Once You Fly First Class, You Can’t Go Back

July 10, 2011 at 11:19 am Leave a comment

Image from simon_and_youI flew first class for the first time in my life round trip from Denver to Boston. It was kind of a big deal. And by big deal, I mean that I’m not sure I can ever go back to those blue polyester seats that box you in no matter what size you are and give you back pain. First class is life changing.

Background: My dear old dad used his airline miles (since he travels all the time for his job) to get me a free ticket in heaven. Love you dad–you created a spoiled monster!

Let me go through all the exciting, mind blowing, eye-opening things I learned on my first, first class journey:

Disclaimer: All of these things would seem pretty obvious to the average person, but for some reason, my lifelong coach existence prevented my eyes from having the capacity to see these things. The proverbial red curtain has finally been lifted.

1. FIRST CLASS PEOPLE WEAR SUITS. AND THAT’S IT.

I walked to the first class counter and the attendant behind the desk gave me elevator eyes. Then she pointed to the coach line and told me that’s where I should go. Did my capri sweatpants, flip flops and messy pony tail give me away? I told her I actually had a first class ticket. She was surprised. So was I. But at least I was comfortable in my sweats…

2. YOU GET A “PRIORITY” LUGGAGE STICKER.

I gleamed from ear to ear when she put a big red “priority” sticker on my luggage. I didn’t have to wait 2 years for my bag to slowly drift down the conveyor belt? I didn’t even know these stickers existed. It was magical.

3. THERE’S A SHORTER LINE JUST FOR YOU.

I walked down to the security line thinking that maybe 1st class passengers got to go in a different line. However, I was thrown off by a sign that said “airport people only” (well it probably said it more elegantly..but you know what I mean). So, I hopped in line with the rest of the coach passengers and quickly realized a sea people in business suits were in the shorter line across from me. You know what? I wouldn’t have fit into the line anyways in the gray baggy sweatpants stunners I was wearing. So, I remained in the long line with the unlucky coachers where I belonged.

4. YOU GET GOURMET MEALS WITH WHITE FANCY NAPKINS.

When the flight attendent came by and offered me a “egg, cheese, peeper, mushroom and onion omelet with a fluffy croissant” I almost had a heart attack. On the way back, I was offered a turkey chopped salad and a tortilla soup. Soup? Count me in. It was oh-so-delicious and I ate to my little heart’s content.

5. THE TRAY IS NOT ATTACHED TO THE SEAT IN FRONT OF YOU, I REPEAT, THE TRAY IS NOT ATTACHED TO THE SEAT IN FRONT OF YOU.

Did you know in first class the trays aren’t on the back of the seat in front of you? Yeah, me either. When I sat down in my seat initially, I couldn’t believe I was able to lift my arm rest and see all the wires underneath it–I thought “how could they not have fixed this?” Well, not-so-smart me soon realized there’s a hidden gem in that armrest and not just a bunch of wires. It’s your tray. And it folds down into the armrest. Mind. Blown.

6. YOU GET DRINKS WHENEVER YOU WANT IN CHIC, COUNTRY CLUB GLASSES.

There’s no waiting for the big tray cart to come by. The flight attendants take your orders personally (like Jet Blue) and bring you your drink all perfect and pretty. Then, they wait on you hand and foot and refill you glass every time it’s empty, without you even having to ask. And the glasses are real glass, like the ones you would find at a swanky golf resort. Shocker.

7. IN FIRST CLASS, YOU BECOME A PRINCESS IN A FANTASY LAND WITH CARRIAGES AND CASTLES.

I admit, I felt a weird sense of superiority over everyone else on the plane. All I needed was a tiara and a prince on my arm to make it official.

8. YOU ASSUME EVERYONE IN FIRST CLASS IS SOME BIG WIG THAT YOU CAN BRAG ABOUT SITTING NEXT TO.

I imagined the man in the fancy suit that I was sitting next to was some big political figure. I dreamt that I would later see him on TV after he admitted to having been in a hot and heavy affair with a hooker and using government money to pay her. And I’d get to say “I saw next to that guy on the plane!”

9. HOW WILL I SURVIVE COACH?

Next time when I fly, I’ll be flying coach. This will be the first time I’ll actually know what’s happening over in first class. And, I know this will be an oh-so painful experience of epic proportions.

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A marketing gal's journey through life as a young professional. The storyline includes heart flutters, hiccups and happiness along the way...with one big spoonful of creativity in each chapter. I'm also the founder of Young Women in Digital, a Boston-based group for digital marketers to mix and mingle at pressure-free, fun events around the city!

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