September 2, 2015 Steve Gerrard

How to get upgraded to business class…


“I’m looking for Mr Gerrard” says the flight attendant. “The seat you requested has become available sir” he says. He’s smiling and nodding slightly as if to say “Just go with it mate!”

It’s about 15 minutes into our flight from Montreal to Amsterdam and I have a feeling I know what he means. I grab my stuff and follow him around a corner. “I had to do it like that so as not to make other passengers aware” he tells me. “We have some availability in Business Class”. I follow him into the front section of the plane where only one other person is seated in a section of around 15 oversized seats. “Sit where you like” he says. Ok then!

This is the third consecutive flight with KLM where I’ve been bumped up to Business Class. Am I wearing an Armani suit? Do I look like your typical Business Class traveller? Anyone who knows me knows the answer to those questions. I have holes in both knees of my jeans. I’m wearing a faded Jane’s Addiction t-shirt and Converse. Anyone seeing me in Business Class might think I’ve wandered into the wrong section.

In fact, it seems that all this transatlantic travel for weddings has lead to my air miles adding up and I’m now flagged up on the KLM system as a loyal customer, and, as a result, first in line for any upgrade potential. I’m certainly not complaining. I’m not a big fan of champagne, but… when in Rome. The seat eases back, and keeps going until I’m lying flat and my feet are level with my shoulders. And, on an overnight flight, that means everything!

I watch the first 20 minutes of the new Mad Max movie before deciding I couldn’t care less what happens next. I switch to 5 Flights Up with Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman and loved it. Even better was The Good Lie with Reese Witherspoon. You really should see it if it’s passed you by….

So, it seems dressing smartly and trying to charm the crew isn’t the way to get upgraded after all. Scruffy bastards get upgraded too! The trouble now is I’m in danger of becoming a flight snob. Once you turn left when boarding a plane, it feels different somehow going back to turning right! I’ll try to keep myself down to earth…..

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