A lot extra for a little more

~* This post was declared a Winner in the Paisa Vasool Contest organised by Lufthansa & Indiblogger. *~

You have probably heard of Sheela Aunty. You haven’t eh? Arrey, Sheela Aunty, your “friendly” neighbor who has a complaint an opinion about everyone and everything under the sun. Nothing is ever good enough for her. The steaming plate of bhajjis you rustle up for her unexpected visit is either too spicy or not spicy enough. She thinks your hair is either too curly or too straight and she has a remedy for both. And not to forget that saree you bought your mom last week, of course, she could get you a much better deal. Yes, that Sheela Aunty!

Still doesn’t ring a bell? Hell, you do not know how lucky you are!

Anyway, Sheela Aunty needed a ride back home from the airport and my dear mom had happily volunteered my service. So there I was, at 2.00 am greeting the old lady with the fakest smile I could muster, preparing myself to live through the litany of complaints for the next 40 mins or so.  

“Hello Aunty, did you have a good flight?” I asked, regretting the words as it came out of mouth. But I couldn’t not ask her about the flight now, could I?

“Yes beta, it was a very comfortable journey,” she replied with a smile.

Did I just hear that? Or perhaps I had fallen asleep while I was waiting for her and this was all a dream. Or maybe I picked up the wrong person. I pinched myself as I surreptitiously glanced side ways to check if I had made some mistake. Ouch! I was awake and it indeed was Aunty Sheela (unless of course it was her… er… good twin)

“What flight did you say you were on, Aunty?” I asked.

My curiosity was piqued. I couldn’t remember the last time she had not complained about something, let alone utter words of praise! Hell, she did not even praise me when I managed a state rank in my board exams!

“Oh! I was on the Lufthansa. I traveled Premium EconomyClass,” she replied.

I was flabbergasted. Sheela Aunty who wouldn’t upgrade her cold coffee to a Large even at a discounted rate of Rs. 5 per upgrade, had not only paid extra for the added luxury but was delighted with her travel. Must be a complete Paisa Vasool I thought, as I mentally made a note to check out Lufthansa’s Premium Economy Class for my future overseas travel requirement.

I looked at my watch, it would still take us another 5 minutes to reach the parking lot and another 30 minutes to reach home so I decided to push my luck and asked, “Do tell me more Aunty, no one I know have travelled in Premium Economy yet.” (Trust me, if you are so lucky as to find the one topic that she has good things to say about you should hold on to it for dear life!)

That slight nudge was all she needed to embark on a monologue about her #LufthansaPremiumEconomy experience and probably for the first time since I have known her, I did not tune her out.

Sheela Aunty: You know beta, Lufthansa’s Premium Economy has so many benefits I don’t know where to begin. Did you know they allow more baggage than Economy? Come over sometime with your mom tomorrow, I will show you all the things I got. The premium outlets are such a bargain. I must show you my Michael Kors’ purse.

Note to self: Invent an ironclad excuse for tomorrow (and the entire week just to be sure.)

"You can check in two bags, each weighing up to 23 kg, free of charge – and therefore enjoy double the free baggage allowance you have in Economy Class." - via Lufthansa.com

Sheela Aunty: They greet you with a welcome drink and there is even a separate water bottle at the seat. What a delightful way to start the journey. Don’t you think?

I made a non-committal sound which sounded like a yes. Really she was impressed by a water bottle and a drink? I guess this must be just the tip of the iceberg.

 "A separate water bottle at your seat ensures you can enjoy a refreshing drink whenever you wish."- via Lufthansa.com

"You will be greeted on board with a welcome drink."- via Lufthansa.com

Sheela Aunty: There was also a beautiful amenity kit with toothbrush, earplugs, refreshment towels and eye masks.

Ah! Free goodie bag. Sheela Aunty loves her free goodies. After all she does her weekly vegetable shopping from a vendor two blocks away because he gives away a handful of free chilies and coriander leaves with every purchase, unlike the vegetable vendor in our block who gives away only free coriander leaves. To be fair, it’s not just Sheela Aunty we Indians love free goodies. Well played Lufthansa!

Sheela Aunty (chuckling): I also snagged an extra bag from the empty seat. After all no one was using them.

And there it is, the Sheela Aunty we all know and er… love so much.

"At your seat you will find a bag with useful travel accessories for a relaxing time on board." - via Lufthansa.com

Sheela Aunty: The biggest plus point where of course the seats which were bigger and came with individual armrests. It made the whole journey very comfortable.

Now that is saying something! Given that Sheela Aunty is by no means a person of small or even medium built!

"Look forward to spacious and comfortable seating with up to 50% more space: the specially developed seat with its own armrest, fold-out table, adjustable backrest and footrest offers more comfort and more legroom. You will never sit more than one seat away from the aisle." 

Sheela Aunty: They also gave us a detailed menu with a list of beverages. But my favorite part was that the food came in proper tableware instead of those plastic ones. The three course meals were pretty good I tell you. I was so full after eating all that delicious food I fell asleep as I was watching a movie in my 12 inch monitor.

"Take your time choosing from the menu card and enjoy your meal served on china tableware especially designed for Premium Economy Class." - via Lufthansa.com

"Experience our extensive in-flight entertainment programme on an 11- or 12-inch monitor built into the seat in front. The programme is operated by a remote control. There is also a power outlet at your seat and a wide choice of magazines."- via Lufthansa.com

Sheela  Aunty: All passengers travelling Premium Economy can also access the Lufthansa Business Class Lounge for a fee. I decided not to spend the extra $32, but now that I think about it, I should definitely avail the facility next time.

"For a fee you can enjoy the benefits of almost all the Lufthansa Business Lounges and the Lufthansa Welcome Lounge in Frankfurt." - via Lufthansa.com

She talked all the way home about how her wonderful journey was worth every penny. By the time I dropped her off I could not but be impressed too. Because if Sheela Aunty (who I have seen haggle for even one rupee and has probably never bought a dress unless there is a 3 for 2 sale going on) thinks  #LufthansaPremiumEconomy is the perfect bargain, it definitely deserves to be my first choice for my next overseas trip.


This post is my entry for a contest organised by Indiblogger and Lufthansa.

For details about the new travel experience please visit http://premium-economy.lufthansa.com/

Image Credit: All images used in this post are from Lufthansa's web page.