Two Tickets to Paradise

Once upon a time, I traveled international first class. It rocked, and it rocked all the way to Bali. Since Cam and I had racked up so many air miles with our Alaska Airlines card, we finally had enough for two tickets to fly anywhere in the world first class. Mind you, this didn’t come easy. The first time we traveled to Asia, we both paid straight-up for business class tickets on Cathay Pacific (which was freaking awesome, too – literally a world away from economy).

On our second trip to Bali, we had enough air miles for one business class ticket and paid full price for the second one. You may be thinking at this point that I’m crazy to be spending a lot of money getting from Point A to Point B. I see it as a matter of priorities. Don’t even get me started on how much people spend on material things – or even children for that matter – without blinking an eye. I believe that experiences generate way more happiness than say, an ATV, or that shiny, just-renovated back porch. Travel is my child, if you will, my sanity check, and I am more than happy to spend money and time nurturing and investing in it. Enough said.

So, many purchases (we put everything on our card: $1 = 1 air mile; you can see where this is going) and many flights later (you accumulate even more points when you actually fly), we both had enough to travel first class on air miles to Bali. That’s both legs: from Vancouver to Hong Kong, and then HK to Bali. Needless to say, with that much distance we wanted to be as comfortable as possible. From check-in in Vancouver to arrival in Denpasar more than 24 hours later (plus skipping a whole day crossing the International Date Line), it was definitely worth the expense.

To document all of the wonderful things about traveling in this kind of luxury (physically and emotionally) would take forever. So here are my top 10 highlights:

1. By-passing the “cattle class” line-up and heading straight for the first class check-in. In many cases, there’s also a special priority line-up for security clearance. That rocks.


2. Entering the first class lounge. I could almost hear the angels singing. The cardboard cut-out was a nice touch, though.


3. Awesome lounge perks of champagne, wine, spirits, and a dizzying selection of non-alcoholic beverages, including gourmet coffee. Complimentary snacks: depending where you’re headed, this can range from muffins and fruit to sweet pork buns, various noodle dishes, specialty cheeses, assorted tiny sandwiches, homemade soups, pizza, etc. An endless array of magazines and newspapers at your disposal. Oh, and of course free Wi-fi. All surrounded by a quiet and relaxing atmosphere, sans baby-screaming, blaring tellys, and annoying people yelling into their cell phones. In this particular case, we practically had the whole place to ourselves for like five hours. It was almost lonely.


4. Priority boarding. There’s no better feeling than being the first to board, even before “those who need assistance and/or are traveling with children.” It’s even more fun if you’re late getting to the terminal (thanks to that last glass of champagne in the lounge). No worries; if that’s the case, you get to simply by-pass the economy class line-up and budge in front of passengers who are already boarding. Tee-hee.

5. Stepping into your roomy first class “pod”. Sometimes located on the top floor if it’s a double-decker plane, which is especially cool. Did I mention you’re greeted by name? For a more detailed perspective than what’s shown here, check out the first class cabin on the Cathay site. It really is all that.

6. More champagne (this time it’s pink). In your first class suite.


6. Even at 3 am, you get to order smoked salmon, specialty cheeses, fancy water crackers, and caviar. Washed down with expensive French bordeaux. You can even dine with your fellow travel partner in their pod. Yes, they are that big.


7. A beautiful complimentary toiletry pack containing all sorts of little creams, facial moisturizer, toothpaste and brush, eye mask, and hairbrush. Oh, and your own set of pyjamas and sleeping socks. It’s the perfect prelude to what comes next…

8. A good night’s sleep in your lie-flat bed. When’s the last time you had one of those on a plane? This is after you’ve watched a movie or two on your personal entertainment unit.


9. Waking up to the smell of kick-ass gourmet coffee, followed by a full-on breakfast, smoothie, more caviar, whatever you desire. Served to you when you want it, not the other way around.


10. A refreshed, relaxed and ready-to-go arrival. Wherever in the world you happen to land.


Have you ever experienced outstanding international first class travel? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

– S

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Categories: Bali, Glamorous, Travel | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Two Tickets to Paradise

  1. Sue

    Awesome blog – fabulous way to travel. We’re working on it. All my love Sue

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