This post relates to an experience I had a month ago, but never got round to writing about. I was travelling first class (I wasn’t paying!), which was in itself incredible and a huge treat.
The on-board welcome drink was champagne, and it was on tap! Free booze and lots of it!! An absolute dream for 80% of the UK population. I had a brief and fleeting moment of temptation, but soon got over it, I’m rather chuffed to say! (this was around 50 days alcohol free). My husband happily guzzled away, but I (surprisingly) didn’t feel resentful – I just felt happy for him that he was enjoying myself. I sat in the smug position of knowing I’d arrive at our destination feeling fresh and not fumbling around for my passport, landing card etc or allowing myself to get too flustered whilst being shouted at by over-jealous security personnel (that said, they can fluster anyone, sober or otherwise).
What did annoy me was the lack of alcohol free options on the rather extensive, flash menu. We could read the two pages dedicated to wines from all over the world and their incredible qualities, notes and bouquets (and all that shit), but nowhere was there any alcohol free beer or wine. There were a few slightly pathetic ‘mocktails‘, one of which I tried which was a glorified apple juice and ginger aid combo – I wasn’t all that impressed. It was served in an ordinary tumbler and I wasn’t offered a top up, unlike all those who had hit the booze and were fussed over with regular top-ups as though they were celebrities! No, sorry, if you’re a more sensible non-drinker, forget it – you’re on your own mate!
To add insult to injury, there was no vegan option, even though my husband had requested one. The staff were lovely and went through the usual ‘but can you eat cheese? type questions, before scuttling off to see if they could hack something together for me. The funniest (well, you have to see it that way) bit was when a flight attendant asked me ‘Can I offer you a glass of wine to make up for there being no vegan meal?’. Since when did alcohol have the ability to compensate for a bad situation?! Well, in all honesty, that’s what we’ve been sold for decades. Shit day? Have a glass of wine. Hamster never made it out of hibernation? Have a glass of wine.
But I don’t believe it any more. No, a glass of wine would not have replaced a nice meal for me. I would only have left me feeling groggy, agitated and full of regret.
Get your act together airlines and move with the times! I feel a letter coming on……..hope it won’t fall on deaf ears.
UPDATE! I was given a voucher for £175 and a nice letter of apology. Thanks very much, now get onto changing that menu.