Introducing A New Blog Series: “What’s The Big Deal?”

a circular arrangement of flowers

Like many of you, I spend a ton of time on Flyertalk and these forums contain a wealth of information about everything you could ever want to possibly know about anything travel-related.

But with user-generated content comes a fair amount of complaining. It simply comes with the territory. I generally group the complaints and rants that I come across into 3 buckets:

1. I’m totally with you: I’ll gladly hold a candle in solidarity and I genuinely feel your pain. Some examples include: screaming children on a plane, bare-footed passengers in the bathroom (who then prop their feet up on the bulkhead walls), body hygiene issues, inefficient security lines and boarding, lost baggage, etc.

2. I see where you’re coming from, but that just doesn’t bother me: everybody has different thresholds for annoyances, and while I totally see how this could bother someone, it’s just not something that ruffles my feathers. Examples include: meal selections being taken out of order, passengers using the bathroom in other cabins, having status explicitly recognized by flight attendants, etc.

3. What’s the big deal?: inspired by one of my favorite segments on NFL Live, “C’mon man!” After reading these complaints, I’m typically left scratching my head more than anything trying to figure out how this is really a thing that could possibly bother someone.

Today’s Topic

The First Class flower.

I’ve come across this topic a few times before, but generally comments about missing flowers had seemed to have been made in passing. But the most recent examples I stumbled upon were in this thread in the Cathay Pacific forum on Flyertalk. The general tone of the thread touches on a decline in the Cathay Pacific First Class experience, and while the food and beverage (champagne in particular) are highlighted as the main culprits, the flower gets quite a few mentions.

I haven’t taken nearly as many international First Class flights as others, but I’ve taken around 20, and in exactly 0 out of those 20 flights can I recall if a flower was at my seat. In my mind, the presence of a flower would not have made even the smallest of small differences in my flight.

Sure, I get that it’s a nice touch and classes things up. Perhaps I’m just a simpleton and these other First Class passengers are aspiring botanists that can appreciate the difference between Moth and Dendrobium orchids. But people seem genuinely upset when they didn’t get a flower at their seat and are tying the decline of a First Class product to the lack of a flower.

So I’ve got to know, what’s the big deal?

[And if you have any topics for future installments, please drop a comment below!]


  1. You’re a brave man for wading the waters of the forums. Ironically, I did find it to be a big deal to have a flower on my Cathay flight from HKG-ORD. I took a picture of it and I think I even mentioned it in my review.

    For blog posts, it’s a nice touch. I’m a real passenger, I’m not thinking twice about it. So I agree, no big deal but don’t tell anyone in FlyerTalk I said that.

  2. I think it has more to do with the details. If you are dining at a three star michelin (with price to match) you would expect the finest of details to be adhered. I think the complaining about the flower is similar in nature since first class is well…first class.

    That said, the flower is nice but meh…I’m totally with you

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