Tuesday, October 02, 2007

First class

Last week I went back to my old stomping grounds for a little visit. I had racked up enough frequent flyer miles on Continental that my flight was free... plus $10 "tax," of course. (How do you assess sales tax on something that is free? Ask an airline executive; I sure don't know the answer.) To my delight, I even had enough miles to fly first class--but only on the way there.

I had never flown first class before. I'm intimately acquainted with the uncomfortable nature of the seats in the main cabin, and I figured that the big cushy seats in first class would be thousands of times better, especially for my preggo self. Plus, I was flying overnight; and so I thought I'd get a decent night's sleep (something I've never accomplished in coach).

Oh, I was so very wrong on both counts.

The first-class seats were indeed big and cushy. However, after about an hour I realized that they were actually less comfortable than coach seats. A former physical therapist of mine once explained to me that airplane seats are designed for passengers who are 5'10"--i.e., six and a half inches taller than I am. (Given that I once had to explain to her what a treatment goal was, I am not sure I should have believed her about seat proportions. But it sounded right.) The first-class seats also appeared to be designed for people considerably taller than I--and considerably wider to boot. In the ultimate irony, I found myself with too much leg room. I like to rest my feet on a carry-on tucked under the seat in front of me, as this prevents my feet and my butt from going numb. In first class, my carry-on was too far away from my little tootsies.

As for my disappointment with not sleeping, well, it's really my own damn fault. The magic of pregnancy also brought me the magic of getting up to pee several times a night, not to mention the magic of generally decreased quality of sleep. I'm not sure why I thought I would get nice, uninterrupted sleep on an airplane when I can't even get this in my own bed; but I suppose I really did set myself up for a letdown on this one.

There is, however, at least one distinct advantage to first class, and that is the food. The food is better and more plentiful than in coach. We even got little tablecloths for our tray tables. There was apparently also free alcohol, of which I obviously did not partake. (I wonder if the flight attendants put two and two together after observing my vehement refusal of wine and my multitudinous trips to the bathroom.)

Oh, and there were warm salty nuts. Lots and lots of warm salty nuts. They kept appearing in little ceramic bowls.

I was happy to be back in my rightful place in coach on the way back to California. I put my feet up on my carry-on bag, got a bit of sleep, and noshed gladly on little pretzels from a foil bag.

I will admit, though, I did kind of miss the warm salty nuts.

1 comment:

Lavender said...

Frequent flyer miles are a wonderful thing. But the lack of a place for the feet would bug me as well! I hate it when my legs "fall asleep" because I have nothing to prop them on!