How a Cabin Upgrade Can Turn Disastrous

I was waiting patiently for my flight to Singapore in the Emirates lounge in Brisbane airport six years ago when I heard my name over the air to go to the front reception. I thought to myself, “Did I drop something” but didn’t think much of it because I was exhausted from the day I had (it was a night flight) and I could not wait to get some sleep. When I got to the front desk, I told the sweet lady that I heard my name over the air. She smiled back, handed me a new boarding pass and told me I was upgraded from Business to First class. I was elated. Emirates business class on their B777 was an amazing product but their first class suites were – First Class.

However, not all upgrades are created equal. Fortunately or maybe unfortunately, this lady was travelling from Santiago to Sydney and she was shortlisted for an upgrade from economy to premium economy. She had to give up her chosen aisle seat in exchange for a middle seat in the premium cabin. I thought that was a pretty good deal. I would do the same. Yet, it turns out that was one of her worst decision.

A little while later I got up to go the toilet. Then an hour or so after that I wanted to talk to my friend again. Which is when the man next to me rolled his eyes, sighed dramatically and declared,

“I’ve never known anyone on a plane to get up so often.”

She was seated next to a grumpy, inconsiderate old man I guess! Santiago to Sydney is an agonising 14-hour flight. Going to the toilet, getting up and stretching your legs should be an understatement for long-haul flights such as this. Yet, this unmindful gentleman was making self-imposed rules on those who are seated in the middle seat the need to curb the number of toilet breaks so as to avoid inconveniencing those passengers seated on the aisle. How selfish was that?

I do understand the concern when someone in the middle seat needed to get up and out. I am a fan of the aisle seats because I was afraid to cause unpleasantness to the passenger beside me since I move about in the cabin quite – a lot.

When flying alone, I will never allow myself to choose the middle seat as far as possible.

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K̶Colin sleep travels poorly. He can't seem to find a hotel bed that shares the unique olfactory charm of his own.