Friday, October 11, 2013

An Amazing Trip

Let me start by saying that the trip left virtually no chance to attend to the blog.  The work days were extremely busy; they actually went from 8AM to 11PM (some time was spent traveling between sites, and some time off for meals).  One work day concluded after 1 AM the next morning - with no change of the 8 AM starting time.  To make it worse, the room had no net access; the hotel's touted "free WiFi" applied only to sitting in one or two public areas of the hotel. 

That said, it was an experience like I've never had in my life.  The trip was almost halfway around the world, requiring flights of almost 12 hours in the air.  Major Avionics Company has a policy that trips of that duration may be booked as business class with upper management approval - which was granted.  The airline has a policy that if an international flight is booked as business class, any connections to that flight in the US are booked as first class.  I've never spent that much for air travel, but on the other hand, I've never been treated that well on any airline flight. I got my first ride ever on a 747, and it was in the pointy end.  

The in-country hosts arranged things very well and were extremely gracious.  My trip there was complicated by a series of last minute changes: first, the most important leg of the flight was cancelled the day before departure, and then the trip re-booked onto a different set of flights.  Even worse; with a new itinerary in hand the day of the trip, the aircraft for the first leg of my trip reported mechanical problems and couldn't get me to the hub (Atlanta is our nearest hub).  It took a lot of time and some pushing, but I finally was rescheduled and into country almost at the original arrival time.  I was met by a local agent who helped me navigate customs and to the hotel on the beach. 

Regular ramblings will resume shortly, but right now, my body clock is somewhere a few time zones away from here. 


  1. Congrats. Domestic upper classes can be really nice on big jets (United used to run a three-cabin 777 from LAX to Dulles that I would catch in the morning), I can only imagine international business.

    1. Do you know those seat-back pouches, where they store the inflight magazines, safety card, barf bag, and so on? First plane I've ever been on where I had to stand up and walk over to the seat in front of me to get something out of it.

      Helps to have that much room when you're lying almost flat.

    2. It also seemed to be the case that placing your carry-on on the floor in front of you in Business was acceptable during take-off/landing, whereas the plebs in Economy have to jam it all the way under the seat. They never said this outright, but it was something everyone was doing with no correction. Weird.

      The first time I saw a modern premium First Class suite I was amazed. It was like a physical bubble of personal space.