ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE (aka how to get a free first class air ticket!)

I love flying, I love travel, I love the whole experience of finding somewhere amazing to go and stay for a week or 2 weeks or even a few days. Of being in a luxurious place that satisfies my senses, where I can relax, spend quality time with my family and/or friends, have some lovely food, drink some nice wine, be in beautiful surroundings, in a beautiful part of the world. It is probably the thing that I love to do most.

One day it dawned on me that chances are by the time I depart this life, I would not have travelled first class, because for me, the uplift in price between Business Class and First Class just doesn’t make sense.

And that was a thought that I didn’t like.

So I resolved to do something about this, because in my world anything is possible!

For example, when Virgin Media told me that it was just “not possible” that they could get an engineer around within the week to install a second digibox when they had messed up on not coming round when they should have done, I did not believe that this was not possible.

I quickly managed to get hold of the e-mail address for the CEO of Virgin and sent him an e-mail explaining what the issue was and how I would like it to be resolved. Even though the CEO was on holiday he quickly replied to my e-mail, he phoned his secretary who phoned me straight back and – guess what?? The very next day an engineer was here to install the digibox. It was possible after all – who’d have thought it…

So with this mindset of anything is possible I decided that I was going to get an upgrade to First Class.

My next flight after I decided this was to Washington to see Yanik Silver at his Underground Conference. I had booked a Business Class seat with air miles, so I think that I paid about £300 for that (just the airport taxes). Not only was I determined that I would get an upgrade, I completely trusted that I would be getting an upgrade to First Class.

So I thought strategically about this. I thought there were three possible places where I would be giving an upgrade. There was the check in, there was the embarkation point and then it was actually on the plane.

The first place that I tried was the check in and I told the lady that as I was travelling without my children it would probably be one of the only opportunity that I have ever had to fly First Class so if there was an upgrade I would be very very grateful. She was very nice about it but told me that because I booked my Business Class ticket on Air Miles there was no way that she could upgrade me.

Possible upgrade point 1 = failed.

Still I trusted that somehow I would be upgraded to First Class.

The next possibility was the embarkation point but I just sensed that it wouldn’t be right to ask at that particular point. I had already overheard a number of people asking for an upgrade and had been told that it wasn’t possible and it just was not the right environment to ask so I just waited for the plane.

Possible upgrade point 2 = failed.

I got on the plane and was shown my allocated seat which I hadn’t been able to choose myself and I noticed two things.

Firstly Business Class was completely full.

Secondly my seat was one of the seats in the middle of the plane with no divider down the middle so there was not any possibility of any privacy – it was one the “cuddling seats” for couples which is a great idea when you’re a couple but not so much when you are on business trying to do some confidential work.

Now as luck would have it, as that moment in time, I was writing a white paper for the government on certain aspects on the legal profession and it was confidential.

So I soon as I got on the plane I noticed where I was sitting, I noticed that there were no other seats in Business Class and I went to the stewardesses and I said: “look, I am very sorry to ask this but I am writing a confidential white paper and the seat that I am in won’t give me the privacy that I need, is there another seat in Business Class that you could move me to”.

So she said she’ll go and have a look and returned back a few minutes later and said to me “Madam, I am terribly sorry but they aren’t any other seat in Business Class, I am afraid we are going to have to move you to First Class.”

Well, I am not entirely sure why she was apologising for moving me to First class, but moved to First Class I was. I had the most wonderful experience, most amazing service that I have ever experienced, and many thanks to the BA staff that looked after me so well.

Possible upgrade point 3 = WIN!

This absolutely confirmed my belief that anything is indeed possible.

So what is on your wish list?

What would you be sad about if by the end of your lifetime you hadn’t experienced something?

All it takes is the decision to make it happen, to go with your instinct and to trust that it will happen.

Visibility > Leadership > Impact

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