Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Two Country Bumpkins Fly First Class

We traveled to Colorado to celebrate the marriage of our son Todd and his fiancée Jackie.  We had a 6 AM flight, which means, at least  to my wife, that we have to get up at 2 AM to drive to the airport and then basically sit around for a few hours, twiddling our thumbs and chewing on grass stalks. I would whittle, but they probably would confiscate my knife.  So after a quick nap, I now have 1 ½ hours of sleep to last me all day.  Plus we will be traveling through two time zones.  This should be fun.    Oh and we decided to fly first class.  Ah yep, that’s right, two yokels flyin’ first class in an air-o-plane.  

We get off to an inauspicious start.  First off, our seats are on opposite ends of the cabin.  I know, I know, first world problems, but for my first time in first class, I would at least like to sit next to my wife.    Luckily a kind soul changes seats with us, allowing us to sit next to each other.  Nice.

We settle into our comfortable, roomy, luxury seats and relax.  Ahh! After first class boards, the rest of the passengers begin their death march into economy class.  The passengers are giving us the death stare because of our sudden elevated status.  You can see the hate and loathing in their eyes.  I know that stare.  You know that stare. We used to give that stare all of time when we were peons.   Oh well, la-de-dah.

So we start off with hot, fresh coffee brewed to our exact specifications, in a china cup.  Almost as good as room service.  We then discover all of the perks that first class (henceforth known as FC) has to offer.  Soft blankets, overstuffed pillows, refreshment trays hidden in the seats.  Our own closets for clothing and of course our own bathroom. Enough leg room for someone taller than 3 feet.  Plus, in the event that the oxygen masks come flying out, we get first class oxygen and (at least according to the stewardess) the seat cushions actually do work as floatation devices.  This is FC peace of mind ladies and gents. 

After sipping my delicious coffee, I decide to have a drink.  My rationale is, it’s 6 AM here, but somewhere in the world it’s 5 PM so I order a Bloody Mary.  It’s an unusual feeling to get shit-faced so early in the morning, but hey, it’s FC and I want to get my money’s worth. 

The usual assortment of business travelers are in the FC cabin with us.  Also, there was a young couple with customized baseball jerseys stenciled with “Just Married 5/1/15,” on the front and Bride and Groom embroidered on the back.  Adorable right?  Adorable 3 ½ months ago when they actually WERE just married.  Not so cute as they approach their first anniversary. 

Suddenly the stewardess does something out of the ordinary; she refills my coffee cup without me even asking.  Whoa this is big.  Then she brings me another Bloody Mary.  Things are getting interesting and it’s only 7 AM. 

We reach our first destination, Charlotte, North Carolina.  First on, first off when you fly FC.  We collect our stuff and I sort of wobble over to a seat in the concourse to wait for the next plane to take us to Denver.  After a short layover we begin the final leg.  Just like the first one, we are separated in the FC cabin.  Another kind person agrees to change seats and off we go.  Seriously, the people in FC are so accommodating.  Imagine asking someone in coach to trade an aisle seat for a middle one.  Yeah! See how far that gets you.  We settle in and put our smug expressions on to deflect the death stares from the people boarding in coach.  And boy do they take a long time to board.  Kids, bags, carry-ons, packages of all sorts.  You know, if they worked a little harder then maybe they too could fly in the rarified FC air.  Just sayin’.

A young couple boards the plane with, you guessed it, a baby.  Well under ordinary circumstances that would be a cause for alarm, because we all know the sheer joy of flying with a baby.  The squirming, the screaming, the crying, did I mention screaming?  Well that won’t bother us because we are in FC and they are in… Oh shit, they are in FC too. And right behind us.  Let’s hope she put some whiskey in that bottle because this might get ugly real quick. 

While the riff-raff in coach fight over a bag of pretzels, our flight attendant goes around taking orders for breakfast.  I choose quiche.  Really, they had quiche for breakfast.  I’m not making that up.  The quiche comes with herbed potatoes, buttermilk biscuits with real butter and jam, and fresh fruit with strawberries the size of a billiard balls.  And get this, real cloth napkins and metal silverware.  Folks, this is what’s called civilization. The cabin quickly fills with aroma of eggs, and cheese and potatoes.  Ahhh!  For years I smelled that in coach and thought in my crazed, starving state, I was hallucinating.  Well I wasn’t.  I’ve been vindicated.  They really have edible food in FC.  And in such abundance.  Another quiche?  Sure.  Another Bloody Mary?  Shhhure thingy.  More coffee?  Hit me.

After breakfast; you guessed it, hot towels.  Ahhh.  And not the pre-moistened towelettes.  Nope.  Real. Terry cloth. Towels.  What’s next?  Mani-pedi? Massage? 

The rest of the trip was quiet and uneventful.  Uneventful because I was sleeping off a snootful of Bloody Mary’s in my large comfy FC seat.  The baby didn’t make a peep. The service was top-notch and the landing smooth.  Hello Denver! Nice to make your acquaintance. 

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