Chris Blattman

Luxury in economy

After eight weeks of frantic field work, I am headed home. My diatribe against business class in development seems to have generated good travel karma: I had a whole coach row to myself from Abidjan to Brussels, with six glorious feet of space to spread out. Too bad the fish dinner tasted like an expired can of tinned tuna.

My one treat to myself: a membership in Priority Pass, which gives economy travellers like me access to the business class lounge for about fifteen bucks a visit. I have now consumed two capuccinos, OJ, some weird Belgian version of Cocoa Puffs, a fairly fresh croissant, a shower, two newspapers, and hours of free Internet (it is a long layover). That would have cost me about $4000 out in the regular airport area, so my Priority Pass feels like money well spent.

The one downside is that the Belgians appear to have rearranged their computer keyboard, which I suspect is a plot against the Commonwealth. The switching of the A and Q is particularly devious.

In a few hours I land in my new (half time) home: New York. Jeannie just started as Research Director for International Rescue Committee (I am a proud husband!) so I will split my time between the East Village and New Haven. That means double the number of good pizza options. My good travel karma continues…

5 Responses

  1. we shall definitely miss the updates from the field. Keep up with the good work Prof. Blattman. And by the way, nothing beats Pepe's.

  2. The Belgian keyboard is the worst Latinate keyboard in the world. The French one blew my mind the first time I used it, but it makes sense for French. The Belgian one makes sense for no one. How on earth is pressing two keys for a period better?

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