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.