The power of asking nicely.

I am a firm believer in politeness and general niceness. When I say ‘have a good day’ to people, or ‘thank you’ to a bus driver, I mean it. I also believe that if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Therefore, I always ask, very politely, when boarding flights if there are any spaces left in business class. Sometimes, you don’t get bumped up for free. Other times, you do.

During my flight to Hong Kong, I had a three hour layover in Dubai before my connection left. I was quite tired by this point (I find it impossible to sleep in anything other than a fully horizontal position) and my polite asking for an upgrade from London to Dubai was fruitless. At the boarding gate for my Dubai to Hong Kong leg, I asked again “Are there any business class seats available at all, please?” and I was rewarded with “Yes Miss Emma, we’ve upgraded you just now”. Joy of joys! Thank you upgrade gods. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

I was expecting business class to resemble economy but with bigger seats and more gadgets. I was astounded on seeing that, for this aircraft, business class was a little individual pod. I have found a photograph which properly illustrates how awesome the pod is:

Image found on

You get your own (much larger than normal) screen for movie watching, noise cancelling headphones , extra fleecy blanket, extra plump pillow, electric reclining seat that goes fully horizontal, a mattress should you want to go fully horizontal, flight socks and eye mask, a toiletries bag, your own personal drinks cabinet, complimentary champagne/wine/vodka (my own personal choices), approximately 14 gazillion courses of food and a hand held PDA thingy which controls your massive TV so, should you be too far away to touch the screen itself, you can still alter your viewing.

I spent my seven and a half hours in business class sleeping, eating, getting drunk and watching Downton Abbey. Flight successful.

Moral of the story, always be polite and always ask for an upgrade.


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