I was flying back from Dusseldorf to London on Lufthansa yesterday. For some reason, the kind lady at the check-in desk, upgraded me to business class so I got a nice bread roll and cloth napkin. The gentleman next to me was very disappointed that there were no English language newspapers available on board. When the steward asked why he didn’t pick one up at the gate, he became even more irritated, telling him in no uncertain terms that there were no ‘English’ newspapers at the gate and worse, not a single ‘English’ newspaper in the business lounge.

So he finally settled down with a copy of ‘The Economist’ or so I thought. Next thing the senior cabin director was summoned. This time the gentleman, still, obviously disgruntled asked ‘Are you trying to cater for an international audience ?’ The lady politely explained the situation, apologised once again and offered to scour the plane for a paper. Then he said ‘What’s the point of me paying extra money to fly business class if you can’t even offer me an English newspaper ?’ and finally let the subject die.

Two things struck me:

  • I bet his company, or more likely, his client are the ones paying the premium for business class and not him.

  • I was simply dying to say ‘Well next time you fly on British Airways at 17.00 on a Friday to any German destination, why don’t you see how many copies of ‘Die Welt’ and ‘Der Spiegel’ are available for German passengers ?’