From Economy to First

From Economy to First. What sounds just totally incredible is exactly what happened to us when flying from Bangkok to Abu Dhabi. As the experience was so unexpected, it’s definitely worth a special article which hopefully makes you have a great feeling when driving to the airport next time. There’s always something amazing which may happen on the counter!

With close to 80 flights last year, I’m used to pretty much everything which has to do with flying. In 2015, my luggage got lost, my flight got cancelled, my connection was missed, my flight was heavily delayed and much more.

Etihad Airways

Thanks for Etihad Airways I didn’t lose my faith

Yet, one experience made up for everything that happened in 2015. Thanks to Etihad Airways, I just didn’t lose my good faith in the aircraft industry!

The cursed trip to Bangkok

Our Bangkok trip was somewhat a disaster if you ask me. First, our flights on the way from Venice to Bangkok via Rome and Abu Dhabi were heavily delayed, then we didn’t find our driver at the airport.

Breakfast Okura Prestige Bangkok

Our replacement “breakfast” at Okura Prestige Bangkok

Arrived at Okura Prestige Bangkok and looking forward to a great breakfast buffet, we overslept and missed the experience. Just a day later I got truly sick and had to stay in bed for two days. Not to say that Sabrina was hit by the same fate on the last day of our trip.

Afternoon Tea Okura Prestige Bangkok

Such a shame to get ill after such a great Afternoon Tea

That said, we just had a single real day to explore Bangkok. What’s as bad is the fact that Sabrina was still sick when we were planning on flying back from Bangkok to Berlin via Abu Dhabi. Twelve hours of Economy Class if you are sick just don’t sound like a lot of fun.

Weird conversations at Bangkok Sukhumvit Airport

Arriving at the airport, we didn’t really look forward to our experience flying home – especially with Sabrina still being sick. As we weren’t able to do online check-in (thanks to codeshares), we headed to the Etihad Airways First Class Check-In (as I’m an Air Berlin Platinum member, I’m allowed to check-in at the First Class Counter).

Arragenement in the Etihad Airways A330-300

This is what we originally expected on our flight from Bangkok to Abu Dhabi

The attendant was truly friendly and was quick in answering my request on which seats were still available. She showed me a table of the eight First Class Suites. Weird as the moment was, I instantly explained that we were just at the First Class Check-In due to the status and that we booked Economy. She double checked, triple checked and told us: “No, you are actually booked into First Class”.

First Class Boarding Pass

The magic begins: Our First Class Boarding Passes

Well, how am I to say no to such an offer? Just seconds later, we hold our boarding passes for First Class with the seats 1G and 1D as well as invitations to the Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge and the Fast Lane in our hands.

Floating through the airport

Especially for our American readers, it’s worth mentioning that on international flights of Etihad Airways, there’s not only Economy and First Class, but also Business Class in-between. That made our upgrade so extremely strange and surprising. Nevertheless, we decided to just enjoy the incredibly flawless experience. When security check and passport control only take two or three minutes, you know that you are really flying like a king. If everyone is totally friendly as well, you’re finally in heaven.

Royal First Lounge Bangkok

The Thai Royal First Lounge was the start of our First Class experience

Not to talk about the amazing Thai Royal First Lounge Bangkok by Thai Airways which we enjoyed one hour prior our flight. If there’s an exciting spot where you can start your First Class experience, it definitely is the Royal Silk Lounge. The only thing a little disappointing was boarding which was anything but exclusive, but hey, who are we to be angry after so much luck?

Looking back on an incredible experience

As a frequent flyer, you always have the chance to get one or another upgrade, but I never heard before that someone got a double upgrade from Economy Class to First Class.

Ethiad Airways seats in the Boeing 777 Business Class

We’ve flown the Etihad Airways Business Class before, but never even thought about First Class

I may be a good customer to Etihad Airways and especially its “subsidy” Air Berlin, but I definitely don’t “deserve” upgrades like this one. Nevertheless, it was just the perfect moment for such a miracle to happen. I tried my best to enjoy the incredible Etihad Airways First Class which we reviewed earlier, while Sabrina was just happy about a real bed.

Etihad First Class Bed

And suddenly we had a bed instead of a cramped seat

She didn’t really eat anything, but just slept all the time. Maybe not the most amazing memory on a First Class experience, but the perfect bed was just the right thing at the right time. So for the future, always expect the best to happen at the airport. There are always miracles happening which make travelling even more enjoyable!


10 Comments on “From Economy to First”

  1. Pingback: Looking Back | travelux

  2. Sounds like an amazing experience 🙂 Though surprisingly they upgrade from Economy to First….it must be once in a life-time thing. I never even experienced that when I worked for Emirates Airlines. So thumps-up to Etihad 🙂

    • It definitely was! It’s kind of sad to accept that it was mostly a once in a lifetime thing, but hey, you can always hope 😀

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