1st In 1st


Recently, I decided to record all the “firsts” in my life. Time passes. And what do you know? Memories fade. Details become fuzzy. Last Thursday, omw from the UK to the USA. I flew first class. For the first time. My curiosity about what happens behind those curtains was finally satisfied. We’ve all done it. Craned our necks. Trying to get a glimpse of how the “other half” flies. Today I found out. Thanks to a family member with connections.

At 7:15 am, I arrived at Heathrow airport. Bleary eyed from lack of sleep. As the cab driver unloaded my suitcases, I cast a long look at them. Briefly wondering how I managed to stuff almost two years of my life into two. And a carry on. On a whim, I decided to hire a porter to tote the heavy, red monsters inside. A luxury yes. But then again, I blamed it on wanting to have the total experience. True.

Here is what yours truly will remember:

  • Check in to security: 5-10minutes.  I was over by 2 kg; however, the attendant was kindly waived the charges.
  • We boarded first. As soon as I walked in the cabin, help was offered with my carry-on and hand luggage.
  • Seconds after taking my seat, a flight attendant approached with a choice of OJ and Champagne. Guess which one I decided on? Another placed a menu on my table to take my order for the 3 course lunch.
  • Oversized seats. Which reclined into a full flat-bed. Quilted duvet, full size pillow. Ample leg room with foot rests.
  • In flight entertainment. Oversized screens. New releases.TV. Extensive library of music. Games. Language learning. Noise cancelling headsets. USB port and electrical outlets.
  • Food. I gained 5lbs. Honestly. Real cutlery, silverware, modern linens. Salt and pepper shakers. For the main course, I settled for the pan seared chicken breast with barbecue onions, scallion mashed potatoes, roasted root vegetables. Several rounds of breads. Wines. Etc. An hour before landing, we were presented with more food choices, of salads or sandwiches.
  • We were spoiled rotten. Every possible whim catered to: warm peanuts, hot towels to clean our hands. Twice. During “down time”, the flight attendant stopped by a time or two to check on us. We didn’t want for anything. We were also offered warm cookies with either juice or milk. About an hour before landing, more food: sandwiches or salad with all the trimmings.
  •  It was my 6th  time on a transatlantic flight in two years. And for the first time, I didn’t feel as though I somehow made it through a boxing match with Tyson.
  • Deplaning and immigration was a breeze. Luggage also came off the carousel first.

One last note; one of the flight attendants is a human version of a tree trunk. No doubt, a wrestler in his down time. It was comical to see him with bread rolls politely asking: “Would you like another roll ma’am?”. Then again,  I awoke from my nap. Looked over. And saw him curled in a fetal position, wearing an eye mask, fast asleep. I won’t forget that image.

It will be hard to fly coach again. Knowing just beyond the thin curtains, the “others” are receiving royal treatment.  Coach tickets can cost a small fortune. Many drive. Take the train. Or coach. Because of the exorbitant cost of flying. That night I thought to myself: why can’t all of us be treated this way when we fly?

Well, then. On with life.

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan

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