Mark (mhaithaca) wrote,
Mark
mhaithaca

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First class

[Written several hours ago, at 35,000 feet...]

OK, this is the way to travel. :-) I don't think I've been in first class since a trip as a little kid, when we got upgraded when they'd overbooked the flight. My friend Jack tells a fun story about getting upgraded unexpectedly by a grateful gate agent when Jack helped calm down a whiny fellow passenger. He especially enjoys telling about how wide Mandi's eyes went when she walked past (they ended up on the same flight to a STARFLEET event) and saw Jack sitting in first class.

My flight to Pittsburgh left late because the flight to Ithaca FROM Pittsburgh was late. I got to the next gate as they were boarding the flight to Kansas City already, and they're so shortstaffed in airports these days that there was no one at the counter for me to find out whether I could use the first class upgrade coupon I had. (I'd been waitlisted when I called. They'd rather sell the seats! Go figure.) An off-duty flight attendant joined me in line at the counter, and only when they were more or less finished boarding did someone come over from the gate to help us. I got upgraded, and asked if I had time to go to the men's room. (Hadn't dared take the time on the way across the airport!) He said I did, if I was quick! I was the last one to board.

A few minutes after I sat down in 3A, they offered me a fresh bottle of water, which was nice. Mine's been in my jacket pocket since I filled it at Borders yesterday afternoon, so it was water... but it wasn't cold. Then, after we took off, they came around to offer drinks.

Of course, it would be nice if they had Maker's Mark, but the Jim Beam is free! (It was that or Jack Daniels. Riiiiiight.) And there's food. I'm not sure what (if anything) the folks behind me are being served, but we've been given a choice between chicken and pizza. Mine should be here in seconds. I'll finish typing this later!

Mmmm, it was a boneless chicken filet with a delicious sauce that I think was tomato and pineapple, with some corn and beans, and mashed potatoes. I'm no longer so disappointed that I missed the chance to stop at Steak Escape, my favourite eatery in the Pittsburgh airport, for my usual cheesesteak.

The tray was served with real ceramic dishware (OK, it was the usual rectangular shape for the entree, but it looked like a dish!), cute thimble-sized plastic salt and pepper shakers instead of the paper packets, and a real cloth napkin wrapped around real silverware fork and spoon... and a plastic knife. C'mon, guys. I could do more damage with a real metal fork than I could with a metal table knife.

My seatmate is a cool kid named Trey, who's about ten, and whose parents are seated across the aisle. We chatted about his trip to visit his grandparents in Maryland (they're on their way back to Kansas from their vacation) and how disappointed he was that it snowed five inches AFTER they left. We've also chatted about different cool places we've been in the world, and how I'm visiting friends in KC for a New Year's Eve party and we're staying in the hotel since it's bad to drink and drive, and now he's listening to CDs and I'm typing.

Hmm, my bourbon is gone, and my coffee long gone. She offered me more when there was still lots left. Maybe she'll be back again soon!

Trey picked up the miniature bourbon bottle and seemed intrigued by it. "What is this, whisky?" I pointed out the tiny pictures of the six generations of distillers on the side of the 50 ml bottle. Too bad I couldn't show him a bottle of Maker's Mark and tell him that's the REAL stuff.

She came back! Trying the Seagram's VO Canadian whisky this time. On the sweet side, but very flavourful. Way better than the Beam. Sorry, Jacob and Booker.

I can't get over these seats. Not only are they really roomy enough for me (a neat trick for a guy who's 6'3" and 205 pounds, but they're comfortable, and have a big, wide armrest in between each pair. There's a small tray in front of the armrest, and not only the full-size trays that fold out of the side armrests, but also tiny little drink trays that fold out of the center armrest. That also has the audio controls (no sign of headphones) and a laptop power port.

Actually, I have my own headphones with me, which came with an airline jack adapter, but I feel no special need to see what the plane's music selection is. I guess the flight's too short for a movie. It's about two and a quarter hours, landing at 1:03 CST.

I'm occupying myself for the rest of the flight (it should be a little under an hour) with some lyric transcribing. When I visited Wendy and Al's house the other night, Wendy commented that she's way behind in typing up lyrics from "Agnes on the Cowcatcher" for the Tanglefoot web site, and I offered to help.

We've also been offered a tray of packets of pretzels, cashews, and Milano cookies. Gee, that's a tough choice. So, I've just finished my Milanos, and I think I'll do some more transcribing.
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