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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Have You Flown First-Class? Oh, Darling, You Simply Must!

It was both my fortune and misfortune to have had a flight cancel recently.

It was fortunate, because it gave me another day of vacation.

It was not-so-fortunate, because my rescheduled flight gave me a seat in first class; and now that I’ve been there, now that I’ve seen how they’re flying up front, how will I ever go back to my usual space: between two large men sharing an egg salad sandwich?

Have you ever flown first class? Let me describe for you, please, the delights at the fore of the plane.

Right from the start, you know there’s something afoot when they give you a pillow and a blanket. I don’t know what everyone else did with theirs, but I sold mine to someone in steerage.

And then there are the seats. The seats are – and you’ll not believe this – wide enough to accompany your rear end. There’s not much more to say about that other than that it was a pleasure to sit.

They bring you snacks in first class. Free snacks delivered in small wicker baskets. I had two Twix bars, some Sun Chips, a banana, and the prime rib. If I recall correctly, the rest of the plane was being served Cool Whip containers of burrito ends and half-sticks of gum.

And did you know that they’re drinking like mad at the front of the plane? Wine, mixed drinks – the beer bong went around twice! Needless to say I just about missed my massage.

Did you know that first class even has their own bathroom? And – get this – people creeping in from the back of the plane are turned around and frog-marched back to their seats. It’s true. They weep piteously, pointing at the back of the plane, clutching their bellies, but it’s of no use. They should’ve thought of that before they ate those burritos.

It is quite possible that I‘ll never see first class again. Still, I have my memories. And that wicker basket. And the pillow and the blanket of the guy next to me.

So yeah, I have my memories, a wicker basket, a pillow and a blanket.

And that’s enough for me.


Shieldmaiden96 said...

I was the recipient of a random upgrade on a business trip once-- since all tickets purchased for all trips went toward the same pool of Sky Miles, this happened frequently. They brought me a little dish of warm nuts. Dinner was followed by a hot fudge sundae. The lighting was perfect for napping. It was like a dream.

Charlotte Ann said...

My husband was a "frequent flyer" ...and when first class was not booked, he was selected for an "upgrade" to first class. Why wasn't I ever on one of those flights when this happened????

Anonymous said...

Lucky.....I'm barely able to afford anything other than the stowaway spot next to some Bored Housewifes Prada bags in the bottom of the plane..If I ever sat in first class, hell, the shock might kill me..

Loved your witty write here.Perfect Saturday read!!!!

jo.irish.rose said...

pearl....my dream is to one day visit my ancestry home in ireland, so when i do, i will go first class, i figure if i can do that, it will be well worth the upgrade!

i have flown many times and i have seen "behind the curtain" and wondered was going on, thank you for filling me in!

i will dream of one day having my champagne and hot fudge sundae on my way over to the emerald isle one of these years! until then, it is between two chubby men for me too! bless you!

loveable_homebody said...

I have flown first class a number of times and yes, it's so awesome! You describe the awesomeness well. The larger, cushy seats rock too!

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

I have seen the delights...and they have spoiled me from ever flying again. Did you know they have the same class system on trains? I didn't know that until recently.


CatLadyLarew said...

The same thing happened to me once... bumped into first class. I now weep with envy every time I walk though first class to get to steerage. It's just cruel to give us that taste of luxury!

KleinsteMotte said...

Have you ever been on a plane where the first class has individual passenger space where a seat becomes a bed? There are several huge planes that now offer these on longer hauls. Check them out. What you described seemed more like a business class arrangement. But hey I've never experienced first class, only business class so I can only dream of that. Once I flew with an airline that had only one class, Sunwing, where we all sat in tight seats but we all got champagne, snacks, a meal and drinks (pillows,blankets and headsets too). I was seated in the very first row where there was lots of leg room but a noisy staff facing me when they were on breaks.

Lisa said...

You are so funny. I did fly First Class once and it was beautiful.

Sam Liu said...

I must say, I'm a sucker for luxury. I love flying first class and if I ever I go on a long-haul flight I consider it an essential. It's just so wonderful :D

Symdaddy said...

I always buy the cheapest tickets, but travel first class every time ... as anyone would in my company! Although I sit amongst the peasants and their goats I consider my own personal space (regardless of how small and cramped it may get or how close fatso with the bad breath and wayward elbows comes) to be my personal "First Class". Rolled up sweatshirt for a pillow, jacket for a blanket and the guy in fronts seat as a foot rest ... as long as no one farts, I'm happy!

a Broad said...

Let me tell you a short version of the long story about my flight from the US to Argentina.. that was booked for First Class because there was a certain Pup who was supposed ( according to Everyone at Continental) to ride up there with me.
But arriving in Houston ( home of the most vicious airline personnel) , we were told that they changed that and he would have to go in cargo. We paid full price for those tickets. We might have been able to buy our own small plane for what those tickets cost.
I have no crate with me, we are not prepared with all the little things that might possibly, cannot really, make a dog comfortable flying in a cage in the cargo hold of an airplane for 12 hours.
After an hour of sobbing and begging, they brought this not quite large enough crate and put him in it and he and I wept as he was taken down an elevator right there by the gate, to his hell hole in the plane.
I sobbed onto the plane, in my seat and finally ran out of sobs and tears.
A kindly, ( maybe the last of her kind) flight attendant, brought me tea and a little airline personnel kit of eye drops.. for burning teary eyes.
So I slept the sleep of exhaustion and worry in a very comfortable seat , in the very front, without a pup by my feet.
He lived through it ... I am not sure which of us was more traumatized.
I hate Continental :)

Bossy Betty said...

Ohhhhhh. Try not to remember this during your next egg salad experience!

Cheeseboy said...

I try not to think about first class - that it even exists. Now, it's lunch time. I love me some egg salad sandwiches!

Herding Cats said...

Remember when EVERYONE on the plane got a pillow and blanket? Those were the days.

Casey Freeland said...

I would do it just for the size of the seat. I'm 6'2" and my knees are always precariously close to the seat in front. If the person in that seat moves it back... you know the three inches back that makes no difference in anything at all.. I am then pinned for the remainder of the flight. And because I know what this is like, I won't put my own seat back and possibly trap the person behind me.

Anyway, the rest of the stuff is cool and all, but I'm good with peanuts, pretzels, having to pay for a couple of drinks and having to ask for a pillow if it's a long flight.

Leg room though, that would be worth something.


Argent said...

Never flown first class. Have seen it on trains (again, not had the actual pleasure). Once, on a ferry from England to Ireland, we had to go 'freight' because of the enormous WV bus-load of stuff we had (moving house). It was a different world! Those truckers got free breakfasts (full english) on actual crockery and shining metal curtlery on spotless tablecloths. Aaah, the joy.

dogimo said...

I love it! Cool Whip containers of burrito ends! Just seems like a perfect way to parcel out burrito ends to a group of people. Perfect for a picnic or gathering. Perfect!

Perhaps it could be a slightly spicy sweet burrito, with a mole sauce - and cool whip instead of the sour cream!

vanilla said...

Yes. Yes, I have. In a fashion similar to yours, having been placed on standby to board a flight I had reserved six weeks in advance, we got the seats of the 1st class couple who didn't show. Usury is a crime which should be illegal; overbooking flights, same thing. But I sure enjoyed first class!

Gigi said...

Well apparently I'm flying on the wrong planes - every one I've ever been on didn't have first class at all! We are all wedged into the smallest possible seats and treated like cattle. Of course, if I didn't fly Podunk Airlines maybe I'd get bumped up every once in a while....

lisleman said...

Sold your pillow and blanket - funny stuff.
Of course this reminds me the Seinfeld episode.
Back in the day (traveled biz trips) I was upgraded a number of times and not too many years ago both wife and I were upgraded going Chicago - London. Return trip, not so lucky and it was tough to handle. International trips are the best for upgrades.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Oh yeah, First Class is paradise. Back in the good old days when companies flew management via First Class I enjoyed the fab service, giant seats and all that pampering. Now? I'm in the back-- the way back.
Ahhh, memories.

injaynesworld said...

I've flown first-class once. Now mind you, I don't like flying at all. Okay, so it's not the flying, it's the crashing that can ruin a person's whole day. So if I'm going to crash and burn, at least I'd like to do it with a better class of people -- and all boozed up on free beer.

Tempo said...

I was wondering what was behind the iron curtain?!
There's a good girl, pass me another egg salad, pickled onion and cheese sandwich.