I’ve taken some bad flights in my time. Some really bad flights.
I was once seated next to a morbidly obese mother whose gelatinous girth overflowed into my seat. As if that weren’t bad enough, she had a colicky baby that cried all the way from LAX to Fiji. (Considerable evidence existed to support the theory that the baby was not the only one in the family with digestive issues.)
On another flight I sat next to a sick businessman who fell asleep on my shoulder, drooled on me, and then, just for good measure, repeatedly coughed a deep, phlegmy cough all the way from San Jose to Los Angeles. The flight was non-stop and so was my fear of tuberculosis.
There have been others, but who am I to complain when Jamie and I just experienced the best flight in the history of aviation thanks to Air Mauritius. Our flight from Antananarivo, Madagascar to this paradise in the Indian Ocean was truly unbelievable.
How? Let me count the ways:
1. They unexpectedly upgraded us to first class. Jamie was in seat 1A and I was in seat 1B.
2. There were 36 seats in first class, but only three passengers — Jamie, me, and a Mauritian businessman who was seated on the other side of the plane. There were four flight attendants in First Class, which means we had more than one flight attendant per passenger. Of course, that presented us with certain serious conundrums. Who should I ask to top off my fresh-squeezed orange juice — Arianne or Joel? Who should bring Jamie another champagne — Sanjog or Kentish? Could I ask one to fluff my pillow without offending the others?
3. After we took off, Arianne told us she had a special Mauritian treat for us. Next thing we knew she was pouring us each a glass of vanilla rum distilled only on Mauritius. (As you know, I’m not much of a drinker, but this was the best alcohol I’ve had since the infamous “Three Amigos & the Crimean Cognac” incident aboard the Russian train.)
4. I’ve saved the best for last. Air Mauritius announced that our flight was boarding 30 minutes ahead of schedule. As soon as all the passengers were aboard, the plane backed away from the terminal and we took off. Let me repeat: We took off 30 minutes early. Seriously. I’ve probably taken a thousand flights in my life and NEVER had one leave early.
Best of all, this wonderful flight took us from the third world hellhole of Madagascar to the Indian Ocean paradise of Mauritius.
That alone would have made it qualify as the best flight ever. The other stuff was just icing on the cake.