Last week, I flew 30 hours halfway around the world and back, just to spend 61 hours in Asia. Considering that I had to report back to the office the morning after the trip, it seemed like a great time to cash in all of my EVA Air miles and upgrade myself to business class from premium economy.
It was glorious.
I know I probably won't be experiencing business class again anytime soon, but there's no harm in dreaming. Whether you're already scrounging together your points or just like to fantasize, here are five things I really loved:
1. The lie-flat beds that let you stretch out.
Obviously, this is the top reason to be in business class, especially on a long-haul, halfway-around-the-world flight. The completely inclined seats mean that you won't experience any weird neck kinks, numb arms, or backaches. The footrest even extends to connect with a cushioned platform under the seat in front of you for even more leg room. And when you push the seat back up just a little? Best. TV. Watching. Position. Ever.
2. The smoked salmon and lobster thermidor.
That's what I had on the departure flight, followed by some pretty solid duck on the return. To be fair, though, I knew to log onto EVA's website to pre-order my special meals (which you can also do for economy seats and Elite, their version of premium economy). Everyone else in the cabin had to settle for something a little less fancy... like grilled fillet of beef or Chilean sea bass. Still nothing to sneeze at.
3. The bathrooms. Seriously.
Easily twice the size of those on domestic carriers, the bathrooms in this cabin were nicer than many bathrooms I've seen on the ground, with faux hardwood floors, ambient lighting, and mirrors everywhere. Plus, when was the last time you had foaming hand wash, body lotion, facial lotion, and facial mist at your disposal, even in a nice restaurant bathroom?
4. The smart design touches.
Not all lie-flat beds are made equal. Finnair, for example, just revealed a similar design for its long-haul Airbuses. While exciting, they do lack a few features I appreciated on my EVA flight: a railing in the little shelf by the window to hold some extra stuff; an additional armrest on the inside of the seat; and a lowered placement of the control panel so that's easier to reach over and adjust your seat position.
5. The extra amenities -- like pajamas.
Really, this section could be its own blog post. Of all extras I was expecting, my own set of pajamas certainly wasn't one of them. Other notable perks included: the most comfortable noise-canceling headphones I've used (so good that the flight attendants collect them before landing); a plush duvet-covered blanket, also incredibly comfortable; and Rimowa amenity kits, which apparently have become a collector's item, with an eye mask and pair of socks.
And the one thing we hate...
We're not always going to have 40,000 miles lying around for an upgrade, each way.