David Parkin on Parky and a question of class

David Parkin on Parky and a question of class

MICHAEL Parkinson once said that the best thing about success was being able to travel first class. I reflected on this while returning from a recent trip to Dubai, sitting at the back of a packed economy cabin on an Emirates flight.  It was a rather sober reflection as the drinks trolley takes so long to head down the aisle that you barely get two drinks during a seven hour flight.  With polite and attentive staff, a top-notch in-flight entertainment system and modern aircraft, Emirates is one of the better airlines to fly with, whichever class cabin you are in. My problem was my memory of the last time I flew with Emirates back from Dubai – as a guest in First Class on the airline’s inaugural Airbus A380 flight into Manchester Airport. Most flights are a chore and you never remember much about them. I can vividly remember the seven hours I luxuriated in First Class upstairs on the A380. I said at the time it was the only flight I’d been on where I didn’t want it to get off the plane. Cossetted in my own ‘cabin’ – one of just 14 first class seats on the flight – I was able to pick not just what I ate for lunch from an extensive menu, but also what time I wanted it served. Then it was off to the onboard bathroom, complete with power shower – for a wash and brush up before heading to the back of the plane to enjoy the cocktail bar open to those in first class and those in the 60 business...