Last week, my coworker Linda and I went to a work-related conference in Vegas.
As we chatted at the gate, waiting to board our plane, Linda was called to the check-in counter. For reasons unknown, she was upgraded to First Class. My seat was in the way-back of the place -- that is, until I went to the gate check-in and changed my seat. I didn't get First Class, but my new seat had "amazing legroom" (as promised by the gate check-in counter attendant) I did get as close to First Class as I could have been. My seat mate was a bit grumpy, his hat pulled down low over his eyes for most of the flight while he rested his feet on the "wall" in front of us.
While First Class was offered a lovely, complimentary meal, those of us in coach were offered a box lunch for $5 and snacks for $3 each. Their meal arrived on a tray with honest-to-goodness GLASSware to drink from.
I'm sure Linda was feeling a bit guilty about sitting in First Class, while I roughed it in coach. She was a bit chagrined at the idea initially, but did not offer to switch seats half way through the flight, either. That's ok, though. I'm not bitter. My seat was actually just fine. My elbow was only dinged by my seat mate a small number of times, I received a complimentary soft drink, I could see First Class, and again, I had "amazing legroom." I was also able to read a whole magazine from cover to cover without being disturbed once. When I had finished the magazine, I again wistfully glanced into First Class. It all looked so peaceful up there. I rummaged through my purse and made a note to contact my sister in the travel industry to see if she could pull some strings for me and get me into First Class for the flight home.
Little did I know First Class wasn't so classy. While I was thinking about how wonderful First Class would be, Linda was living the reality of it. Apparently, there was a fellow passenger who had gas. A lot of gas. For the whole four hour flight. Linda told me about this after we landed in Vegas, and honestly, I laughed out loud. I also promptly forgot all about calling my sister to request any kind of upgrade.