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1. Posted by chayisun (Budding Member 163 posts) 7y

My wife Sue and I were returning from a vacation and we were flying United Airlines from Heathrow back to Chicago.

While we were checking in the United representative said we were being upgraded to business class....Must have been a slow day....I was thrilled! I mean..BUSINESS CLASS!!!...Geez, better food, newspapers, magazines and really comfortable seats!!!

Wait a sec....This doesn't happen to me. There MUST be a catch.....

"We are being upgraded to Business Class?'' I asked...." Are you sure ?"

"Well, Sir, yes you are. However, there is a slight problem."

"A problem?" I asked....

"Yes. I notice you are wearing running shoes."

"Yes," I replied. " I always wear running shoes when I travel. Well, I sometimes wear hiking boots when I go mountain climbing...."

The United Representative sighed.....

"The running shoes are not acceptable in business class.."

"You mean, if I wear these shoes I have to go into....."

"Yes sir..Coach."

I looked at Sue. Sue said that coach was fine.

"Sue, I wanna get into Business class! Geez, it's an UPGRADE. For free! I mean.....Business Class!"

"You realize," Sue said, " You'll have to buy new shoes, don't you?"

"I know. We'll just have to find a cheap shoe store in the airport and get a pair of leather type shoes. I mean, how much could a cheap pair cost...."

So, off we went looking for a bargain shoe store in Heathrow Airport that sells reasonably priced shoes.

Anyway, Found a store and, with Sue off checking out the duty free shop, I wandered into the shoe "emporium" and told the Salesman that I was looking for a pair of shoes and didn't want to spend too much.

''How much would you like to spend?'' He asked...

"Well, could you show me some shoes in the $50.00 Cdn. range?"

The Salesman thought that this was funny...Well, until he figured out I was serious. He showed me some plastic sandals.....

Anyway, after explaining that I wasn't interested in sandals, he disappeared into the back of the store and returned with what he said were his cheapest pair of shoes...leather shoes....I think he said the shoes were made of Yak..... Which, after converting from Euro's to Canadian funds would cost "only" $265.00.

So, just to get into business class for an expected 7 hour flight, I bought the shoes.

I put them on and met Sue outside the store...Needless to say, she wasn't impressed.Not with the shoes nor the price.

We clumped our way back to the United counter. I didn't realize how noisy hard soled shoes sound when one is walking along, through the airport. I felt like everyone could hear my footsteps. I know I could....AND, the shoes were NOT comfortable....

When we returned for the final check-in the girl at the counter looked on her computer, checked our tickets and asked if I had changed my shoes. Apparently, I am now on United's watch list as a chronic, illegal shoe wearer, or something like that.

Now, when we got on the plane and settled in to business class...I must say, the seats were really comfortable, even if my feet were not...the flight attendant arrived, after we took off, to hand out slippers...Slippers...So I could REMOVE my shoes and wear slippers....To be more comfortable. After all, it WAS business class.

So, I had to remove my brand new $265.00 leather shoes, made of Yak, and wear slippers.

"Well, " said Sue, "It sure was worth it buying those new shoes just to get into business class and be able to wear slippers, don'tcha think?"

We should have remained in coach....As I heard a few times on the flight.....

Needless to say, I cuddled my $265.00 leather shoes all the way home. Sue wanted me to put them down. I wouldn't.

2. Posted by bgl (Full Member 167 posts) 7y

Sounds strange. I upgrade to Business Class all the time on United and I always have running shoes. Was never an issue. Last time just two months ago when I took four different flights on United (Domestic First Class and International Business Class).

3. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 7y

I don't think I've ever flown business / first class without running shoes....

4. Posted by BedouinLeo (Inactive 698 posts) 7y

United Airlines are a bit like the USA expensive version of Ryanair. Their service, food, timekeeping and a lot more are sloppy, but efficient enough. Mind you, I travelled 1st class on Air Canada once (only once) and they asked me at check-in not to wear shorts if possible. It wasn't compulsory, but they made me feel rather small if I didn't put on something that they described as more respectable. I took the shorts off (in the WC, you understand) and put on a pair of denims. However, a couple of hours into the flight, I put my shorts on again. For no other reason than to see if they said anything.. Nothing was.

5. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4835 posts) 7y

Why post this again?

6. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 7y

Quoting BedouinLeo

I took the shorts off (in the WC, you understand) and put on a pair of denims.

I'm glad you clarified that ! I was chatting with a senior flight attendant the other night. She was telling us the story of how one passenger decided to change into his "North American clothes" in the middle of a cabin full of people !

[ Edit: Edited on 08-Oct-2009, at 09:49 by Q' ]

7. Posted by BedouinLeo (Inactive 698 posts) 7y

Quoting Q'

I'm glad you clarified that ! I was chatting with a senior flight attendant the other night. She was telling us the story of how one passenger decided to change into his "North American clothes" in the middle of a cabin full of people !

When we go overseas working, there's just a chance that we get a 'good' class seat some of the time. Not so when I go on holiday. i choose the very cheapest airline I can pay the least for.
I just find the whole 1st and business thing so not me. Sure, it's nice when someone else is paying, but even then, the whole 'class' thing comes into it's own. It's just full of people that want to be seen and heard more than anyone else. I like the pampering and the food (the upstairs on a 747 is so ritzy too) but just wouldn't pay those sort of prices out of my own pocket.

8. Posted by chayisun (Budding Member 163 posts) 7y

I posted it TWICE???? How silly of me!!!! Why, I can't believe it!!!! Well, if I did...Oh, wait someone named sandor or sander took the time to find the original post. Well, thanks, I didn't know that I had done such a thing. I am so sorry and I apologize for doing such a silly thing. Wasting everybody's time with such froth.....

See, I was on the computer reading the stuff on the site, having a few "pops", as it were and I remembered the shoe thing....Had a few more "pops", decided to post the G.D. thing and forgot about it.

I never though anybody would read it. I mean, why....Just a waste of time writing, really.....As I was told once before.

Anyway when you get to be my age you, I mean, I begin to forget things. Like, for instance, why I am writing this explanation. I'm only opening myself up for more grief....... Oh, well, I at least can look forward to my upcoming trip....

9. Posted by beerman (Respected Member 1631 posts) 7y

Quoting chayisun

Anyway when you get to be my age you, I mean, I begin to forget things. Like, for instance, why I am writing this explanation. I'm only opening myself up for more grief....... Oh, well, I at least can look forward to my upcoming trip....

At your age? Peshaw......don't make us start calling you Gramps!!! Or Papa Hemingway via Canuckistan

You're not flying United for the next trip, right? Remember the old ad campaign they had? "Fly United" - which took on a number of different meanings.

10. Posted by chayisun (Budding Member 163 posts) 7y

Actually we are flying United Airlines again. I like United Airlines. The Flight attendants are marvelous and very attentive.

They dress very nice, too.

I look forward to checking in. Particularly in the United States and it is really fun to arrive at the airport in Tunisia. It's not a good idea, though, to arrive late.

Anyway, we find checking in to be an adventure. We always seem to gather much attention, which is nice, as the customs people seem to enjoy going through our backpacks. They also really do have a sense of humour which is something that is important to-day. Actually I have never seen a customs officer smile but I have been told they have a sense of humour.

I also think the baggage handlers do a great job. I have watched them from the plane and they seem to really enjoy what they do.