Aannsha’s Blog #6 – Tearful Goodbyes and Smooth Flights

I hate goodbyes at the best of times – it can feel so final; especially if you’re about to head off for another country. An analyst may put it down to my dad dying suddenly (to me) when I was ten years old. Whatever the reason however, this goodbye was the hardest one yet.

Saying goodbye to Luke

By choosing to leave Australia and move to Europe, my husband and I were having to say farewell to our son, Luke. At nineteen years of age, he decided that rather than tagging along with us, learning to sail and yachting around the world, Luke wanted to see how life would open up for him in Brisbane, Australia. As heavy-hearted as that made us feel, Barry and I had no valid argument to persuade him to come with us. After all, hadn’t Baz also been 19 when he and I had decided to leave England and work in the South of France for 10 months?

Faced with the prospect of parting from my son, I found planning our future - from the sale of the house, to moving to Europe where we’d buy our yacht - to have a major glitch: the part where I imagined us saying a final farewell to Luke at the airport. I almost couldn’t envisage the fabulous business class flights that would take us to Spain, despite watching YouTube reviews of the various Etihad planes more often that I should probably admit.

We’d chosen to fly business class because, as Baz shares in his blog it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and we had a little more money from the sale of the house than we’d originally thought we’d make. The initial reason, which Barry hasn’t mentioned in his blog though, is that when we did the research, we found that by flying economy, the excess baggage we’d amass would amount to nearly AU$5000! I remembered hearing that business class allows two bags per person, so we went to www.skyscanner.com and lo and behold we could fly Brisbane to Valencia business class with Etihad airlines for slightly above the cost of economy plus excess baggage! It didn’t take a maths genius to work that out: Fly economy on a barely comfortable 17.5 inch seat and pay for extra bags to sit in the hold? Or fly business class that allows for the extra bags, and provides a 20 inch seat that turns into a flat bed and includes other indulgences into the bargain? All for a similar price?

Ooh, hard choice. We decided on business class, and we’re both so glad we did.

Barry saying goodbye to Luke

After saying fond and tearful farewells to Luke who dropped us at the international terminal in Brisbane, and drove away in the car that we’d given him, Barry and I made our way to Etihad Business Class check in. Despite a shaky start where we waited around 30 minutes for the ‘system’ to recognize that I had changed my name from Rebecca Stafford to Aannsha Rebecca Jones as a result of re-marriage plus deed poll addition of my first name, the journey was as wonderful as it was expensive.

Money really does talk and the hard won cash that we’d outlaid for our tickets provided a level of luxury and comfort that I lapped up every minute I was awake. And when I was asleep, somewhere in my dreams, I appreciated that too. Who couldn’t on a 6ft 1in flat bed! Sorry if I sound as if I’m gloating. I’m actually not. I’m just amazed that we somehow made the choice to travel this way and were able to fund it for this one-off trip.

What did I love about flying Etihad Business Class

  • The obvious things such as wide chairs converting to 6ft 1in flat beds that are made up when it is time to sleep

  • Extra baggage allowance that meant we could downsize our lives into two large suitcases and two pieces of hand luggage each

  • Excellent personal service from friendly, professional staff on each leg of the journey

  • The option to eat at the set meal times, or any time during the flight

  • Gourmet food with a choice of excellent wines.