In writing class we have prompts that we’re supposed to write about, this is a particularly long rambling basically about the difference between first class and coach on a plane.
Walking through the airport, trying to avoid getting hit and avoiding kneecapping someone with her rolly bag, annoyance would be the least of Ann’s feelings at this moment. The two women run the gauntlet that is the airport, and are having a very heated conversation.
“I can’t believe you didn’t tell me you weren’t even going to sit with me on the plane” Ann said to Beth as they try to break through the red robin style line of people blocking the walkway waiting for their morning coffee. Admittedly the smell wafting through the gates was enticing, the sound of the beans being ground and the milk being frothed almost enough to set your mouth to watering, however that line would suggest that they were putting more than just coffee in those cups.
“You could have at least told me, beforehand…maybe I could have cashed in some points and joined you”
“They upgraded my ticket without me asking, what was I going to say….no? Yeah, I prefer sitting on top of other people….really?!”
“It’s only a 3 hour flight, and we would have been sitting next to each other, it wouldn’t have been that uncomfortable” Ann said as she plopped down heavily in the closest chair to their gate “The flight attendants aren’t even nice to you in coach
“More reason for me not to sit in coach” looking up from her rummaging through her bag looking for various power cords to obtain that last bit of charge before the three hour flight. Because, lord forbid you run out of power on the plane and have to rummage through the air mall catalogues for the latest and greatest things you never knew you wanted to buy.
“Did you notice if you get a meal on this flight? Because I know I won’t” as she searches the vicinity for a shop to buy a snack “Watch my bags for me for a second would you”
Ann arrives back with an assorted bag of goodies expensively procured at the nearest shop, convinced that the only reason you can’t bring liquid through security is so that you are forced to buy an $8.00 bag of crackers, and a $5.00 bottle of water, she picks up the conversation where she left off “Well, at least you didn’t pay for your flight. That would have been ridiculous”
“Do you even have enough points that you could have upgraded your ticket? Since you insist on driving everywhere you probably don’t have the points”
“Why, how many points would it take? Maybe I can upgrade my ticket now” Knowing she’s probably correct, Ann grabs her phone and logs into the airline’s website to see exactly how many points she has, and how much it would be to upgrade her ticket. After navigating the rather user unfriendly website she sees that it would cost every single one of her hard earned flight credits to upgrade her ticket, and to upgrade with cash would cost an additional $1000.00 dollars….
“Seriously…ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS?!??”
“Well, they are really comfortable seats? Beth answered
“Are they ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS more comfortable than mine?”
“And, food – don’t forget the food”
The gate attendant comes on the PA system and announces that the flight will begin boarding soon. The rather harried looking gate attendant proclaims the boarding order for everyone to hear, apparently not only does first class enjoy the luxury of larger seats and a meal, but they board the plane long before the miscreants in coach do. So, Beth begins packing up and wrapping up her cords and puts everything away, and begins lining up for her first class seating boarding group.
After waiting for her boarding group to be called, Ann walks down the miserably long jet way whose collapsible walls look like they may just collapse on you. There are cheery cheesy photos of airline employees on the walls thanking them for their choice in airlines today. As Ann walks through first class to get to her seat, she notices that the passengers already have a drink in hand and almost apologetically refuse to make eye contact with the passengers headed further back in the plane. Ann sees Beth, comfortably cocooned in her not impeding anyone else’s space reclining first class seat while on the rest of the plane the seats are 6 to a row, in first class there’s only 4 and much more space between the rows.
She stows her suitcase in the overhead, grabs her tablet out of her bag and tries to get comfortable in her aisle seat, knowing that at any moment she’ll have to jump up to allow the other two passengers into her row. She logs onto her tablet, and accesses the airplanes Wi-Fi and immediately opens Facebook to continue her argument with Beth.
“Hey, you there?” Ann types in a private Facebook message. After watching for the little dots that indicate someone typing for a prolonged period of time she receives a 3 word response.
“Yeah, what’s up?”
“Well, if you’re not going to sit with me, the least you can do is talk to me”
“Ouch” exclaims Ann as someone who didn’t realize that they were supposed to remove their backpack before walking up the aisle and who has suddenly forgotten that they have increased their body size, as they turn and slam their backpack into the side of Ann’s head. Because of the extra seats shoved into such a small area, the decreased size of the aisles makes walking without side stepping through the aisle like a hermit crab almost an impossibility. That’s the disadvantage of having an aisle seat, while you don’t get sandwiched between either another person or the wall of the plane, you have to contend with inconsiderate travelers who apparently don’t realize that the object they’re hitting with either their suitcase they’re trying to roll up an incredibly narrow aisle when they should have picked it up to make the crab walk up the aisle easier, or the incredibly large travel bag that is hanging off their shoulders and swaying with the movement of their body gives a little when they hit it.
“Wow I can’t believe how inconsiderate most people are, I just got hit in the head with someone’s rather large backpack” Ann types in as she rubs what is surely to be a goose-egg sized bump on the back of her head caused by the bricks the other passenger had apparently packed in their laptop bag today.
“I’m so sorry, are you ok?”
“I’d be better if I had a nice cold frothy beverage like you” as Ann hits send, she notices a woman trying to wrangle a small child up the aisle while toting a bag that looks bigger than the toddler herself.
“I believe these are our seats Channing” Ann hears the woman proclaim as she nears her row, and she just hopes that it isn’t
“Yeah honey” as her mother puts her roller bag in the overhead Ann barely is able to dodge the swinging bag that appears to weigh more than the toddler who has decided not to wait for her to get up and scrambles over Ann’s lap to get to the two seats beside her. “Channing, no” the unnamed lady proclaims to her toddler “I’m so sorry”
“That’s ok” seriously what was Ann going to say, please keep your small human off me? As she rises from her seat to give the little girl’s mom access to the remaining seat. After allowing them to sit down Ann rummages in her purse for her headphones, at least she can pretend she can’t hear the toddler now sandwiched between her and her uncontrolling mother who apparently has every toy from the toddlers toy box in that massively large bag because now the majority of those objects have magically appeared in the toddler’s lap. Seriously, how did that happen one second no toys, next second every toy….children are magicians producing toys in record time.
“There’s no more room in the overheads” an announcement comes from the airplane PA system “all bags will need to be checked at the front of the plane” Which doesn’t help half a plane full of people with their rolly bags still headed up the aisles of the plane.
“What do they expect, they charge extra for luggage making every single person on the plane feel the need to try to get all their week’s necessities in to the overhead” Ann types to Beth and hits send, just as she sees a very rude flight attendant with a bag hefted above her head and a passenger in tow trying to navigate up the already small aisle while people try to lean over other seated passengers to get out of their way
“Excuse me, I’m trying to get back to the front of the plane please” exclaims the very rude flight attendant as she almost hits numerous people in the head with the luggage she’s got hoisted above her head.
“Did you see that flight attendant come barreling through” Ann types to Beth
“Yeah, you should have seen her with the passenger, she just rolled her eyes at him when he asked if he could get something out of the bag” Beth updated Ann with the latest and greatest on the rude flight attendant.
You see about 5 people turn around and follow the flight attendant and the bag hoisted in the air to return their bags to the front of the plane, because it’s somehow now their fault that the plane’s overheads are full before they’ve had an opportunity to sit down. Now, it’s their turn to try to paddle upstream through the throngs of people shoved into the 17 inch wide aisles. So, not like it was bad enough with people, suitcases, shoulder bags, and backpacks you now have people and their suitcases heading in the opposite direction mowing down whatever is in their path. As she’s watching and trying to avoid getting hit with multiple people coming up and down the aisles and all of their earthly belongings that they have shoved into small airplane sized bags, Ann feels a heel slam into her unprotected and unguarded leg.
“Ouuuuch” Ann proclaims glaring at the mother of the small child who is now swinging her legs back and forth like two little grandfather clock pendulums in time with apparently whatever show she’s currently watching on her bright pink entombed tablet with toddler sized handles.
“A child just kicked me” Ann types furiously to Beth “I’m going to need a drink for this flight I think”
“It’s only 8am” Beth types back
“I don’t really care what time it is…I’m going to need a drink. I’ll have a bloody mary and pretend it’s breakfast” Ann types back furiously
As people try to make their way back up the aisles and to their seats from the front of the plane where they deposited what was supposed to be their overhead luggage, which will now be stowed under the plane free of charge. You hear a flight attendants voice come over the PA system “Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Brandon and I’m your chief flight attendant. On behalf of Captains Guevara and Horga and the entire crew, welcome aboard American Airlines flight 232, with non-stop service from George Bush International Airport to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta with continuing service to Raleigh Durham International Airport. Our flight time will be 3 hours and 15 minutes. We will be flying at an altitude of 10,000 feet at a ground speed of 540 miles per hour. At this time, make sure your seat backs and tray tables are in their full upright position and that your seat belt is correctly fastened. Also, your portable electronic devices must be set to ‘airplane’ mode until an announcement is made upon arrival. Thank you.”
After this announcement Ann sees the flight attendant unfasten the very thin curtain that separates comfort from cattle pen, luxury from austerity, heaven from hell, and she catches a glimmer of a smile as the flight attendant separates herself from the mewling cattle in coach.