Serious kudos – and indeed many grateful thanks – to Air New Zealand for getting me safely to Hong Kong the other night – a task that proved somewhat more demanding than anyone might have expected.
I rather liked the service in their premium economy – at the expense of which I had swallowed hard before selecting, but can frankly no longer face the prospect of flying for 12 hours in a standard economy seat. Air Canada do this better than most because with them it is possible to book the exit row seats (with their considerably increased legroom) in advance. Most other airlines either don’t do this at all, or simply add one’s name to a lottery for the seats which are then allocated nearer flight time. Sorry – I need to know for sure when I book…
I was certainly impressed by the enormous measure of New Zealand Pinot Noir that the stewardess splashed into what can only be described as a tumbler – to accompany dinner. I was further stunned when she offered to top it up a minute or so later when I had scarcely got beyond sampling the bouquet. Unusually for me – I declined.
However, it was some short while after dinner that the Air New Zealand cabin staff really earned my undying gratitude. Feeling suddenly rather clammy and nauseous I thought I had better head for the washroom to be on the safe side. The washroom was occupied and as I waited outside I suddenly found myself on my hands and knees – with no idea how I had got there. The next thing I knew I was lying on my back in the galley, surrounded by cabin crew and having oxygen administered. I had blacked out in a fairly serious way!
When they got me back on my feet – having first asked for, and located, a doctor on board to take a look at me – they moved me up into business class where they had made up a bed for me. As a result I subsequently enjoyed seven hours good sleep and a first class breakfast! Though still rather fuzzy headed when we landed the next morning I mostly felt embarrassment and something of a fraud. I have not had such an attack before, but I gather that they are not that uncommon. I found another doctor in Hong Kong to give me the once over and it she could find nothing out of the ordinary. She suggest that I had probably experienced a vasovagal syncope!
Clearly this was one of those isolated incidents – probably brought on by tiredness (I had been up early and done a day’s work before rushing to the airport in the evening) and dehydration. The Air New Zealand staff were brilliant throughout and made me feel very much better about the whole episode. My thanks again to them.
Well – this is one way to get an upgrade, but I can’t say I recommend it…