Appropriately enough, it was while waiting to travel in cattle class that I read this article in Newsweek about flying in a first class suite on the new Airbus A380 (A Room of One’s Own).
What really horrified me was this part:
From the moment you arrive (generally in a dedicated hall decked out like a fancy hotel), you are greeted by a personal attendant, a kind of butler/sherpa who quietly whisks you toward your aircraft, sending you sailing through exclusive check-in, passport control, and security lanes so fast you barely have time to unlace your shoes.
Such personal attention is seductive—and dangerous, as I discovered on the first leg of my journey. On my way out of New York, I was so distracted by the presence of my minder that I temporarily forgot my suitcase on the X-ray belt.
Oddly, the online edition goes no further, but if you read the print edition you will know that the journalist only realized his mistake as the plane was about to take off. That’s unlucky, you might think. Well, yes, except that Singapore Airlines allowed him to disembark and go back to pick up his bag. This delayed the takeoff by 40 minutes.
Now, if I were onboard an A380 waiting to fly long-haul, I would feel very upset if I had to wait that long because an absent-minded passenger had left something behind.
So is it just coincidence that this tale (which I think reflects badly on both the journalist and the airline) is missing from the online edition?