Flying First Class

For eleven and a half years, my husband and I drove to Mexico.  And during that time, we also acquired thousands of air miles on American.  So we started flying First Class, which is a treat.  Since my husband died it’s even more important for me.  I can check 2 bags free and they can weigh 70 pounds each.  Two carry-ons, free drinks, and food.  On first and off first.

However, my last flight gave me a real chuckle — but first some background.  The first time I was asked if I would change seats, it was by a coed who wanted to sit with her friend.  I said sure but ended up in the bulkhead seat where everything has to be in the overhead.  I like having my bag with me, just to get stuff out that I might need.  Okay, lesson learned, don’t sit in the bulkhead seat.

The second time, I was sitting next to an elderly man, well dressed, and he asked if I would change seats with his wife.  She was across the aisle and I said yes.   He said he’d buy me a drink and we all laughed since the drinks are free.  A pleasant experience for sure, and we chatted during the flight.

This last flight took the cake.  I had just gotten settled in my seat.  I like 4A, window and on most of my flights, the last row in 1st class.  A guy, maybe in his forties, sits next to me and immediately asks if I will change seats with his wife.  I asked where she was sitting and he said in the bulkhead seat, in COACH.  Eyes wide, I say no.  I then asked why she didn’t ask her seat mate to change seats with him.  What a hero he was.  They probably got one bump up to 1st class, and he took it.  He wasn’t willing to give up his seat to sit with his wife, but wanted me to give up mine.  He never said another word to me.  Wow.

My friend Diana always hopes I will meet someone interesting in first class.  I have to admit, I have had some good conversations.   Now people tend to keep more to themselves, especially if they are young or working on the flight.  I once met a guy from CT who worked at Whole Foods and knew the produce manager in the Whole Foods in MA that I frequented when I worked as a chef.  We had a great conversation and made the time just “fly” by.

Flying today is not always fun and with the pandemic making it a bit harder, you just have to keep your patience and enjoy what you can.  When I flew back to the States last April, there were six people on my flight.  Myself and a young guy in 1st and four others in coach.  The flight attendant in 1st spent the whole flight draped over the seat of the guy, with no concern for his health or hers and she basically ignored me.  I wore a mask, wiped down my area, and read my Kindle. I have a friend here in Akumal who spent her career as a flight attendant.  She worked many years in first class on long flights.  I’ll bet she could write a book about her adventures — I wish she would!

Bon Voyage!

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