How I almost didn’t make it to Bangkok and ended up with an upgrade to business class…
So the big day has finally come. I had my last day at work Friday, cleared my apartment during the weekend, said my goodbyes to Paris and all my dear friends and co-workers there, packed up my backpack and was finally ready to start my big trip. During the taxi ride to the airport, I had a bit of a stomach-ache due to all the excitement, but when it was finally my turn to check in my luggage, I couldn’t have felt more ready to leave. But there, the big shock: The flight to Moscow was overbooked and I was on standby. There was no other connection to Bangkok that day, and I was told I might needed to stay in Paris for another night.
I almost fainted when I heard these news. It usually wouldn’t have been such a big deal to start a vacation one day later, especially as you get financial compensation in these situations. But I was just so ready to go and really, really didn’t want to return to Paris. Luckily, the people working at the Air France counter felt with me and decided to do whatever it takes to get me on that plane.
What followed were numerous phonecalls, two out of the four agents behind the counter running back and forth (while there were about six other people hoping to make it on that flight), talking on their walkie talkies and checking stuff on their computers. I felt like in a thriller. Favourite quote: “We have to take the Miss! She’s not staying here!” (Non la miss, on la prend! On peut pas la laisser!) The suspense was on until the very last minute, as it was only thirty minutes before take-off when they finally told me: “Bon voyage, mademoiselle!”
I could have kissed them both, filled with joy and relief. Unfortunately, i didn’t really have time for that, as I had to make a sprint through security check and to my gate worthy of qualifying me for the Olympic games. Needless to say that my hungover from the night before was more than gone by then…
It wasn’t until I was boarding the plane that I realised that I had been upgraded to Business Class. Dressed in my oldest leggings, Chucks and a hoodie, I looked like a hobo who just ran a marathon, but in true gypset fashion was able to enjoy a last glass of Champagne while embarking on my big trip.
Everything went pretty smooth from there on: The food in business was extra nice, there were no major turbulecences and we arrived in Moscow on time. But oh my, did I forget how unfriendly Russians can be: From the immigration officer to security check to the stewaress who was waiting on my aisle: I had the impression they all hated me for not speaking Russian. But luckily, apart from Ludmilla, my grumpy stewardess, and the superiorly disgusting food on the plane, everything went pretty well. I even got to secure a whole front row for myself, meaning maximum space and comfort.
In-flight entertainment was pretty neat as well: I first watched “The secret life of Walter Mitty” – what a perfect fairy tale to get me into an even bigger travel mood. But then, every movie featuring Arcade Fire on the soundtrack is a natural winner… I then went on to watch “The fault in our stars”. Big mistake! While I knew the film was going to be sad, I ended up crying like a baby in the end. How embarrasing!
But the most important thing is that both me and my suitcase arrived safely in Bangkok. I have already spent two amazing days (and nights…) in this crazy city (more on that later) and will head to Sri Lanka tomorrow evening. A big “merci” again to all the amazing people who work the premium counter of Air France at terminal 2E at Roissy :*