Can I write the world’s shortest trip report for one of the world’s shortest international business class flights? Challenge accepted!
Not too long ago, I was pleasantly surprised to receive an automated IFTTT alert about $83 one-way business class fares from New York to Toronto.
This particular JFK to YYZ leg is one of few fifth-freedom flights with a fully lie-flat business class configuration. Toronto wasn’t at the top of my must-see list, but what the hell – I needed a vacation.
And since business class tickets were inexplicably $12-20 cheaper than coach fares, it wasn’t much of a decision to opt to fly high for all of 45 minutes of glorious flight time.
I don’t know about you, but I had a lot of questions about this flight. This was actually my first international business class trip, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would I be greeted with Krug and lobster thermidor? Would a mad eating contest ensue to finish said bottles and fancy food in less than 20 minutes? Would I get a plush amenity kit and silk pajamas to take a quick 3-minute power nap after meal service ended?
Not surprisingly, the answer to all of these questions was a solid no. This is very-much a short-haul commuter flight, so you should expect a short-haul commuter flight experience.
But if you’ve read this far, you might still have some questions about this flight in business class. Let me see if I can answer all of them:
Yes, a business class ticket gets you access to the Admirals Club in Terminal 8.
If you go nut-so over free celery sticks and yogurt, this is the place for you. On a more serious note, this Admirals Club has shower facilities. Whenever you visit an airport lounge with shower facilities, the staff will most likely be able to supply any toiletries you might’ve forgotten in the daze of early morning packing. In my case: shaving cream.
Yes, the seats are lie-flat.
Yes, you will look dumb if you spend 15-20 minutes trying to get comfortable only to have to return your seat to its upright position for landing.
But that legroom though
No, you will not be greeted with glasses of champagne as a pre-departure beverage.
Instead, expect a choice between orange juice and water. If that’s not fancy enough for you, ask the cabin crew to offer “suco de laranje” and “agua mineral” instead.
Yes, there will be food.
In all likelihood, it will be two re-constituted sandwich-like objects that’ll result in at least 6 hours of quality time on the porcelain throne. You’ve been warned.
Yes, alcoholic beverages are complimentary.
But since this flight departs at around 11 in the morning, I’d cool it on the wine and vodka lest you revel in judgmental looks from the cabin crew and fellow passengers.
Yes, duvets and pillows (the same ones TAM uses for long-haul flights) are available for your 15-minute power nap.
I didn’t have a chance to take any pictures of these, but my seat-mate in 3B sure did seem excited by his blankie.
Yes, this is a solid option for a comfortable commute between New York City and Toronto.
Especially when you get all these extra business class goodies for $20 less than coach!