David Parkin on a First Class travel experience

David Parkin on a First Class travel experience

TAKING a shower has never been so exciting. I’ve spared you any photos of the experience, but stepping under the torrent of warm water at 39,000 feet aboard the latest Emirates Airbus A380 is really something. Of course, you do wonder what would happen if you hit turbulence – would the air hostesses have to rush in to swathe you in towels and hustle you back to your seat? Fortunately for them, no turbulence was encountered and I showered, shaved, donned my suit and headed past my First Class “suite” to the cocktail bar at the back of the aeroplane. A glass of champagne and some sparkling conversation with fellow passengers provided the perfect aperitif to the gourmet three-course lunch I had earlier ordered, which was delivered to my first class seat with all the elan and professionalism of a Michelin-starred restaurant. Following lunch there was time to plug in the laptop to catch up on some work and make a call to the office from the telephone fitted in the cabin – which had a better reception than you get using your mobile phone on a train. Then with a few adjustments to the electronic seat, I was comfortably reclined watching the latest film on the digital widescreen which offers a choice of about 1,200 channels through the Emirates ice inflight entertainment system. Travelling First Class once sounded a self-indulgent past-time of the super-rich. But with a return from Manchester to Dubai aboard the A380 now costing around £3,500 it certainly provides a way for firms to get their senior executives to meetings across the globe feeling sharp,...