Monday, April 20, 2009

Yes! OH Yes!!

I wonder who came up with the idea of having a spa and showers in an airline lounge? When I first heard about this, I thought that it was useless. After all, who would want to get undressed and shower and get back in to the same yucky, smelly clothes when in the middle of a 10 or more hour journey?
I have to say that carrying as much stuff, in my hand luggage, as I already do (stuff for Nikh, stuff for The Ray and stuff that I have managed to grab along the way - newspapers etc) I do not have any inclination to carry a change of clothes for myself.
Also - getting into a shower that umpteen hundreds of people have already been in - and I am sure they all have questionable foot hygiene - just does not turn me on! I would need my flip flops, a spare towel to stand on etc etc. Call me finicky!
But, aside from the shower thing - what about the spa side of things?
Again - the sceptic in me was not too impressed at the thought of shelling out hundreds of pounds on a massage in a strange place with strange people, when I could be in the Duty Free shops stocking up on booze and chocs!
We usually fly emirates or BA, but this last trip to London, we tried Etihad. They have won awards for service etc (fully deserved, I might add). We landed in Abu Dhabi late at night, My Darling was already in London, so just the kids and me. We made it to the lounge. Rhea was very ill and I just couldn't leave her, but I was curious about the rush of people trying to get into the spa. One guy (ultra gorgeous) came out of the shower (fully dressed, I might sadly add!) and looked totally relaxed and ready for the next 14 hour leg of their journey. His wife looked harassed and knackered as she had watched their 3 kids all under 4yrs old! Others were arguing and squabbling about the availability of appointments! Go Figure!
Anyway, I digress! On the return journey, with My Darling accompanying us, we landed and the Lounge was pretty deserted, so I suggested we both book in for a treatment. His immediate response was not to waste money - let's go to the shops! I went to look at the list and the prices. To my eternal amazement the price for every treatment was FREE!!! Yep I will repeat - FREE!
I booked both of us in for a facial, timed one after the other and raced back to tell My Darling to go and relax first. I fed the kids and settled them into the family room (another fantastic idea!) and then read a couple of English papers (bliss!) until My Darling returned looking a little like a ruffled penguin! His hair stuck out at angles, but his face was glowing! He looked great! Off I ran. I emerged after my treatment from a guy named "Oh"! He had magic fingers that eased the tension from my head and neck. Cleansed, toned and a quick face pack later, I was all set!
I immediately booked us in for a foot and leg massage and I went first! Amazingly incredible!
I have to say that this is the first time in all my life that I have landed not feeling like I have been in several train wrecks simultaneously or pushed through a wringer face first - twice!!
I was energised, recharged and raring to go. My jet lag was almost non existent and the body aches from carting so much crap around dust did not make their regular appearance! I also unpacked almost everything on the same day that we landed due to a total lack of lethargy!
I think these massages and treatments should be available ON the aircraft! The up side of that is the kids are strapped into their seats, they are given an endless stream of food, drink and movies. I know they will not go missing, walk away or some of our belongings stolen so I can relax and have endless treatments from here to eternity! Go Etihad!!