I can only imagine it must have rankled back in the coach section when the speakers announced that Mr. Such-and-Such could come up and take a first class seat in 5D. He must've been wait-listed for an upgrade or some such, and he ended up with the aisle seat I would have liked... but all told, I did OK. Any first class seat, even a window, is better than any coach seat.
The food was fantastic, and the steady stream of scotch and wine was nice, of course. Slightly disappointing were the plastic cups and the plastic utensils, replacing the beautiful glasses and metal cutlery (well, plastic knife) of my first class experiences over the winter.
One of the men in the row in front of me was talking about how he's one of US Airways's "Top 500" travelers. In other words, for 2002, he was among the top 500 mileage totals on his frequent flier account. From what I overheard, he thinks nothing of buying a $2,000 plane ticket so it can be unrestricted, and he can change his plans on a moment's notice. Not only did he get a letter thanking him for his business and awarding him 50,000 additional miles (as though he could ever use them), he also received a special gift that's given to Top 500 travelers: a crystal globe etched with a US Airways emblem and a "Top 500."