Last year at this time, Thor and I spent our spring break in Paris and Barcelona. A couple hours into our 20 hour trip home, I began throwing up violently. It reigns one of the top worst moments in my life, with my face repeatedly hovered over an airplane toilet seat, heaving up my European breakfast, and then later twisting and turning in my tiny airplane seat as my kidneys shriveled up. When Thor asked the flight attendant if she had any medicine, she rolled her eyes and handed him a ginger ale…which I proceeded to throw back up.
I swore to never again fly economy international.
This year, we cashed in thousands of miles for FIRST CLASS tickets to London and Prague. “Now you can casually stroll to the first class bathrooms when you need to puke,” Thor said. Ha.
Before I go further, I want to travel back a good ten years. Good old 2007. The Apple iPhone was gaining traction, and friends around me were beginning to declare the “life-changing” effect it had upon them. But I waited and waited and waited (years, even) before getting my first iPhone. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe them – no. It was that I was so convinced it would forever change me that I wanted to hold out as long as possible – savoring the last bits of an analog life. I was not yet ready to turn away from the cave wall. Once I beheld my first iPhone, it was over, and I could never go back.
I tell this story because I knew this would happen with flying international first class. Dudes, I can never go back. Plato has spoken, and I have turned away from the cave wall and found fire.
First Class Fact #1: I already have TSA Precheck so skipping to the front of the security line is no surprise for me, but skipping to the front of the Delta check-in line on the first day of spring break was an added bonus. This skipping in front of the plebeians became a theme for the entire first class experience.
First Class Fact #2: After a simple 8 minute check-in and walk through security, we were invited to the Delta Sky Club Lounge. We nibbled on on the breakfast bar while lounging amongst other high end travelers. This included a very clean, very VIP bathroom.
First Class Fact #3: After skipping past the commoners at the gate, we began settling in the first class cabin. The flight attendant introduced herself as our purser and offered mimosas, champagne, or any other cocktail we might prefer before departing while also browsing the menu for our desired main course later on.
First Class Fact #4: I spent time orienting myself to the vast amenities and personal space. My seat reclined in every possible direction while I was given a full-sized pillow, comforter, and TUMI travel case stuffed with things like slippers, Kiehl’s lip gloss, and an eye mask. Just around the corner was the first class bathroom, where there was never a line.
First Class Fact #5: After departing, were immediately served with another drink and a warm snack, which was followed by our first course. Already full, I was then given my main course (I chose the grilled salmon served on a cedar plank with seasonal asparagus).
First Class Fact #6: Feeling so full and so comfortable, I had no wants or needs. But wait! The purser rolled over a dessert cart, complete with an ice cream sundae bar. I chose the cheese plate.
First Class Fact #7: Now fully satiated, the cabin lights were dimmed and I fully reclined my seat, situated in its own little pod so I couldn’t even see other passengers.
First Class Fact #8: Hours later I awoke and was immediately offered a snack, and then a choice of breakfast, with hot pastries and coffee or tea service.
First Class Fact #9: As if all of our needs weren’t already met, we were given a Fast Pass for use at customs once we landed. We breezed past all the passengers and long customs lines, and quickly picked up our baggage.
Having landed at 7am London time, we were able to generally wander around the city with energy, rather than the usual fogginess of jet lag.
Naturally, I caught some sort of European bronchitis and was miserably sick for our trip home. Unlike the hellish flight back from Barcelona, I was able to stay hydrated, relax my aching body, and watch an entire season of Game of Thrones in relative comfort.
Now that I’ve sold you on this experience, you’re probably asking, “How much does an international first class ticket run?” (Keeping in mind, we used miles and kicked in a few hundred dollars).
OUCH. That much?! Save your miles, people, it was worth it.