There are certain elements of organising a trip which just go together like a fine wine with good cheese, a perfect example of which is how lodging at airport hotels goes well with flying business class. At face value these two aspect of any trip don’t appear to be linked at all, but it was indeed through specifically searching for Manchester airport hotels that I managed to land a seat in business class, on a long-haul flight across the Atlantic.
In this particular instance it was simply a matter of arriving extremely early for the flight because I’d been lodging so close and so I took the time to have a little chat with the check-in counter staff member who was allocating seats. She seemed happy to have someone be so friendly towards her as most of her interactions with passengers assume the form of a just-get-it-done-now liaison.
It’s rather ironic that I was the earliest passenger who’d arrived for the flight and yet I was the very last one to board the aircraft, but only because the check-in clerk had told me she’d upgrade my ticket to the instant upgrade option, which means that if there are any leftover seats in business class I would be ‘instantly upgraded.’
The final check-in time came and went and there were many business class seats leftover, so yours truly got one of those and I must say it was quite the experience. I’ll tell you a bit about it in a second, but before I do I must share some of the other intelligence I received from my check-in clerk friend about how to land a business class seat.
Booking a ticket at the last hour
This simply entails showing up right at the end to buy your regular economy class ticket and if the seats are full in economy class you could just get sent into business class for the exact same price you pay for your economy class ticket. The boarding pass doesn’t show the price, it just says business class.
Free staff pass
Staff members of airlines are eligible for free flights and they can also extend free passes to their friends and family, so if you’re really nice to someone who works for an airline or who works at the airport you might just get yourself a free pass, which could be upgraded as well.
I already mentioned the instant upgrade option as the manner in which I landed my seat in business class, but yeah, that’s another option. Now, as far as flying business class goes by way of the experience, it’s very much like dining in a flying fine dining restaurant with gourmet meals, except you’re in what is not unlike a hotel room where you can call room service, spread your legs all the way out into a sleeping position and just bask in what that extra £1,500 odd buys you in the form of a business class ticket — albeit you are with all the other business class passengers of course.