I woke up with vivid recall of having flown long haul business class this morning.  So vivid, I couldn’t recall the destination or the airline.  Just a feeling of relative comfort from flying.  Then felt a bit sore in my right hip.  Welcome back to reality!

I am unlikely to fly business class again.  I might not even fly again.  Solo trips with anything other than the lightest luggage are out of the question.  My body struggles to carry stuff!

But somewhere deep inside it seems I want to enjoy long range posh flying again.  As long as there’s something worth seeing at the end of it.

This year’s flying has been amazing.  First class (thank you Avios) to Boston and back a beautiful experience.  Feeling looked after in the BA Boston lounge a particularly nice feeling.  The £130 a bottle champagne also very welcome on board.  Grand Siecle something or other.

Business class on Iberia to Santiago with exceptionally attentive service.  Regular riojah top ups.  Strange Spanish style food.  And perhaps the most comfortable I’ve ever felt on a plane.  Impressed by their A340 aircraft.  And the annoying man in the Madrid lounge tapping away on his phone with the settings on “make a clicking noise every time I press a button”.  Git.

Santiago to Easter Island was also done in business class on LATAM.  Perfectly good seats, although it just felt not quite as good as what had gone before.  And the horror of no access to a lounge for the return flight.  The straw roofed hut next to a terminal much smaller than our plane presumably reserved for another airline.  Not that I was aware of any using such a remote landing spot.

Then back to South West USA.  Outwards with British Airways.  Rachel inadvertently queue jumping to be told she’d been upgraded to first class.  Brilliant moment.  Then a panicked “have I been upgraded too?” met, fortunately, with an affirmative.  The service was pretty disappointing compared to Boston three months earlier.  But being upgraded for the first time in my life was good enough.  Even if I did later read on the FlyerTalk forum about many frequent flyers preferring our original business class seats on the upper deck of the 747 to the plusher first class cabin.

Coming home our connecting flight from Vegas to Chicago took us over many of the sights we’d seen on the ground during our three week tour.  Canyonlands as much a joy from 30,000 feet as on the ground.  Better still, on landing, we had access to the American Airways lounge.  I’ve been in the Admirals Club before in Philadelphia.  Nice space.  Miserable bar staff.  Basic nibbles but no foods of substance.  I expected much of the same here.

Instead, we were handed a slip of paper and sent to, I think, the second floor in a lift.  Greeted warmly we were shown into The Flagship Lounge.  It seems the Admirals Club is now for internal flying riff raff only!  A wide range of warm meal options.  Pour your own Bollinger without the need for a curt barman, and a feeling of light ambience needed before embarking on a seven hour flight back to Dublin.  Only to arrive late, missing our Ryanair flight and needing to fork out for another!  “There’s a £100 missed flight fee sir”.  “Sod off I’ll book online myself” was pretty much the gist of that conversation.  Still, pour your own Bollinger!

And if you think all these wonderful flying experiences have involved pretty amazing road trips too, it’s been a pretty amazing time.

Ironbridge, Telford Holiday Inn and Shrewsbury Away