I always wonder if there’s a limit to how many blog posts you’re allowed to squeeze out of one experience. I guess if it’s a major life-changing experience, all penalties would be waived, but if you try to write for the 4th time about going apple picking, you might raise a few eyebrows. Unless you were picking apples on the Whitehouse lawn or outside of a shabby bar in Port Aransas, Texas.
I had taken some notes on my hastily-arranged flight from Florida to blizzardville, Connecticut, but I thought I had milked that bit of hectic travel dry. Then, Dan, the other Dan, the one who lives where it never blizzards, but who routinely travels half way around the world, wrote about flights.
OK, there are two bits of hyperbole in there. 5,958 mi (9,588.45 km) isn’t half way around the world, it’s about 20% of the way. And, Dan doesn’t routinely travel to Poland, but he’s been more than twice, and I’ve never been, so…
Anyway, Dan has had his share of travel issues, which, when you’re collecting stamps on your Passport, I guess are to be expected. I’m merely experiencing the nuances of domestic travel under various conditions.
When I was trying to find a way to get home from Florida, I was competing with a lot of people. It was 5:00 Monday afternoon, and every flight into Hartford (BDL) on Monday night and Tuesday had already been cancelled. I was trying to fly on Wednesday. I found two possible flights. One through Atlanta that left around 5:00 pm, and landed around 9:30pm. When I first checked, that flight was a little over $250. The other flight, through Minneapolis (MSP) left at 2:30pm and arrived around midnight at a cost of $312.
I’ll spare you the details. Suffice it to say that in the 10 minutes during which I tried to coordinate my plans with my wife, the folks at the conference at which I was speaking, and the hotel in which I was staying, the $250 flight through Atlanta jumped to $669 and the flight through MSP rose to $410 and then sold out.
Then I noticed that there was one 1st class seat left on the flight through MSP, for $440. $440, minus $35 for my second bag (1st class luggage is free), would actually be cheaper than the original flight. Momma didn’t raise no fool, I upgraded myself to 1st class.
I haven’t flown in 1st class since my wife and I were on our honeymoon. I didn’t pay for that. That’s long story and I’ll save it for another day. I normally fly economy comfort, to get the extra legroom. I wasn’t the classic 1st class newbie, but I was unfamiliar with, or had forgotten a few things. This is how Dan got my attention. Dan mentioned a guy who was thrown off a Delta flight for having to pee while still on the tarmac. He doesn’t say if they returned to the gate, or just tossed him out, but Dan did go on to muse about the restroom situation:
“I wonder if they lock the First Class toilets at the same time as the economy class ones…”
I don’t know when they lock them, but those toilets are different. They are bigger. The one I used was big enough to almost get comfy in. It also had a hand lotion dispenser (no room for that in a coach bathroom) and a supply of toilet seat covers. You know, those paper things that keep your bottom from touching the same seat other bottoms touched, but require you to wad up and throw out. I once knew a guy who called those “ass-gaskets” – fairly apt. A few other observations from my five hours up with the pretty people:
- My seltzer came in a glass glass with wedge of lime.
- They gave me a hot towel – damn, that thing was really hot.
- The 1st class Internet is just as slow, and expensive, as economy comfort.
- I was offered a meal – I had eaten before flight. I remember a day when I would have eaten it anyway, but it still looked like airline food.
- The pretzels were stale and numbered fewer than 15, just like economy comfort.
- We didn’t arrive earlier than the folks in the back.
Waitress bartenderflight attendant seemed positively driven to please. She delivered a drink to the guy across the aisle but ran back to get a stir-stick. In economy comfort, we use our fingers.
- Did I mention the internet was pitifully slow? I would think each packet would be wrapped around a “priority” tag like my luggage was.
- The arm rests are wider. No fighting.
- They filled my glass glass with seltzer several times but reused same chunk of lime. Cheryl always gives me a new slice.
- They served coffee in a china cup and they poured the cream for me.
Barring another emergency, I don’t think I’ll be paying for those privileges in the near future.
I’m still collecting pictures of spring stuff. I have pictures of the 1st class bathroom, but I think these are better.