I flew #RoyalBruneiAir last year and, having never flown them before, I decided to send a Tweet out before I left asking what their service was like. @RoyalBruneiAir responded and wished me a good journey.
As I was waiting to board the plane, my name was called out and I was asked to come to the front desk. I was upgraded to business class. It was a fantastic experience and I can only put it down to the fact that I Tweeted them beforehand. My Klout score was below 50, so I didn't think that was a factor.
It was the first time I have truly slept on a plane; once I had figured out how to get my seat horizontal. I even had a duvet, not some thin blanket which you end up playing some kind of tug-of-war with - if you pull it up too high, it leaves your feet exposed, and then trying to cover your feet leaves your upper body exposed.
A few days before I left I Tweeted @RoyalBruneiAir again. And if I'm honest, I Tweeted them intentionally to try to influence them to consider upgrading me on my return leg. No such luck. I flew economy back and the difference is immediately noticeable.
What was interesting and I was aware I was doing it, was that I was almost looking for negative things, I wanted things to go wrong, to not be right, to not be as good as my business class experience, not because I wanted to complain or be negative, but because I had had such great service on the previous leg. Go figure! When I sat in my economy class seat, I did find that the hand rest was loose, that I had to share them, and the seats were incredibly narrow and uncomfortable.
So where am I going with my Royal Brunei Air story?
A couple of weeks after getting back to London, I reflected on the whole experience. Overall, I'm positive, and I keep telling myself not to be ungrateful. But the bottom line is that my great experience is slightly tempered. Rather than thinking - I love Royal Brunei Air, I'm telling myself not to be ungrateful.
I'm wondering to myself, what's the distance between 'being grateful' and 'loving'? I know my feelings towards Royal Brunei Air would have been 100% 'in love' if I had been upgraded on the return leg back to London. I would have walked off the plane being an advocate for life. As it is, I know I am being ungrateful, and in truth I am a fan of Royal Brunei Air, but at the same time I'm more acutely aware of the gulf between Economy and Business Class. The difference between a duvet and a blanket, the difference between a plastic knife and a stainless steel one, the difference between being served at set times and an 'always on' service. I keep reminding myself not to be ungrateful.