Flying First Class – Lessons Learned.

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=delta+jet&iid=1022956″ src=”f/d/4/5/US_Airline_Industry_5089.jpg?adImageId=13067247&imageId=1022956″ width=”234″ height=”156″ /]This week, I crossed over. For a few brief hours I was not one of us. I was one of them. I flew first class.

To be sure, this was not of my doing.  I traveled to a conference and had booked  a coach ticket befitting my role as a public servant. An airline screw up caused me to miss my connecting flight before my first flight ever left the ground. While we waited back at the gate until it was time to try to take off again the airline rebooked me and gave me a seat in first class on my new connecting flight. I learned a lot on the other side of the curtain, my friends. Allow me to pass on my new-found knowledge to you.

When I have boarded a plane in the past and passed through First Class on my way to my seat, I’ve wondered. Wondered what those people who got on the plane early, already sitting in their fancy seats were thinking. Now I know. People in First Class are thinking “if you’d get your poor backside through the curtain and sit down I could get where I’m going”. They don’t think much of you and your sort. I know because I’m the one who thought it.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=airplane+bathroom&iid=2111573″ src=”b/3/b/5/Delta_Unveils_LowFare_ea64.jpg?adImageId=13067315&imageId=2111573″ width=”234″ height=”162″ /]In addition, First Class passengers don’t like it when you come back through the curtain during the flight to use the forward lavatory. They kind of dig it when the flight attendant sends you back behind the curtain to do your dirty business.

There are drinks before the plane leaves the ground in First Class. I was able to enjoy a good beer while I watched the masses stream back toward steerage. I had another in flight. They brought them to me free, with a glass, the way I deserved. Also, the beverage cart does not come into First Class. Drinking off a cart, from a plastic cup?  No, no.

The seats are much nicer in front of the curtain. I know you know that from looking at them. I thought I knew how much nicer. I didn’t, I do now. To start out, you are not forced by limited space to cuddle with the person next to you. You are in your seat, the person next to you is in their seat, over there. If you choose to become familiar with them, it is because you wish to, not because you might as well since they’ll be touching you for the next several hours. Oh and the padding on the seats. My God, the padding. It is not painful to fly first class. The seats nestle you and remind you how special you are.

Is life in front of the curtain all luxury and delight? No. Let me tell you about the problems.

First, sitting in First Class is not an indicator of personal class. The man I sat with was repeatedly flatulent. I learned that the ventilation in First Class is in no way enhanced. It seems things like manners, mercy and common decency are also not enhanced by a person’s presence in front of the curtain.

In coach you’re usually given a tiny bag of pretzels or nuts, if you get a snack at all. In first class, you’re presented a basket full of options. It is important to select carefully. A Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup does not go well with a beer.

Finally, a lesson that stunned me. First class passengers luggage does not travel with them on the same plane. Apparently it follows the passenger on a separate luggage jet. This is so they don’t have to handle their luggage at all. The First Class passenger simply gets off the plane and goes to a special office. In that office, a nice woman tells him his luggage is leaving Atlanta on the special luggage plane. All the First Class passenger need carry to the hotel is the special Delta Air Lines toiletry kit the nice woman gives him. This apparently helps the luggage eventually reunite with its owner.

First Class passengers are not like us, my friends. They are looking down their noses at us in coach. Their world is different. So the next time you board a plane and your carry on bumps someone already in one of those cushy seats, don’t apologize. That person was already thinking bad stuff about you.

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27 Comments on “Flying First Class – Lessons Learned.”

  1. pattypunker says:

    i travelled first class once. loved the real silverware and glassware, hot towels, complimentary bubbly, comfort, and exclusive bathrooms. of course, my idea of a bathroom is never sharing one. ever. that’s what first class should be. that and a bed. and a masseuse.

    but even though i have further demands for first class, i was quite able to put my inner snob into full effect. now if someone would just make sure i’m dripping in expensive jewelry next time.

  2. planetross says:

    I travelled first class once as well! Just a puddle jumper from Indonesia to Malaysia, but it was awesome! The travel agency sold me a first class ticket … and then laughed at me for asking why my plane ticket was only $80. (that was in the heyday of 1997 when the Indonesian currency went further down the toilet than usual)

    note: I think all the richy riches were a bit disturbed at a smelly jean cutoff clad $1.99flip-flop wearer in their midst.

  3. tsanda says:

    i just walk through first class and continuously fart for the 5 second walk.

  4. tsanda says:

    did you notice your visitor locations has people from the ocean / possibly dolphins with laptops or atlantis.

  5. HippieCahier says:

    I believe in first-class what is considered in coach to be “flatulence” is referred to (when necessary) as “the vapors.”

    But if one must speak about it, one must enunciate with an aristocratic flair.

  6. Kate says:

    You know what seems weird to me? That they allow first-class passengers to board first and then make them wait until everyone else has boarded to take off. Personally, I’d rather wait until everyone else is on, then just hop on the plane and get in the air. Especially if I’m sitting next to some flatulent guy.

  7. Pie says:

    I’ve never been on the other side of the curtains. I am a deprived Pie. I need to use the techniques of the laws of attraction to make it happen. I must make sure, however, that I don’t become a complete arse once I’m there.

    Thanks for the report, Oma. You went through it so we didn’t have to!

  8. spencercourt says:

    I was upgraded to first class in 1995 on a 3-hour Korean Air flight between Seoul and Manila because the agent noticed from my passport that I was traveling to my birth city during my birth month. And I had joined the KA Frequent Flyer program.

    I didn’t know about the upgrade until I boarded the 747 and began to turn to the right(economy). The stewardess stopped me and said “Sir, your seats are to the left.” I looked at her puzzled and she smiled:”Today is your lucky day.” Indeed….

    And Kate…the reason the first class folks board early is so they have that much more time to enjoy all the liquor (I had champagne), gourmet chocolates, et al they want before the plane takes off. If you don’t want to indulge, you can board last.

  9. Betty says:

    First class upgrades are what airline miles are all about. Forget accruing miles to get a free ticket that you could otherwise pay only $300. For fewer miles, you can turn the measly $400 ticket that your company pays for into a $2000 value ticket. And the best part IS that free drink while the other cattle are loading. No, the best part is a lesser chance of ending up next to a screaming toddler

    • omawarisan says:

      You know, I think you might be right. I dont fly often, but I build miles and its always a question on taking the free flight or just going free. I can really see doing the upgrade of youre flying 3+ hours

  10. wordofabe says:

    Awesome! You are one of the luckiest men I have ever known. May your lucky streak never end. In fact, now that you have experienced how it is at the top of the food chain, you may not want to go back. It is quite possible that you are going to start demanding “First Class” service wherever you go. You deserve it.

  11. writerdood says:

    I flew first class once too.
    I got a free ticket.
    They still gave me plastic silverware.

  12. jammer5 says:

    On a return trip from North Carolina, the company could only find first class tickets for the two of us. Of course we hoity-toitied it. Great food, immediate service . . . then we climbed aboard our connecting flight, which consisted of fifty passengers allocated forty seats. Aw . . . the return to normal life sucked big time.

  13. linlah says:

    Oh my, my first class has spoiled you because all us coach people know beer goes with everthing.

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