Dan and Dan Travel

Glass Glass & Lime

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 bartender flight 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.

About Dan Antion

Husband, father, woodworker, cyclist, photographer, geek - oh wait, I’m writing this like I only have 140 characters. I am all those things, and more, and all of these passions present me with opportunities to observe, and think about things that I can’t write about in other places. I have started this blog to catch the stuff that falls out, overflows and just plain doesn’t fit the other containers in my life.
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76 Responses to Dan and Dan Travel

  1. Ah, a travel post that insinuates travel isn’t as much fun as it use to be. Imagine that. :-) I haven’t sat in first class in a long, long time but do pay for extra leg room when we go a long distance. That is well worth the money. Love that spring that made her presence in your neighborhood – beautiful and a lovely fragrance too. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Judy. Air travel is just that, these days, travel – point-a to point-b. As long as I’m not cramped, I don’t much care about the service. Air travel truly is the modern bus. I am so glad to see spring arrive. We had a crazy winter.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. GP Cox says:

    What?! No champagne in First Class? Hardly seems worth the price of a ticket, eh Dan?!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Been to Poland a few times – Florida is better. When I had my own software company we ad to g, en masse, to Singapore for two weeks. En masse means three of us! My colleague and I owned the business and the third guy was our marketing man (who used to be my boss back in the trading days). We stayed at the Mandarin Oriental – one of the best hotels in Singapore. Ex-boss complained that we were flying economy – why didn’t we go business as it was such a long flight. We told him a simple truth. Fly business – 2weeks in cheap hotel – fly economy – 4 star for 2 weeks – as you Americans say – you do the math! -Oh, and as Dan says, you get there at the same time!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      That was done great analysis, David. I will pay for the extra legroom, only because they’ve taken it out of coach, but you’re right about using your travel budget where it does the most good.

      Like

  4. Mike Powell says:

    Thanks for not sharing the photos of the first class bathroom. It’s one of the mysteries of life that are best not revealed. A few years ago I had occasion to see the inside of a ladies bathroom and was shocked to discover that it did not have the comfy chairs, expansive countertops, and huge mirrors as depicted so often in movies. How in the world are the ladies supposed to be able to talk about the guys? I love your signs of spring. I would have liked to ease into spring, but it was above 90 degrees a few days ago and already I am starting to feel the humidity–a foretaste of wummer, which is not exactly pleasant here in Northern Virginia.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Mike. We were in mid 80s here on Friday. It seems these past few years that winter and summer are putting the squeeze on spring. I remember the ladies bathroom at the bowling alley my dad managed. It had a sitting room that you entered and then the bathroom.

      Like

  5. Mike Powell says:

    “Wummer”???? Obviously the heat is getting to me and I meant to say “summer.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. dweezer19 says:

    Gorgeous Spring images Dan! I’ll be back later to comment on the rest. Running out the doot to work. Have a great day. Good luck with all your day’s events today!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. bikerchick57 says:

    Mmmmm….I’m breathing in the smell of the lilacs. That is my absolute favorite flowery smell. Yum!

    For what you pay in first class, it doesn’t seem like it’s worth the extra cost to get the same package of stale pretzels and a reused lime wedge. Yes, it would be nice to have a bigger seat with arm rests, but the glass glass and having someone pour creamer into my coffee doesn’t quite do it for me. I’m okay with the cheap seats.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Me too, Mary…me too. I will pay for extra legroom, only because it’s better than a blood clot, but I don’t see myself paying for those “perks” and I don’t really liked to be fussed over.

      Like

  8. Ruth says:

    I’m such a big kid at heart… still giggling like a teenager at ‘ass-gaskets’ long ater finishing reading the rest of the post! :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You read my mind! I read the “other” Dan’s flight post, too and it seems you have anticipated my question – is it worth it, the price of first class? Not that I’ll be flying any time soon, but if I must, and since I’m tall, I want comfort.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      I am tall enough to justify the extra legroom in money-grabbing schemes like Delta’s Economy Comfort, Maggie, but I don’t see the benefit to 1st Class. As David said, I’d rather carry the extra money with me to my destination. Plus, with the hot towels and toilet seat covers, it makes me wonder about the folks flying up there :)

      Liked by 1 person

  10. loisajay says:

    Glass glass and china? Wow. Impressive. In my neck of the woods, you don’t go anywhere–in or out of Florida–without going through Atlanta. The official joke of travel. Your lilacs are so pretty. We can’t grow them here–doesn’t get cold enough in the winter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Lois. I usually don’t mind Atlanta, but I don’t want to tempt fate and get stuck there. The flight option I had that connected through ATL was only scheduled to have a 43 minute layover. Flights from FL to Hartford usually mean Gate-A to Gate-E – that’s a run. Lilacs are just about my favorite sign of spring.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Joanne Sisco says:

    I’m hugely disappointed to hear that 1st Class travel is no longer what it used to be. All my illusions of someday crawling my way up to the front of the plane are crushed. CRUSHED, I say!

    … but the photos of lilacs and the memory of their delicious smell makes up for it many times over.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      1st class is still way better than the back of the plane, but the midway price point that gives more legroom, earlier boarding and (for now) a free beer, is a better bargain in my book. Thanks for dropping by. I wish I could package the lilac smell.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Wonderful photos, Dan. I used to love Connecticut springs. Almost made winter worthwhile. I used to commute to Germany every two weeks. First class all the time not on my dime. The big benefit was flat seating for sleeping. Today, I ride in the cheapest of seats. Yeah, my dime.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Dan Hen says:

    Good post ! Thanks for the mention . I had to laugh a little at your mention that I have been to Poland more than twice . I’d tell you the actual number of times , but I ran out of fingers and toes , so I’ll just say over twenty . And , about your commenter Longhaireddavid : I hope Ada doesn’t read his ” been to Poland . Florida’s better ” statement . It could get ugly .

    G

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      I was going to warn David, but he should have guessed that you go there for a reason. I won’t try to mediate that one. However, whenever you fly, I hope you make it to the bathroom without getting tossed.

      Like

  14. AmyRose🌹 says:

    I’ve only flown first class once and if I could I would always fly first class. Those seats are some of the most comfy seats I’ve ever sat on while flying. My hair was complimented yet I know if I was flying economy my hair wouldn’t even be seen. Anyways …. LOVED your gallery as I recognized some but not all. Oh yes, Dan, Spring has sprung. It’s been very wet here and I know if this keeps up my roses will be covered in black spot. Insects too have been much more abundant. Alas, droughts do have their positive side. No insects. No black spot. :) <3

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Amy. We have been having a wet cool spring, punctuated by a few days in the 80s. Feast or famine I guess, but we do still need the rain, so…

      I don’t see myself riding up front very often. I guess the biggest benefit is just getting on and situated before others, but it’s a high price to pay for unlimited stale pretzels.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Love spring photos, Dan. I’ve never flown any class but lower…I mean economy. Once when I was going to Europe, my husband told me I should go business class. When I showed him how much it was, even he decided better not. :-) I hope you were on an expense account!

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Janet. I was and wasn’t on an expense account. I was planning to go from Florida to Iowa. Since personal travel was involved, I was reimbursed for the normal round-trip Hartford to Florida airfare. The crisis-mode trip home was my idea and was on me. I didn’t do the math to figure out how much my portion was. It’s better to think “it wasn’t that bad” and go on from there.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. joey says:

    I’ve only flown first class on really short flights, so most of this is news to me. I only remember using the facilities on a plane one time, and it was not my favorite, and not in first-class. I’ve only eaten a meal on a plane once, but should probably say I was offered a meal, cause I only ate the bread. Again, that wasn’t first-class.
    I had to laugh at reusing the lime. Good on Cheryl, I judge my servers on this too. I squeeze that lemon out in my first water, obviously I need a new one to squeeze in my refill!
    Your lilac bush puts mine to shame — how gloriously full it is! :D

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks, the lilacs are some of the oldest things around here, other than the occupants. The Russian Lilacs are new and we just planted some additional ones of those last year. Not expecting to be offered a meal, I had eaten in the airport. I got that “must be a newbie” look, but I my Whopper with Cheese looked better than what they were serving. I suppose I could have asked for a new wedge of lime, but really, how hard is that? Cheryl’s the best!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Wendy Brydge says:

    Planes frighten the heck out of me, regardless of where in the plane I’d be sitting! But more importantly… I really need to move to a place where lilacs are blooming the 1st of May and not the end of June. :-/

    Liked by 1 person

  18. C.E.Robinson says:

    Agree, Dan. Economy comfort is enough for me today. First class flights from Europe to the US were the norm years ago! Way better with longer flights, more room, and privacy to sleep! Now, more leg room counts! Love your spring flowers photos. Wonderful to begin May! Thank you! 🎶 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Christine. The legroom thing is getting to be essential. On some flights, my knees almost hit the seat in front of me, there just isn’t enough room to get my legs comfortable. It was cool today and will be this week, but things are blooming.

      Liked by 2 people

  19. Aunt Beulah says:

    I hate flying. In any class. Which is sad, because Joel and I are retired and can travel more. Which we do, but I hate the flying part and Joel knows not to try to talk me out of my permanent snit while I endure it. Maybe some would consider me high maintenance. Thanks for dredging up such happy thoughts, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I recognize a lot of the spring blooms from my weekend in Seattle (blooms like that are not to be seen here in the desert)….best 1st Class experience (and I have only had a few…most like yours)…my wife and I ended up getting an upgrade for a flight on Hawaiian Airlines from San Diego to Hawaii a few years back…the equipment they were using was a ‘long hauler” they had shuttled down to San Diego from LAX due to equipment problems on the plane we were suppose to use. The “long hauler” was one of those planes they use for the 11 hour type flights from Hawaiia to wherever…point being our seats were almost beds…privacy and space galore…food, drinks were really good (not typical airline food)….you get the picture…best 5 hour flight we have ever had…the return flight was such a let down after that experience..great post Dan!!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. dweezer19 says:

    LMAO! I just read this sloooowly. First class. Unh hunh. Lee has taken to “buying up” for those first and second row seats for the extra leg room. But the first row seats are stingy abou you carry on. Last time that ‘flight attendant ‘ grabbed up my bag and stowed it overhead like it had niteo glycerine in it and I had no time to get my gadgets out. Flight Nazis is what they have become. I flew First Class once. On my honeymoon to husband #1. I remember those hot towels….

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I’m so glad you didn’t share the 1st class bathroom. The flowers, and shrubs are ever so much prettier I’m sure! I wish I could smell those Lilacs.
    Come to think of it. I’m sure the bathroom didn’t smell as nice as the air around your shrubs of Lilacs did/do. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  23. John Hric says:

    That was a long story to get to the spring stuff. Sometimes the long story of travel is worth getting to the travel stuff of Spring. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Glynis Jolly says:

    Lilacs are scarce here in the south. They are one of those things I miss so much.

    I rarely travel by plane and when I have, it has always been coach. From what you have mentioned, I think, in most instances, I would stick with coach.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      I would miss having lilacs, but you have lots of other things in the south that we can’t grow here, so I guess it evens out…? I hope so. I will continue to pay the up-charge for “economy comfort” which is 6″ of extra legroom. That makes a huge difference on a long flight, but 1st Class didn’t make a compelling argument with me.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Pingback: At least one of the Dans travels first class ; but I won’t hold that against Dan | itkindofgotawayfromyou

  26. Dan Hen says:

    Reblogged this on itkindofgotawayfromyou and commented:
    Well , at least one of the Dans travels first class ; but I won’t hold that against Dan , considering the circumstances . Dan explains what perks a first class passenger gets . I’ve never been allowed behind the curtain , so I never knew . And lilacs !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Those perks aren’t worth the cost, as far as I can tell. Then again, maybe they don’t show you everything on the first flight. Thanks for the reblog.

      Like

  27. Dan Hen says:

    I just re-read the sentence: ” Dan mentioned a guy who got kicked off a Delta flight for having to pee while still on the tarmac .” Was he on the tarmac ? Was he considering peeing on the tarmac ? Was he on the tarmac since he was on the plane on the tarmac ? ( Just musing about the English language . )

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Cecilia says:

    I like your choice of spring photos! Great post, thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. jesh stg says:

    First class is nice, eh? One time, because the plane was overbooked, they put me and my (then about 13 years old) in first class. After the stewardess guided us to our new place, and we sat down, my son asked with a very loud voice, “MOM… is this first class?” I could have sunk into the bagage dept.a floor lower, but instead gave him the look:)
    Nice Flowers Dan, much better than a toilet:):)

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Ann Coleman says:

    On a recent trip to Ireland, my husband and I got first class seats for the price of “business class” which is what we thought we were buying. We were shocked when we saw the seats, and happily surprised when they offered champagne. We gulped it down, quite certain that they were going to kick us back to our “real seats” at any minute. But we got to stay there the whole flight. I did like the size of the seats, and the extra service, but had no idea what I was supposed to do with the hot towel. And on our plane, the bathrooms were exactly the same as economy class. On an 8-hour flight, that’s the one thing I really would have liked upgraded!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      I think for an overseas flight, the comfort factor would be nice. Even nicer if it’s free! Both legs of my flight were under 3 hours. I’ve been in economy comfort on a lot of flights where we shared the basic bathroom with 1st class. I think it gets nicer on the larger/newer planes.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Reassuring to hear first-class Internet keeps the user in the same class as economy. Some of those other perks they can keep “up front” and I’m just fine with that. I’ll even stir my drink with my hand. Just don’t want to see them infringing on the economy section’s bandwidth and potentially usurping it at the same time. So true also…first-class doesn’t really arrive any sooner than those in the back regardless of how big the plane is. Yet, if I was to fly again I’d investigate the cost of flying first-class…only did it once and it admittedly was a more pleasurable experience than the alternative.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      I usually pay for extra leg room. I just read the American is taking an additional 2″ out of coach seating. I can’t stand to sit with my legs practically sideways which is all I ever seem to have room to do. I’d pay for just about any class before doing that, especially on a longer flight

      Liked by 1 person

  32. reocochran says:

    I went back to May first, it’s my weekend update visits, Dan! :)
    I love the way you portrayed milking a trip to death! I also liked your summary of the First Class amenities. The wonderful part was hearing real glass and real China tea cup. Too bad about no new limes. I bet she may have gone back had you asked. . . (?)
    The gorgeous flowers for this beautiful May Day were just as special today as when you presented them on Monday.
    So glad I was able to see them! What if WP were set up you couldn’t backtrack? Horrors for those busy folks or ones on vacation who wait till they get home to blog. :D

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Robin. WordPress has to allow back-tracking. I was on the road this week, I’m still catching up. The lilacs were fuller today, but heavy rain had them drooping almost to the ground.

      Like

  33. Paul says:

    The nice Spring pics in a post about air travel makes me think you were (perhaps subconsciously) expressing how glad you were to be on the ground again!

    Liked by 1 person

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