I am sitting in the front row of the upper deck of a KLM B-747 from Shanghai to Amsterdam, while listening to an 80’s playlist on my iPod with a new pair of Sennheiser NoiseGard headphones (great for intercontinental flights, because the noise the plane makes is filtered out). As regular readers may know I stopped flying business class after I turned entrepreneur, but every now and then KLM still upgrades me (thanks to the Elite status that I still have). Normally this happens while checking in or when you enter the plane, but today they came to me right after take-off with the question if I would mind to change into a better seat for the remainder of the flight. I did not mind.
I assume they normally upgrade when the economy class is overbooked and there are still a few spaces left in business. But maybe it is also some kind of marketing trick to lure you back into sleeper seats on your next trip. If that is the case the airline certainly had a small success today. The flight is almost over (we are above Sweden while I write this) and I feel fitter than ever after a long flight. Not only did I have a good rest, but I also worked a lot, caught up on all my RSS feeds (good that Google Reader also works offline), watched a movie and read two thick Dutch Saturday newspapers.
Business class is still way too overpriced I feel, because the price difference on an intercontinental flight covers the monthly salary of one or two additional employees. Those are things that count when you run a business instead of when you are a small part of a big multinational. On the other hand, I now always take day flights when flying to Europe. That means it costs me a full working day (even though I normally try to use the weekend to fly), but if I would fly business class again I would probably opt for a night flight. It would be possible to leave the office in Shanghai at 9:30 PM, drive to the airport, take the Air France midnight flight to Paris, change planes there early in the morning and arrive fresh in our office in Hilversum at 9:30 AM. Putting a value on me being in the office instead of being in a plane is a bit arbitrary, but likely the balance would be for me to keep flying economy. So I probably won’t do it in the near future, but at least KLM made me think about it. So, if this is a marketing action: smart move KLM. Feel free to upgrade me again!