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May 26th, 2007

Flying First Class (Really, Business Class)

My first trip on an airplane, ever, was only six years ago. My family usually drove for our vacations, and I don’t think anyone in the fam was interested in flying much.

Now that I’m flying regularly I of course find myself in Economy Class. (At least I’m in Economy Plus on United, where I get extra legroom – critical for someone as short as me.) Something interesting happened when I booked an upcoming flight though: I got booked in Business Class. It’s not quite First Class, no, but it’s as close as I’m going to get for some time.

I admit I’m a little worried about it. I’m afraid I’m going to get spoiled by it, and soon I’ll want Business or First on all of my flights. Can anyone convince me otherwise?

I’m looking forward to a world of hot towels and hot breakfast. And comfy seats. Mostly the seats.

Posted in Everyday Life

Dave Walls May 26, 2007, 3:46 pm

Last December, when my fiancee and I were returning from vacation
in Orlando, and we were going to be flying on AirTran. Not exactly the roomiest planes known to mankind. I got in line, and decided to pay the reasonable $50 per ticket to upgrade us to business class.

Despite the fact it was no where close to a “first class” experience, it was a welcome change. Huge leather seats (for my huge… know)..all the drinks and snacks you could eat, and they did shut the little curtain, so it actually felt like we were taking a nice, quiet trip.

I probably wouldn’t do it again unless it was a special occasion, like this trip where we had just gotten engaged, but it made for a nice flight. I could see how it would be easy to get spoiled. I gotta tell you..I’m dreading the next time I fly economy.

Terry M. May 26, 2007, 7:57 pm

I have Silver Elite on Continental, and so get upgraded on domestic flights on that airline. But for flights on other airlines, and international flights, I fly coach. So while First Class sure is nice, I’m still perfectably comfortable with coach. Have fun, and enjoy all of the luxuries of First Class, because as soon as you get back on the ground, you are just a regular Joe. 🙂

Merle May 26, 2007, 8:31 pm

Do you always buy the executive suites at hotels, or does the cost deter you? Front row seats at concerts, or whatever is affordable?

That’s the big factor in air travel. Sure, everyone *wants* to be first class, but you pay through the nose for it. Unless you have money to burn, it is rarely worth that deep of a dip into your wallet.

Unless you actually do have money to burn. In which case, allow me to formally offer my services as a professional money, erm, “burner”. Never again will your fingers be singed! I can take care of all of it for you. Just send $20,000 to…

Monica May 26, 2007, 10:22 pm

I was bumped up to first class one time, it was very awkward and uncomfortable to be asked what kind of drink I wanted while all the coach people were just boarding! I don’t feel like I was spoiled by it.
I don’t mind coach/economy class too much, but I think I might spring for business class next time I take a flight that’s more than 7 hours long, ’cause that’s a loooong time to be sardine-d.

Aanen May 27, 2007, 3:29 pm

My mom and I were upgraded to first class on a 747 on our way to Hawaii. My dad travels a lot (he leaves for Germany on friday, then it’s off to Hawaii in July) and uses his united miles to upgrade to first class. The company I work for now will actually pay for a first class ticket if the flight is over 8 or 9 hours.

Adam May 27, 2007, 8:04 pm

I have to say that I’m pretty spoiled on AirTran’s business class/first class. I love paying the extra $20-50 to move up front. I now travel every other week for work and it sucks because we have to fly Delta. And no matter how many skymiles you have, you’ll rarely get bumped up when flying out of Atlanta because 1st class is always full.

I really miss flying AirTran.

Paul McAleer May 28, 2007, 1:09 pm

There’s no doubt in my mind the ditinction between First / Business class and Coach / Economy is who’s paying.
Pay for it youself and it’s eceonomy every time, someone else paying.. First all the way.
I fly to South Africa from the UK a couple of times a year, it’s about 12 hours direct, I can get a return for 400 – 500 pounds, first class is about 2,500 pounds. I would like the comfort and freebies but will I pay over $300 an hour for legroom? For 12 hours of being a little uncomfortable I save 2000 pounds, nearly 4000 dollars!!
So enjoy your flight but do the maths when you book/pay yourself in the future.

jk May 28, 2007, 11:47 pm

Am I the only one who is amazed by this new Paul McAleer? What are the odds? Greater than my flying First Class….although I must say that as a 5’6″ woman, I find planes to be remarkably uncomfortable so I don’t know the average size man can sit in these small spaces.

Paul May 31, 2007, 3:32 am

Yeah, the Other Paul amazes me too. Paul is either a guy with my exact name (possible, looks like he’s in the UK) or just wants to be anonymous.

Dave Walls May 31, 2007, 1:49 pm

….or he’s an evil twin cousin….just saying.

Paul McAleer June 2, 2007, 11:58 am

Paul McAleer really is my name. Truth is I came across The Daily Ping while taking part in the, some might say sad, passtime of “Googling” things. I mean who can honestly say they’ve never Googled their own name?
Question to my namesake.. I was born in 1965 so who’s the ORIGINAL Paul McAleer?

Dave Walls June 2, 2007, 10:42 pm

McAleer²: *so who’s the ORIGINAL Paul McAleer?*

I bet Maury can help us with to give up some blood?

Ryan, make a call.

Paul McAleer June 3, 2007, 2:30 pm

Dave W – don’t think we need to go down the DNA route, I’m merely suggesting that whichever one of us was born and named first is the original. Having said that I think each of the world’s Paul McAleers she rejoice in their own personal Paul McAleerishness!!
ps, is this you are are you an imposter?
Dave Wells Properties – Bournemouth – Residential and Commercial …Dave Wells is a member of the Dorset Residential Landlords Association (DRLA) and takes part in a rent deposit scheme run in partnership with the DRLA and … – 12k – Cached – Similar pages

Paul McAleer June 3, 2007, 2:32 pm

Aplologies, just noticed it’s Walls not Wells

Dave Walls September 14, 2008, 3:59 am

A very belated “No problem”. I was only kidding about the DNA route. In fact, I met another Dave Walls earlier this year. He was a real estate broker in a Nashville airport. Go figure.

With my current job, I’m flying a lot more (writing this a few hours after flying from PHL to LAX). US Airways is really good about bumping me up to First Class, although to be fair, other than the bigger seats, there’s not much difference, unless you are flying international or long distances.

For instance, in my flight today, I checked two bags for no charge (My fiancee says that I “pack like a woman”). Getting to board before the 9,000 strollers and crying kids is always a plus. Once airborn, I had a meal served to be that didn’t require a microwave, and as many free drinks as I liked. I don’t drink alcohol, but still, it’s better than paying $2 a glass for 8oz of Diet Coke.

Paul (any of them) will certainly agree that when you spend a lot of time on planes, the smallest conveniences make a huge difference.

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