In 1993 Mr. Swiss and I decided to visit New York. Flights were reasonable, they had a president that was a president and so there were no big problems. Of course we hired a suitable car when we were there to travel around. No, not that one, that happened to be parked on the roadside and we thought it would make a good photo of Mr. Swiss in front of a stretch limousine. We do not get them in Switzerland, perhaps one or two in Geneva or Zürich. We mostly used those yellow cars, think they were called yellow cabs – cheap and they got you where you wanted to go.
The real posh part was the journey to JFK Airport. Of course we were excited, the first time we flew across the Atlantic and so we checked in at the airport and registered that we should have a smoker seat (not for me) etc. etc. At that time you were allowed to smoke on a plane.The young lady at the check-in at Zürich Airport said, apologetically, that we would be getting business class seats. I, of course, opened my big mouth and said we only paid normal, like tourist. She looked at me and said “Don’t ask, you have business”, and so I asked no further questions.
We were seated on the plane in quite comfortable soft relaxing seats, two together, and sank into them immediately. The place took off and we watched the flight wing its way a cross the world on a TV screen with a map to show our position.
Then dinner was served, and get this: it was in real crockery, plates that could break and drinks in a real glass – no plastic to be seen. Even the cutlery was stainless steel and the food was a delight to eat. This was all pre ground zero time. Oh yes this is the life. During the flight we were pampered with all sorts of nibbles now and again and drinks. I was sure I could get used to this sort of life. Of course there was a normal tourist class in the back seats for the common folk. If only the posh treatment had been carried on when we arrived in New York, but we were all in the queue to be allowed into this great country and being shepherded around by a lady who sort of looked down at us, being foreigners.
All I can think is that there were no smoking seats left in the tourist class, so we were given the business seats because Mr. Swiss smokes. I had given up many years before, and for the first time I was glad he still smoked. He still does, but that is his problem.
So we arrived a week later at JFK again ready for the home flight. Yes, well, forget it. We were again amongst the common folk. Drinks were served in plastic and the food was digestible to keep us alive. One lady had brought her own duvet with her and wrapped herself in it to at least be able to have a comfortable sleep. The seats were four together instead of the pair we had to ourselves when we arrived and the hostesses only arrived to clear the rubbish away. We also noticed we were not amongst the favoured. They seemed to attend more to the young and beautiful and not those that had golden oldie years around the corner.
But once in our lives we were treated as something posh.