Tuesday, March 5, 2019

A coach kind of person in a first class world

You guys! I just got back from Hawaii! I'll write more about that in future posts, but for now I wanted to talk about something I had always heard was fabulous but could never bring myself to pay for.

I flew FIRST CLASS.

I realize that people do this all the time.  I see them in their plush seats as I file back to steerage, glumly expecting to fight for space in the overhead bin, relinquish the armrest to a space bully, and have my seat kicked for six hours by an exuberant kid.  But I only passed through this fabled land, never wanting to pay extra for it.  Instead, I made the best of Economy, even on one fourteen hour flight.

That's right, people.  I once spent FOURTEEN HOURS on the SAME plane.

But when I was googling Hawaii flights, frustrated by a long government shutdown and multiple blizzards, I realized that I could use my airline miles for a first class ticket and still have plenty left over for the future.

I sat in my first class seat, feeling like an imposter.  I felt like Elaine in the Seinfeld episode where she sneaks up to first class and gets kicked out by the flight attendant. The seat was so comfortable! A huge armrest separated me from my neighbor.  There was no way she could spill into my seat.  There was free food! Free digi-players to watch movies! The flight attendants were so nice!

To my delight, I discovered that my ticket also gave me entry to the airline's lounge.  I had only been in one of those once, when I had a free pass (and also saw Sarah Michelle Gellar in there).  More free food! Free drinks (although, who drinks whiskey at 6 am? Apparently a few people).  Comfy chairs with space in between them.  Nobody coming to sit right next to me with stinky fast food.  This was the life!

The flight back home was a red eye, normally pretty miserable for me as I try to sleep but constantly get woken by noisy neighbors, drink carts, and midnight readers turning on lights.  First class made it much more bearable, even though my seatmate, a night owl, typed on his iPad at 3 am. Curious what he was doing, I looked over, only to see a document headed "Personnel Evaluation: Confidential." I quickly looked away, but not before I saw a few sentences. (Sorry Becky, you're not going to like your review).

I'm sure on my next flight I will be right back in Coach where I belong.  But it was fun to visit the privileged land for a brief time with the folks who were paying $1000 a night to stay at the Four Seasons.  That really isn't me.  But it was fun to pretend.





8 comments:

  1. Once, flying to Mexico, we arrived late to the gate in Miami and the ticket agent asked if we would mind sitting in first class. Responding quickly before he could change his mind, we said, "Oh, well, no, I guess that would be all right with us." It was a small plane, so not many fellow first-class passengers. We had leather seats and real food and utensils; what a life. Another time, when I flew back from Hawaii--in coach--the teen next to me had panic attacks in the middle of the night, necessitating multiple visits from her mother, who was seated elsewhere; the man across the aisle seemed to be in the throes of bronchitis and coughed all night. The red-eye flight was aptly named.

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    1. It was so relaxing! At least, as much as flying can be.

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  2. I have never flown first class, but my husband got upgraded once on a business trip and my son has thanks to his gajillion miles from work. I think I would appreciate it as much as you did - ahh, someday. :)

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    1. Do it someday! The main reason I did was because of the 6 hour flight. I was dreading it, even though I've been on much longer flights.

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  3. Ok so now I’m going to have to ante up the money sometime to go first class!!!!

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  4. I have never flown first class before either, but I have flown coach enough to know I would LOVE to try first class! How great you got to try it out and let the rest of know what it's like :)

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    1. I'm sure I won't be back there anytime soon, but it was pretty great.

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