Days 0 and 1 are travel days for Pati and BeeBee. They got up at 4:30 Saturday morning to catch their 10:10 flight, the first of three on their way to Chiang Mai, Thailand. This blog post is titled “Days” because they did not actually arrive at their destination until Monday morning, a few minutes past midnight. Even considering the time difference between Chiang Mai and home, they still spent more than 25 hours in airports and on airplanes. The first flight to Dubai took 12 hours, leaving one hour late but arriving on time with a good tailwind. The second flight to Bangkok was 6 hours long, and the last leg to Chiang Mai left one hour late but was only one hour long.
The 12 hour flight was not as bad as other long flights they have taken, possibly because Emirates is a better airline. While not looking forward to another six hours in the air, Pati and BeeBee were very pleasantly surprised when the lady checking them in tore up their boarding passes, explaining “you have been upgraded to business class.” They had briefly consider ed the upgrade before leaving, but decided that it was not worth the extra $1600 it would cost them. As they boarded the aircraft with the other privileged passengers, they found themselves directed up a flight of steps to a large spacious area that they had only seen in pictures before. Each row was twice as deep as normal class and had only four seating pods. Their pods were in the center, lacking the windows of the outer pods, but, on comparison to the window pods, were better. Feeling a little foolish, they took pictures of their pods and the many comforts of each pod (reclining seat! a snack and beverage bar!) As more passengers arrived, they also posed for pictures of themselves with their pods. Not so silly, then. (They wondered what first class passengers had, because they did not see that area. BeeBee read later that first class passengers could take a shower in flight.)
As the flight departed, they enjoyed the many privileges of business class and, for once, did not want the flight to end. They even got some sleep.
With all that excitement, they were fortified for the last remaining flight. Arriving an hour late, they were met by their tour guide and driver waiting patiently as they walk out of the airport baggage claim area. They were driven to their hotel, where the guide helped with the check-in process. In their room, just after midnight, they emailed family that they had arrived safely. And so to bed to await the adventures of the day that had already begun.