You know how when you’re boarding an airplane, on your way back to coach class, and you pass those people in first class, sipping their cocktails and leisurely flipping through their glossy magazines? Legs stretched out, all the space in the world?
Yeah, those people. I am not those people.
Except today I am! Today I get to be those people. Today I’m flying first class!
This is because “Eugene” (not his real name) has Mondo Miles. Eugene has miles, long legs, and a distaste for coach class. So instead of my usual cheapest-possible-coach seats, we’re flying business class to London, and business class translates to first class domestically. Our flights getting us from Denver to New York are first class seats.
This is like a dream! So exciting!
Eugene says first class is “nothing special,” and “not that different” but I am not convinced. Later…
All the major differences between first class and coach (excepting the lovely leg room) center around food. On the first flight, they took our drink orders before takeoff, and on both flights they refilled drinks frequently.
Also, there’s the free alcohol.
Which is served with warn nuts. Warm, I tell you!
And the dinner on the second flight has both a cloth napkin (which you rarely even see in restaurants any more) and a knife that is decidedly more substantial than the plastic dealies that you get in the airport restaurants. (Here’s a new advertising slogan for the airport steak houses: Steak so tender, you can cut it with a dixie knife!)
Not to mention that food was decent. Not fabulous, but decent.
The freshly baked cookies? (Smell them baking as you fly! Sorry coach class!) They were fabulous.
Now, all this food was excellent, the leg room was super nice, and I thoroughly enjoyed the treat. But none of it compares to first class international. That is something else entirely.
Because see, we got upgraded.
As we take our seats, the flight attendants come around with flutes of champagne. Would you like champagne? Orange juice? Water?
Can I bring you slippers? Or perhaps some complimentary pajamas?
Here’s a menu. What will you be having for dinner?
Would you like to borrow a complimentary pair of noise canceling headphones?
While you’re in the bathroom, shall I perform the turndown service on your bed?
Would you like to be woken up for breakfast, or sleep a bit longer? We can have coffee ready for you prior to landing.
Please take this special ticket so that you can go through the priority line in customs, and bypass all the riff-raff.
The food was good, the wine was excellent, the flight attendants were like gods of attentiveness and politeness (seriously impressed), the “beds” were flat, everything was wonderful, and I felt totally and completely out of place.
I didn’t know how to recline my seat (turndown service much appreciated, because I would never have figured that one out). I didn’t understand how to order dinner, and in the morning I couldn’t get my chair back up without help. Sad, I’m telling you!
I really really hope we get upgraded again on the way home. Now I know how things work, I can act like an old pro!