We’ve all been there where we looked at business or first class passengers; their seats are spacious, they are treated like gold (and they can afford gold) and their long 13-hours flying experiences are comfortable. And while travelling to another country is a huge privilege, one can’t help but to turn a little bit green…
I’ve been watching you. I had my eye on you from the moment I spotted your suit in the check-in line.
Your line moved. My line stood still.
Your line was filled with briefcases and exclusivity. My line was packed with crying babies and a long waiting period.
You were greeted with a smile; I got a “next”.
The immigration officer stamped your passport with grace and cracked a friendly grin. I got the look of “don’t bother me, stamp, stamp, good riddance”.
You sat in a lounge where champagne is synonymous with breakfast, lunch and dinner. I sat in the food court and drank from a plastic polystyrene cup with chemicals seeping into my stomach. Your food was dainty; mine came on a tray with crumbs from the previous user.
You freshened up in fancy bathrooms with showers, I smelled like transit with 24-hour hair.
You shopped for cigars and perfume in the duty free stores; I went for a quick eau de toilette tester spray and walked out.
The screens at the boarding gate flickered with the word “priority” and friendly airport workers scanned your ticket while I braved the stampede of a line where it was every one for themselves with people pushing from the back with backpacks in your face and a line cutter lurking on the side.
As soon as your bum hit the spacious seat a stewardess bowed down and offered you a glass of juice; I raced for my seat, had to argue with someone that the number on my ticket was in fact the one next to the window and the only drink I got was the taste of someone’s bum in my face.
You had newspapers in your seat pocket; I had a vomit bag and an in case of emergency brochure.
The ladies in uniform were at your beck and call throughout the flight, I had to push the button until I needed a Band-Aid for my finger.
Your food was served hot and on plates, mine resembled hospital food served with more chemicals seeping through my stomach.
You reclined your expensive seat, put on an eye mask and peacefully floated off to dreamland while I lost sleep over the cost of my ticket next to a snoring passenger, stinky feet and crying babies with a face pressed up against the window and a tiny pillow constantly plummeting to the floor.
You sat next to a celebrity while I shared my space with a rib-poking non-stop talker, a devious thief and some more crying babies.
The back of your seat gave you a gentle massage; I got knees and annoying kicks.
What you asked you receive, what I asked was too much.
Upon arrival you were out of the plane and at immigration while I still had to crawl over passengers to get my bag from the overhead compartment.
You entered and exited through the front door; I entered through the back door but exited through the front door to get punished for my choice of class with the sight of your comfortable seat.
You had your name written on a board and a driver, I had to fight off taxis and haggle for a price.
You left the airport for a luxurious hotel; I added an “s” and got a hostel.
You, sir, were flying First Class; I, madam, suffered through Economy.
Anje Rautenbach is the writer behind the blog Going Somewhere Slowly, find her Facebook,Twitter or on Instagram!