Thursday, October 7, 2010

Paying the Karmic Debt

On the way back home, I was actually stopping over in Florida for a few days, for a family thing.  (Actually, a cousin's kid's bat-mitzvah; although, practically-speaking, a chance to see my 95-year-old grandmother once more.)  This cut short the London part of my trip, but, hey, it was about time to get the hell home anyway.

Flight back to Miami, then.  When waiting in the airport check-in line, the very nice lady from Virgin Atlantic was asking everyone in line if they were interested in buying an upgrade to "upper class."  I asked how much.  She said its normally over 1000 pounds, but could give it to me for 799 pounds.  I did some useless mental math (useless because I wouldn't even do it for 799 dollars) and concluded that $1275 is too much to pay to (admittedly, vastly) improve a 9-hour flight.

I was still waiting in line, so then started pondering at exactly what point I'd pay for it.  I mean, 799 was too high to even negotiate from, but if she'd said something like 300 pounds, I'd seriously consider it.  (Of course, I figured that, at that price, everyone else would seriously consider it too, so the option very likely would never be presented to me.)

Fast forward through check-in, passport control, security, the duty-free shops, and the other security (because flying to America), and I'm waiting in the "departure lounge" to board my flight.  At which time, my name is called up to desk for ... wait for it ... a free upper class upgrade!  (Apparently, 799 pounds was too steep for everyone else, too.)  So I (and one other lady) were selected to fill the seats at no further charge.  

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class so totally rocks.  Comfy seats that turn into totally flat beds (with mattress pad and cushy duvet); tasty food served whenever you want; big personal video screen ... the works.  I enjoyed this so much I was actually pleased when we had a short delay before take-off -- more time to hang out in my personal luxury suite. 

And then I had a thought, and that thought was that if I would've been willing to pony up a few hundred dollars for that seat, karma would probably be happy if I ponied up said cash to a charity Virgin Atlantic supported.  According to their website, they support (for the next three years, anyway) Free the Children and Travel Foundation.  So, thanks for the free upgrade, Virgin Atlantic; my donation to Free the Children is on its way.

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