Monday, February 02, 2015

Los Angeles - Part 1

Right, this tale starts in an arduous way: My new boss (a PR chappy) needed to send me to LA to escort one of our clients (it helps that she is positively lovely, bright and sweet natured, this will not be a hard week for me (fingers crossed)).

Said new boss, booked my flight under my everyday name, not my passport name; this issue saw me connecting two calls between BA and Mauritius to get this approved and changed.

All sorted, however a few days before I departed, I noticed the return was booked for March; once again, calls were connected and all got sorted...or so we thought...roll on the day before departure and the lady who had changed my return flight, had changed my surname, so that the first letter was now on the end of my first name - good times! At this point I couldn't be bothered to connect calls, I decided I'd get it sorted at Heathrow Terminal 5.

Arriving extra early to allow for changes, I tried to automatically check in - fail.
I spoke to a representative who tells me to just line up and they'll sort it out for me at the desk. 45 minutes of queuing and the lady starts to process me, only to stop due to my booking being flagged. Instantly I'm worrying that my mother being born in Egypt, means I could potentially be a terrorist (cause there are loads of them in Egypt?!) and therefore USA have told BA that I'm not allowed to fly, etc. Oh the humanity!

Off to E section I trot. After another 10 minutes of waiting; oh, did I mention that I had a killer hangover?! I did and it was blinking brutal! Anyway, I digress, a nice young man called Sim calls me forward and starts to sort out the nightmare that is my booking. Halfway through he halts and says "oh, you've been upgraded to Business, before I continue, I'll secure your seat against your new name". Sorry, what?! Upgraded. I thought this was only something that happened in the movies or to newly weds, how exciting!!! Instantly I've visions of champagne, caviar and then a wave of nausea hits me! I really do not recommend flying hungover...EVER! Anyhow, Sim helps me out and he also prints off my e-ticket from my flights to Geneva, so that I can add those to my Airmiles, oh yeah, I collect air miles now! How grown up am I?!

I eventually go through and head straight to my gate, as I have no time at all to potter about. Arrive at the airport and get boarded first, as I'm in Business. Did I mention I'm seated in Business?! I hadn't, oh sorry, I meant to tell you that I'd been upgraded, for FREE, to Business!

I walk through what I assume is First, and start to look for my seat, random these numbers are lower than mine. I am seated in a flat bed seat, holy fuck balls!!! This is Mega, Balling Pimp-mazing!

I'm so nice to everyone, I'm overly polite, I never mind that my first option isn't available, I keep the menu, I keep on returning my glasses to the flight attendants, I basically do not fit in and I am loving it. I can confirm that the First Class lavatory is just as shit as the Battery Class lav, also the paper is like tracing paper - some things never change, even with money! My steak was over cooked and the expensive Sancerre was mediocre - these are my only complaints and yes, I am allowed to complain, it's the British way - behind people's back and after the issue arose.

Of course, I was pikey enough to acquire the blanket from Business Class, somehow it ended up in my bag and is now in my suitcase...oops!

Once in LAX, after the three checks of your passport and once they've collected samples of everything but your bodily fluids, I found myself being confronted by 100 signs with different names on and I couldn't read them, so I ended up doing a very extravagant lap of arrivals, to no avail, oh hang on a minute there he is...whoop whoop! I've got a driver! Off we go and he has only bloody got a limo for me! I mean, could this day get better?! The limo is a little rough around the edges but he's nice and other than an old style Daimler I once went in, I've never been in a limo / stretch or normal. In addition, the best of the 80s was playing...

I arrive at The Chamberlain Hotel, it's in West Hollywood and is really nice, very residential and quiet. Everyone is super nice and I've only bloody got a suite - this is getting cray cray! Traditionally, when at a hotel, I only use the bed and bathroom, so having a sofa, chair and two TVs is a little over kill! But, when in Los Angeles, you've just got to roll with it...

Last night, I got to see Simone, she treated me to dinner in a diner and halfway through my margarita, I started to feel wasted, oh yes, Jet Lag - good times! It was lovely to catch up though and I'm hoping to see her later in the week also.

The downside to jet lag: I was in bed by 8:30pm and asleep by 9pm, however post 1am, I was waking every few hours due to a toilet that likes to gurgle and not being tired but hopefully I'll sleep tonight and get a little acclimatised!

To follow my mega exciting LA times, click here!

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