Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tales from first class

I've been on a few business trips lately that were given very short notice. This usually means the flights are sold out and expensive, and all that is left is a first class seat. In addition to my first time ever in first class, I wanted to share some experiences I've had. To keep it somewhat shorter than to what I may be prone, I'll give them to you in bullets. The bullets will be followed by narrative, so if you get bored, you can skim.
  • First class will change you. The first time I flew first class, I felt bad. Like I was trying to be someone I'm not, that I was slighting my fellow middle-class Americans. When they gave me a meal, I still ate it, but could NOT look at the people in coach sitting behind me. I noticeably avoided looking behind me (which is odd, because I never look behind me on a plane anyway, but this was so deliberate). I was the last seat in first class. The second time, I noticed that there were 4 other iPads up in first class. I have one, so I felt like one of the elite. I enjoyed the beverage service before the flight began. I left perfectly good pieces of melon on the lunch plate because I could. I also pitied the poor saps that had to board after me, and thought about how sad it must be to have no leg room back in coach. The saddest part is that now that my last-minute flights are done, I'll probably never ride in first class again, and I'll again be put next to a large (not chubby, but large) 6'4" dude, and try to keep my arms folded in an attempt to not touch him at all during a three hour flight (yes, that did happen).
  • Everyone has a twin. In a single night, in a single restaurant, I saw the twins of a girl I worked with at my first out-of-college job (and almost waved to her and went to ask her what she was doing in Austin), a girl I knew from my freshman year of college, and a guy I knew in high school. I'm not exaggerating. Just so you know I'm not lying, the names of the real people are RB, Hayley (yep, she spells her name like Hayley), and Ryan. The doppelgangers could have stood next to the real people (the people I actually know are the real ones. Obviously.), and passed as twins.
  • It is weird to eat at the bar alone and not order alcohol. But what else do you do? You can take up a whole table for a server, and get your one meal. They have to do all the same amount of work, but for half the tip, because it's just a party of one. The bar, on the other hand, is full service like a table, but it's the freakin' bar. And you're the weirdo that says, "Now that you've explained the great, happy hour deals on shots, beers on tap, and colorful mixed drinks, I'm going to go a head and order a water." When eating alone, I often get a soda solely because I feel I owe it to the server to get something that costs money so their tip will be bigger.
  • Austin, TX has lots of christian rock stations, Latin stations, and country stations. I surfed through the radio stations and found a TON of christian rock. Or christian talk, with rock mixed in. I'm not going to lie, I sat and listened a while. If I lived there, I may or may not want at least one on a preset. Just for kicks. On a related note, there are also tons of country music stations and Hispanic music stations. And only two alternative rock stations, and one of those has poor reception. The one that I've taken a liking to has a British lady on the morning show, and likes to play a LOT of Hoobastank. I heard no less than three Hoobastank songs on the way back to the hotel one night.
  • Everyone obeys the speed limit in Austin. Seriously, there are very few that speed. In SLC, people go 75 mph on the freeway and don't bat an eye, and if you're not going at least 5 over, EVERYONE is passing you. In Austin, there are sections where the limit is 55, and everyone complies. I like it. It may be because they have a zillion cops on the roads. All the roads. At all times.


Hayley said...

i'm pretty sure they're sticklers about stop signs too - those coppers in texas.

i grew up riding in first class (airline brat) and always feel like i should just plop down in an empty seat when i walk past.

just get home, damnit.

Katey said...

"Then the stewardess has to come out and put on her little show...Then she's gotta close that first class curtain, ya know, before it takes off and they always give you that little look too right before. Maybe if you'd worked a little harder, I wouldn't have to do this!"

That's all that was going through my mind as I read that. Thank you to Jerry Seinfeld for his airport humor. :)