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Upgrade to business class

  1. #1

    Upgrade to business class

    Some time ago, My wife Sue and I were returning from a vacation and we were flying United Airlines from Heathrow back to Chicago. I assume, since that time, United rules have been relaxed but at the time we flew this is how things were done.....

    While we were checking in the United representative said we were being upgraded to business class....Must have been a slow day....I was thrilled! I mean BUSINESS CLASS!!!...Geez, better food, newspapers, magazines and really comfortable seats!!!

    Wait a sec....This doesn't happen to me. There MUST be a catch.....

    "We are being upgraded to Business Class?'' I asked...." Are you sure ?"

    "Well, Sir, yes you are. However, there is a slight problem."

    "A problem?" I asked....

    "Yes. I notice you are wearing running shoes."

    "Yes," I replied. " I always wear running shoes when I travel. Well, I sometimes wear hiking boots when I go mountain climbing...."

    The United Representative sighed.....

    "The running shoes are not acceptable in business class.."

    "You mean, if I wear these shoes I have to go into....."

    "Yes sir.....Coach."

    I looked at Sue. Sue said that coach was fine.

    "Sue, I wanna get into Business class! Geez, it's an UPGRADE. For free! I mean.....Business Class!"

    "You realize," Sue said, " You'll have to buy new shoes, don't you?"

    "I know. We'll just have to find a cheap shoe store in the airport and get a pair of leather type shoes. I mean, how much could a cheap pair cost...."

    So, off we go looking for a bargain shoe store in Heathrow Airport that sells reasonably priced shoes.

    Anyway, after wandering around the airport we found a shoe store and, with Sue off checking out the duty free shop, I wandered into the shoe "emporium" and told the salesman that I was looking for a pair of shoes and didn't want to spend too much.

    ''How much would you like to spend?'' He asked...

    "Well, could you show me some shoes in the $50.00 Cdn. range?"

    The Salesman thought that this was funny...Well, until he figured out I was serious. He showed me some plastic sandals.....

    Anyway, after explaining that I wasn't interested in sandals, he disappeared into the back of the store and returned with what he said were his cheapest pair of shoes...leather shoes....I think he said the shoes were made of Yak..... Which, after converting from Euro's to Canadian funds would cost "only" $265.00. Yikes!

    "Geez, that's kinda steep."

    "Well", said the saleman, "We do NOT sell cheap shoes! I mean, these are the lowest priced one's we sell. "

    I pondered this for a bit. Well, I wondered how Sue would handle this. What to do???

    So, just to get into business class for an expected 7 hour flight, I bought the shoes.

    I put them on and met Sue outside the store. Needless to say, she wasn't impressed. Not with the shoes nor the price.

    We clumped our way back to the United counter. I didn't realize how noisy hard soled shoes sound when one is walking along, through the airport. I felt like everyone could hear my footsteps. I know I could. AND, the damned shoes were uncomfortable.

    When we returned for the final check-in the girl at the counter looked on her computer, checked our tickets and asked if I had changed my shoes. Apparently, I am now on United's watch list as a chronic, illegal shoe wearer, or something like that.

    Now, when we got on the plane and settled in to business class...I must say, the seats were really comfortable, even if my feet were not...the flight attendant arrived, after we took off, to hand out slippers...Slippers...So I could REMOVE my shoes and wear slippers....To be more comfortable. After all, it WAS business class.

    So, I had to remove my brand new $265.00 leather shoes, made of Yak, and wear slippers.

    "Well, " said Sue, "It sure was worth it buying those new shoes just to get into business class and be able to wear slippers, don'tcha think?"

    I let that pass...

    We should have remained in coach....As I heard a few times on the flight.....

    Needless to say, I cuddled my $265.00 leather shoes all the way home. Sue wanted me to put them down. I wouldn't.

    After we got back, haven't worn them since.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    London England
    Fabulously funny story...I loved it. I just read it out to my husband.

    As soon as you said you went looking for a pair of cheap shoes in Heathrow, we both burst out laughing... we knew what was about to come...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    moosehaed must be a comedy writer. I worked for United for 34 years and there never was such a policy. But, the story was funny and worth reading.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    London England
    Well I know for sure, that shoes are very expensive at Heathrow... in fact everything is...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Ohio USA
    Everything at all airports is expensive.
    Good story, though.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Connecticut USA
    I really enjoyed that story, Moosehead!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    The closest thing that United ever had to a dress code for passengers in business or first class was that bare feet or open-toed shoes, except passengers wearing shoes with heels, were not permitted. Also, no tee or sleeveless shirts. I have had many business people, both male and female wear comfortable canvass type shoes and many wore their Crocs onboard. Comfort seems to come first before acceptance when it comes to footwear.

    I think airlines rely on people having and using common sense. If I was planning on sitting in First or Business Class sections of the aircraft, I would want to dress appropriately. That doesn’t mean that I would need to wear a suit, but certainly business casual at the least. After all, who wants other passengers that are dressed appropriately leering at them with that look of unacceptance? I know; some people don’t care what others think, but most do.

    I flew first class recently from Washington to LA. I noticed many passengers wearing suits, casual attire and one fellow wore jeans and a polo shirt. To me, at least, he looked comfortable and no one seemed to notice, although, I am sure that some did. It’s a different world no matter where we go today, even to church. How the world has changed. ��

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