eve celebrations with my family took a quirky turn for the awesome when at the last minute (and I really mean last minute) I was asked to join an acquaintance who was heading out to Washington DC and best of all…it was free.

Luckily the USA allows for a speedy decision on the ESTA over the internet.

My flight was scheduled to depart at 9pm from London Heathrow and I was in my then apartment in St Albans arranging my travel authorisation at 3pm the same day.

The real fun began when in I met my friend at T5 and proceeded through security and reached land-side to the sight of a packed out Heathrow airport.

I was travelling in economy while my friend was in Business Class (perks of their job) so we went our different ways.

I headed to Huxeleys Bar near the North Lounge to engage in my then pre flight ritual of spending my hard earned pounds at the bar.

A slightly tipsy me then headed to the gate (I had met several Australians and decided to ring in the new year with several rounds of champagne early) where the boarding pass buzzed red. Now this is the industry secret sign of an operational upgrade. To me I was oblivious and accepted the new boarding pass without realising what was ahead.

Having navigated past the grumpy flight attendant at the door I had a quick glance at my seat number and realised I wasn’t in the right place.

I had been upgraded to Business Class yet I’d wandered down the 747 into economy.

With a mix of embarrassment and excitement I had to squeeze past the fellow economy passengers who were irritated at my back track…whoops.

Eventually I arrived at my seat which was to be my home for the next 6 hours, I felt slightly out of place until I sat down as I had always imagined Business Class to be only for the more wealthy etc etc.

Once I settled in I accepted the champagne that was brought round and saw the seat next to mine was empty. Turns out the empty seat belonged to my friend.

By a freak of coincidence turns out we were now seat buddies and the look of bewilderment on my friends face was hilarious!

Naturally I took full advantage of the features of the cabin, I drank more champagne to wash down the three course meal provided and even watched a film while being comfortable in the lie flat position of the seat.

And to top it all off, the captain came on the PA system to wish a Happy New Year while 39,000ft in the air. It was the perfect first time in Business Class that eventually ruined economy class for me.

What was your first time in business class like? Leave a comment and share your stories.

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