Monday, December 25, 2006

Via Chicago, Part II: the more expensive, luxurious part with significantly more legroom

I've become so paranoid about missing my flight that now I literally sit on top of the gate before my flight. If I absolutely have to leave my gate for a snack or magazine, I pay a nearby child to get it for me. Why children? Simple, they don't have money of their own and they are cheaper than adults.

I don't care how positive you are that you aren't carrying any dangerous weapons into the airport. You could be wearing only a burlap sack. Going through security is a frightening experience. Maybe I've forgotten a pair of tweezers stashed in the bottom of my purse, or a very sharp piece of paper. I'm afraid that I'll somehow exit the restroom the wrong way and have to go through a security checkpoint again. The truth is I'm more liable to injure myself with any potentially harmful objects than anyone else.

Somehow during my flight changes, I got bumped up to first class. If you're wondering if what you've heard about first class travel is true, it's all true. It fulfills your wildest expectations. Once the curtain's closed and the vacuum-sealed door is secured to protect the wealthier passengers during an emergency (the curtain is for decorative purposes only), there is live entertainment featuring topless dancers and popular R&B groups, massage artists that rotate from seat to seat, there's even a chocolate fountain. The bathrooms are made of - you guessed it - solid marble. The air is just better in first class. After you've seated yourselves first, all the business-class passengers walk past and stare at you in envy.

Actually, that isn't all true. There was no chocolate fountain (how messy that would be in turbulence - imagine how many hot lemon towelettes it would take to clean up!). They do throw in an an additional magazine ("Celebrated Living" - because obviously those that live in luxury are the only ones who find time to celebrate). The flight attendant extended a basket of snack bags and told us to "take as many as we liked." I felt like I was trick or treating. I'm pretty sure those snack bags wouldn't open if a business class passenger tried to open them. Actually, they wouldn't open for me either, so I had to ask the guy next to me to open it. I think they knew I really didn't pay for first class.

After listening to the guy in front of me explain in length his career in air conditioning installation to the unsuspecting female passenger next to him, I spent my time drinking complementary wine and writing. Unfortunately, my pen exploded within the first half hour of the flight, forcing me to stop writing prematurely. For the remainder of the flight, I looked out onto the giant layer of Fluff we were flying over and imagined that I had been flown first class by my publicist or some kind of rich husband instead of a glitch in the airline's computer system. After all the free wine I expected the pilot to yell "last call!" as he prepared to land.

1 comment:

asdf said...

the conspiratorial bladders! they played my high school one year but only got through a few bars of their hit "you're in Trouble Again" before they asked to be excused.