"Travel Hobo Chic" Doesn't Get You Peppermint Tea.

When I travel on the long haul flights, I dress for comfort.

By "long haul" I mean "more than five hours." On those flights, you will never find me in cute shoes - certainly never heels. I typically pull my hair back into a bun or into two braids. I wear my glasses instead of my contacts. No make-up is on my face. I'm in Lululemon yoga pants, two layers of t-shirts, sneakers or Uggs, a scarf and a hoodie.

Basically, I look borderline "homeless person." I like to call it "Travel Hobo Chic."

This was en route to Antarctica. That has, so far, been my least favorite journey experience. 
The Antarctica portion was great though! 

This is me on the plane flying to Iceland. 
When you flip the photo to black and white, it looks way more glamorous!

This is me and my boy T from Hawaii. 
We were in Iquitos, waiting for our flights back to the States from the ayahuasca retreat. I hadn't washed my hair in over a week because of the Shamanic Dieta and because of the lack of hot water. 
I smelled so awesome.

Why show you these non-glamorous photos? It's to give you true understanding of how plain and scruffy I look. And how I easily understand I was treated the way I was on a particular flight recently, despite not agreeing with it.

It was just after 5am in Perth, Australia. I was beginning my long journey back to San Diego on a fantastic airline. In the days preceding, I had been offered an upgrade to business class for my Perth to Sydney portion of the schedule. For only $250 AUD, I was able to bump myself up for the four hour journey. 

"SWEET!" I said to myself. "Now I can have more room to sleep. And I'll have a better meal!"

The morning of my flight was a bit hectic. I got up super early. Through my travel clothes on, and went downstairs to my hotel. I had to wait a while till someone showed up for me to check myself out. then I hopped a cab to the airport - where the cab driver dropped me off at the wrong terminal. (It was actually his mistake. I didn't realize till I got out of the cab, and walked in that I realized I was at Terminal 2, not 4. I don't know how he made that mistake.) The terminal I needed to be at was not walkable. I had to be driven there. And since it was 4am, there were no cabs around this particular terminal. No buses either. Eventually, I found a janitor who radioed for one of the shuttle buses to come and get me. (I was very grateful.) 

Bottom line, by the time I got through my check-in and through security, I was a bit annoyed and frazzled. But slowly calming down. So I went to order myself some peppermint tea at a cafe.

Right after I was able to get my tea, they called the business class passengers for my flight. We were to enter down a specific ramp and doorway, separate from the rest of economy class. So I did as I was told. And that's when I got to understand how truly scruffy and unglamorous I looked.

"Excuse me madam," the flight attendants at business class door said to me, "you can't bring hot tea on this flight."

"Oh no!" I said. "I just got this. I've never encountered that rule before. I am so sorry. It's different in the states."

They offered to let me stand on the walkway, off to the side, and finish it. But it was a full cup, and still piping steam from the vented opening.

"I'll throw it out," I said, sniffing the perfume from the cup one last time. I handed it to them to throw out. "Do you happen to have peppermint tea on the plane?"

"No, madam," they said. "We only have regular black tea. No herbal teas of any kind."

I frowned. Oh well.

After they had thrown it out, they reached for my ticket and started to motion me towards the back of the plane.

"Oh!" I said. "I'm actually in business class. Sorry. I thought I came down the correct ramp. I guess I didn't."

That's when their already kind-but-stern attitude flipped. They became kind-and-sweet instead.

"Oh! So sorry madam!" they said. "No. You came down the correct lamp. We thought you'd gotten lost. And yes, of course, for business class passengers... We do have peppermint tea."

I had to laugh. My travel clothes definitely played into the treatment. 

There were only a few business class passengers on the flight. All dressed impeccably. But they were each ending their travels in Sydney. And I had a 13 hour flight to catch an hour after I landed there. 

I had my peppermint tea before take off. And I fell asleep shortly after. All the other passengers seemed pretty high-maintenance, with the attendants waiting on them. They kept trying to offer me a tablet to peruse the Internet on the flight. And they twice offered me breakfast when I opened up my eyes between drifts. I declined. I just wanted to sleep.

I was telling this story to my friend, Miss K, the other day. She reminded me of the scene form Jerry Maguire, at the start of the movie, when part of the people on the company are in first class, and some are in coach.

Renee Zellwegger's son vomits, the bitchy flight attendant helps her out. And she sees Jerry up in first class, sighs, and says to her son...

"First class used to be a better meal. Now it's a better a life."

Clearly it is. I mean, they have peppermint tea. (And I had to pay $250AUD to be able to get it.)