Jesus Creed

When I got to O’Hare Monday morning for my flight to New Orleans — knowing there was snow and some bad weather — I tried to change my flight to an earlier time but the earlier plane was already completely full. Then they informed me that my flight — through Dallas/Ft Worth — was late and that I would have only a 10 minute window to change plans after we got to Dallas. So, I asked if I could get a different flight from DFW to New Orleans. Guess what?
Yep, this very kind American Airilines agent said “We’ve got open seats on a direct flight to New Orleans.” “Yes,” I said, “that’s even better.” Then the unimaginable happened: she found me a seat on that plane alright and it was a FIRST CLASS TICKET.
3rd row. Next to the window. First class for the first time ever for me. I boarded, sat down and pulled out my book, no kidding: Happiness: A History. How appropriate, I thought: I’m up in First Class, 3rd row of this plane reading about happiness. (By the way, plenty of leg and elbow room for reading. Even happier.)
As the other Coach passengers passed by me on their way back to their seats, I pretended a familiar insouciance as if I had been sitting in such seats all my life — deflecting the all-too familiar stares by “Coachers” at First Class passengers who evidently have way too much money or free mileage and are willing to pay lots of money for a seat in comfort.
The attendant asked me quickly what I wanted to drink. She asked so soon I wasn’t sure what one ordered in First Class. The person near me had ordered “gin and coke” which I’ve never had. So I thought of having “rum and coke” because I figured that’s what First Class people order. But “rum and coke” really didn’t sound good to me and, since I had never had one of those either, I opted for “water.” How dumb was that!? I could have had a free drink and I ordered water. I must have been momentarily confused sitting in First Class and all I could think to order was water.
Here’s the kicker: no food whatsoever. Here I am sitting freeby in First Class and it happens to be a flight on which they are not giving out those great aromas of nice meals. No wonder the agent was willing to push me into First Class. It was a flight on which they weren’t serving any food. For some reason I was thinking people in First Class always get a meal. Oh well, it was quite the experience anyway with all that leg and elbow room.
So my flight home will be the usual coach class. That’s more familiar to me anyway, and I will know to order my usual tomatoe juice. Next time when I get bumped to First Class, I’ll be ready.

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