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The Frivolities of First Class

6/24/15

Vacation Day 1: Over our first anniversary, we headed out to Dallas, Texas. The trip started out like any other. We drove to the airport, parked the car, and climbed aboard the tiniest plane.

While I know that plane size is deduced according to demand, it seems ironic to me that it is not also chosen by distance. The planes that fly from Detroit to Atlanta tend to be large and comfortable with outlets for your electronics and sometimes trackers to show you the plane route, but this plane–the one that was taking us from Detroit to Dallas had no fancy gadgets and was tiny.

So it was that we climbed aboard our tiny plane. Nelson and I promptly stowed our luggage and sat in our seats with a sigh. Although the plane was tiny, the leg room was plentiful! We celebrated our luck with laughter and casual chit-chat.

Then, it happened…several minutes later, Nelson stared at me with a surprised expression. I looked back at him puzzled. What could be interrupting his thoughts and the start to our wonderful vacation?

With a grimace, he commented, “I think we’re in the wrong seats.”

I pondered the statement. Surely that couldn’t be! I scrambled for my ticket to double-check, but I knew deep down in my gut he was right. We reviewed our tickets and promptly moved forward an aisle.

As we sat down, we knocked our legs on the seats in front of us, adjusted, and attempted to stretch. However, this tiny plane that had once seemed to have excessive space now had none. It was cramped, crowded, and uncomfortable. So, when we noticed the seat behind us sat empty, hope hung on with anticipation.

The door was almost closed. We were almost guaranteed the spacious seats we wanted.

It seems like this always happens on planes. The seat next to you is empty. You’re so excited! Just your luck! Thoughts are running through your mind, this plane flight is going to be fantastic, and then, footsteps approach…the last passenger comes down the aisle…you glance around. You think, surely, there has to be another seat he’s heading for, it couldn’t be this precious diamond I’ve saved and withheld for me, but alas, it always is your precious stow away. The seat you’ve tried to hide by laying your purse and other belongings comfortably across.

The voice says, “Excuse me…”

And you always grab your things and politely move out of the way.

So, since it always happens, it really shouldn’t have been a surprise…but when it did, we were both devastated. A middle-aged man stepped onto the plane, walked down the aisle, glanced casually about, and sat in the spacious, desirable seats one aisle back.

Without missing a cue, Nelson turned to me, “I’m going to sit with him,” he stated with a smile creasing across his face.

To add insult to injury, the man began to promptly sigh the most relaxed–I live the good life–sort of sigh.

Nelson looked at me. I looked back at him, and we laughed uncontrollably. It was the most comical and yet worse plane flight I’ve ever been on.

It is a humorous thing to me that airfare continues to play on an ancient system of class warfare. Rewards members, 1st class, zone 1…and then all the rest of us, packed into the back of the can like a bunch of sardines.

What if one airline took a stand and treated everyone as 1st class? Yes, seating in the plane would have to be reduced, but this airline would be sold out. We would seek them out, because the company treated us with value.

If I ever have enough money to create my own airline, this will be the advertising campaign. So who’s with me? Would you like to donate to our cause?

Oh…yes, that’s right, I forgot we’re all zone 2 and 3, we don’t have the money for such frivolities. I apologize.

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