March 12, 2009

What Is First Class Travel Really Like?

cathay-pacific-first-class

The flight attendant escorts me to my seat in 2B. She waits as I put my things down, and offers to hang my jacket. I spread out my books, journal, and iPod over the seat next to me, because I already know the front cabin is half-full and they’ve blocked the seat next to me at my request.

Not that I need the room – the seat is huge. It reclines fully flat so that I can go to sleep after the five-course meal.

As I’m getting settled, another flight attendant comes by with a tray of orange juice, champagne, and water. If I hesitate, he’ll ask, “Would you prefer a mimosa, or maybe club soda with lime?”

It’s a nice touch. Over the next 30 minutes, the other passengers board the plane, but I never see them – the skybridge comes to the front middle of the plane. When I come onboard, I turn to the left to find my seat, while they turn to the right. (This works out best for everyone involved. I don’t have to feel guilty about sitting in the front, and they don’t have to see what they’re missing.)

Right before we take off, or sometimes right after, I’ll get a Bose headset, a hot towel, an amenity kit with toiletries, and a menu for the 9-hour flight. The menu has four choices of the main course for dinner. As a vegetarian, I usually have only one choice, but everyone else can choose between steak, chicken, some kind of seafood, and some kind of pasta.

The main course is preceded by an appetizer and a salad, and then followed by cheese and dessert. The wine menu has at least two reds, two whites, one sparkling, and one port wine. After dinner we have coffee or tea and a selection of Godiva chocolates.

For the next four hours, there is no meal service, but I can help myself to a snack tray and minibar in the galley. One or two hours before landing, breakfast is served – another big meal that includes fruit, yoghurt, cereal or muesli, a selection of breads, and some kind of main course, typically an omelet.

Still Reading? You might be wondering if that’s really how it works… well, the answer is “Yes and No.”

I wrote the story above, but it also could be written by an airline’s marketing department trying to push its customers towards the premium cabin, the cost of which is usually several times the cost of Economy seats. Naturally, the airline wants to put on a good face, so that’s the kind of description of a perfect experience you’ll usually read about.

The best answer to whether First Class travel lives up to the hype or not is to say that sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. In 2,500 words, here’s the real story.

How Am I Able to Fly First or Business Class?

With the exception of Round-the-World fares, I don’t buy First or Business Class tickets. All of my premium cabin travel comes from a) Round-the-World tickets, where premium fares can be much lower than ordinary tickets, b) Awards tickets, thanks to all of my Frequent Flyer Miles, or c) being upgraded due to my elite status on several different airlines. In other words, I spend my fair share of time in the back of the plane — but when I can make it work, I definitely appreciate my time in the front.

Domestic First Class in North America

In contrast to international flights, where very little upgrading takes place, at least 50% of premium travelers in the U.S. are usually sitting in the front due to being upgraded. Most of my domestic flights are now upgraded to First Class, for which I’m certainly grateful – but at the same time, there’s not that much to get excited about. In the U.S. and Canada (and somewhat in Europe now, too), flying in the front cabin is all about avoiding the pain of Economy class.

Even on transcontinental flight, you can no longer order a special meal, leaving vegetarians like me to fend for ourselves when the only option is chicken. Instead of good meals, the main highlights are a bit more legroom and unlimited drinks. Since I’m not a big drinker, having one or two glasses of wine is nice, but mostly I appreciate the additional space.

On a short flight, I’ll sometimes trade my boarding pass for someone else who looks like they need a break. It’s a win-win since I fly often enough and don’t always care where I’m sitting, whereas someone who doesn’t know what real First Class should be like will always be happy. If you can make someone else happy without causing any real harm to yourself, that’s great.

In short, domestic First Class isn’t much to get excited about. Things get a lot more exciting (sometimes) when you head overseas on long-haul flights.

Business Is the New First Class

Over the past 10 years, airlines have been consolidating their premium cabins to the point where many of them have switched to a Business and Economy-only model. Several Asian airlines, and a few U.S. and European airlines, have not followed this trend – but on the whole, Business Class cabins are now considered the main premium cabin on most flights.

This actually works in the favor of most travelers, since it often means that Business Class is now better than First Class was a decade ago. Lie-flat seats, for example, are the norm rather than the exception in the Business cabin on most long-haul flights now.

I’ve been fortunate to have flown First or Business Class on at least two-thirds of the major airlines – among the best are Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic, but I’ve also been on most of the U.S. and European airlines. Let’s break down the experience into a few different categories: lounge, seat, meals, and service.

First or Business Class Service

LOUNGE – For me, one of the most important aspects of premium travel has to do with being able to hang out in the airline lounge prior to flying. When I know I’ll have access to a good lounge, I frequently arrive at airports four hours or more before a flight so I can work and relax.

Airline lounges range from meager to luxurious. Check out this article from the early AONC archives for my experience at the Virgin Atlantic Heathrow Lounge one of the best in the world about three years ago. Some of the best lounges, like this one, have full meal service, a champagne bar, and even some basic spa treatments. (I was especially proud of getting my hair cut in the same chair where Richard Branson sits during his frequent trips through this lounge.)

These kinds of lounges, unfortunately, are the exceptions. Most lounges fall into the category of functional, nice places that improve the environment of the rest of the airport without offering meal service or haircuts. Wifi is usually available (and free), some basic snacks are laid out along with free newspapers, and a lounge attendant can help with changing seat assignments. These are the most common kind of lounges.

At the low-end are basic lounges, most commonly found throughout the U.S. These lounges are good for a cup of bad coffee, but not much else. Drinks other than water or coffee are usually for sale, and any available wifi will also be a paid service. Hopefully there is a business section with desks I can use to work for a while, but I try to avoid spending more than an hour or two in these lounges.

SEAT – The best airlines all have variations of seats that recline completely flat. I don’t often sleep on planes, but if I’m going to sleep, this is my best bet. Some seats recline at an angle, so it’s not a true lie-flat experience, but it’s still usually enough to create a comfortable sleeping position for a few hours.

Even better, some airlines – led by Virgin Atlantic – have created seats that are essentially your own “sky suite” where you have a partially private section of the cabin to yourself. Take a look at the Virgin-style seat, which is now used by Air New Zealand and Cathay Pacific as well.

virgin-atlantic-upper-class

The seat comes with a duvet and much nicer pillow than you get in Economy class, and when you’re ready to sleep, a flight attendant will make up your bed for you. If you don’t want to sleep, you’ve got Bose headphones to use with an extensive audio-video system that usually includes at least a few dozen movies to choose from.

MEALS – the food in the First or Business cabin on an international flight is supposed to be a major highlight. Like every other aspect of premium travel, sometimes the expectation is met and other times it’s not.

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Here is a sample menu from a New York-Hong Kong Cathay Pacific flight:

Starters
Applewood smoked duck and rock melon
Mesclun salad with raspberry vinaigrette

Main Courses (choose one)
Stir-fried prawns and conch steamed rice and mixed vegetables
Grilled beef tenderloin, rosemany roast kipfler potatoes and mixed vegetables
Braised chicken and chestnut egg fried rice, pak choy and black mushroom
Truffle porcini muschroom ravioli with Parmesan cream sauce

Cheese and Desert
Camboaola, Chaumes, Manchego
Fresh seasonal fruit
Morello chocolate mousse cake with raspberry coulis

Snacks (available throughout the flight)
Wontons with kailan in noodle soup
Joe Shanghai crab dumplings served with dark vinegar and ginger
Chicken tikke with mint yoghurt sauce
Ice Cream

The menus aren’t always this elaborate, and since I am vegetarian, my choices are much more limited. However, even with the limitation I’ve still been able to enjoy some really great meals over the years. Singapore Airlines serves an excellent stir-fry, and ANA (Japan) made some of the best Indian food I’ve ever had when I was en route to Mumbai last year.

Wine and premium liquor are also a heavily-promoted aspect of any international First or Business Class experience, which again isn’t that big of a deal for me since I don’t drink that much. I’ll usually have a cocktail or glass of champagne at the start of the flight, and then one or two drinks with the meal an hour later.

I have often sat next to businessmen (always men in this case) who start drinking from the time we board the plane and don’t stop until they’ve had eight or more drinks a few hours later. I’m always amazed when I see this – if I were to do that, my body would definitely not respond well. On the other hand, I sometimes sit next to people who don’t eat anything and drink only water for a 10-hour flight, which also seems odd to me.

Lastly, I’ve noticed that while almost every airline has a wine list that is part of the menu you are presented with at the start of the flight, it’s not uncommon to find that the actual selection of wines is much more limited. I’m not that picky about wine myself, but my impression is that more thought goes into the marketing (i.e., designing a fancy menu) than in making sure each wine is consistently available.

SERVICE – this is the huge variable of flying in premium cabins: sometimes the service will be fantastic, other times it will be surprisingly mediocre.

On a good flight, the service schedule usually breaks down like this, beginning from when you board the plane:

  • Welcome from a Flight Attendant
  • Offer to Hang My Jacket
  • Welcome Drink (juice, water, or champagne)
  • Welcome from the Purser (thank you for flying with us, sir)
  • Distribution of Headsets, Amenity Kits (sometimes), and Menus
  • Takeoff
  • Distribution of Hot Towels (on a good airline, this is repeated a few times during the flight)
  • Flight Attendant returns to ask what I’d like to eat
  • Offer of Drinks and Nut Bowl
  • Meal Service (appetizer, main course, cheese or dessert)
  • Coffee or Dessert Wine
  • On long-haul flights, a second meal (usually breakfast) will be served between one and two hours prior to arrival

Naturally, there are some variations, and on good airlines, some of these steps are repeated in the Economy cabin. For example, most Asian airlines will give out hot towels to all passengers, Air France provides welcome drinks to everyone, and so on – but you get the idea.

Throughout the rest of the flight, flight attendants are usually available to replenish drinks or answer questions.

When the System Breaks Down

On a bad flight, the whole system breaks down. Yes, the basic meal will be served, but otherwise, don’t count on anything else. Just before landing they’ll return your jacket, if they remembered to take it earlier in the flight. You might get a customer satisfaction survey to fill out – although interestingly, on flights where the service is especially poor, I’ve never been given a survey. Hmmmm.

While some airlines have better service reputations than others, you never really know what you’re going to get until you take any particular flight. Since I’m usually traveling on a relatively cheap ticket (or many times for free, thanks to my miles), poor service doesn’t always bother me too much. I try to keep it in perspective: maybe the crew is having a bad day; I could always be in the back of the plane, etc.

However, I do wonder how I would feel if I were one of the people spending $5,000+ for the flight, only to have the cabin crew disappear behind the curtain for hours at a time. When I flew to South Africa on Swiss Airlines a couple of years ago, I encountered an unusually rude flight attendant who ignored my request for more coffee before saying, “We’ll serve more coffee in the morning.”

I felt ashamed for asking, and then I realized – hey, wait a minute, the average fare for this cabin is $4,400 each way. True, I’m not paying that much, but the flight crew doesn’t know that… so shouldn’t I be able to have coffee whenever I want? Here’s the lesson: don’t pay an incredible amount of money for your flight, and you won’t get frustrated when something goes wrong.

Meeting People

As a result of sitting in the front (or middle) of the plane, I’ve been able to meet a few interesting people. Among others, I’ve met the Executive Producer for CNN’s Middle East coverage, various CEOs, an Ambassador to New Zealand, a professional cellist, and the whole entourage for the rock band Hanson.

Of course, most meetings are not that interesting. On domestic flights, many premium cabin travelers are just people who travel for work a lot and are therefore upgraded like me. I’m not really a flight conversationalist, so I usually keep to myself and spend the time reading or journaling.

Wrap-Up

I realize I’m fortunate to be able to travel around the world, and even more fortunate to fly First or Business Class on many of the flights. At the same time, I know that these things don’t just happen on their own. I spend a great deal of time planning my trips and looking for creative ways to allow me to live the way I want.

As mentioned, I’ve never paid for a full-fare premium ticket, but acting on the principle that there is usually more than one way to accomplish something, I’ve appreciated being able to sit in the front of the plane dozens of times.

The experience is not always as the airline would describe it, but of course it’s almost always better than being in the back — or of course, not traveling at all.

How about you — have you flown First or Business Class? What was your experience like?

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Cathay Pacific First Class Cabin Image by Richard

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19 Responses to “What Is First Class Travel Really Like?”

  1. I think you’ve pretty much covered it! I too have been able to fly First/Business a lot, thanks in large part to miles on American (now mine and as a child my parents’). They have the same basic amenities that you mentioned. I really agreed with your last point about expecting a certain level of service. It may sound spoiled to complain about something that in Economy would be a luxury, but when I’m in Business I expect the service to reflect that, even if I’m not paying full price for my ticket.

    It’s funny that you called out Swiss Airlines – I flew with them a couple months ago and had good service but was unimpressed with the route, food and plane itself on a flight where I DID pay full price. The link to my experience is above, if anyone’s interested to read it before choosing to fly Swiss.

  2. This is a wonderful story, and some really great information, too. However, I’d like to comment on just this one little quote:

    “If you can make someone else happy without causing any real harm to yourself, that’s great.”

    Bravo! If everyone thought like this, the whole world would be a better place. Thank you for being one of the good guys!

  3. This makes me more motivated to try your frequent flier miles challenge and use some of the miles for upgrades.

    My only first class ticket was on a 5-hour TGV ride in France, which I bought because it cost only 5 euros more. It was WELL worth it!

  4. Have you flown Emirates business/1st class, Chris?

    It’s excellent – especially on flights out of Dubai (and their new Emirates terminal). The service is efficient, polite & discreet and they always seem to materialise right when you need them.

    They also have some very, very good business class full fares on specific routes that route through Dubai (e.g. SA > DBX > Asia) that work out to around £300 ($400) per sector. You have to do a bit of configuring of the timetable though to make sure you get the newer aircraft (and therefore the flat beds etc.)…and if you can get a sector on the A380, even better!

  5. Funny, as someone 3 years into an open ended world tour with my family, living large on very little ( 25K a year), I have a whole other take on this.

    Perhaps, I am influenced by my years as a flight attendant for TWA when I was in my 20′s where I flew first class all over the world for my vacations, but also as a job.

    I did enjoy jumping on a plane for free and flying first class to London from my home in NYC to shop for the weekend with girlfriends and such. Lots of good perks to the job! I did a ton of free travel!

    In those days first class service was quite special, but I can’t say I was any more impressed with it than the 5star restaurants I was frequenting at the time in NYC and Europe. Funny, how quickly one takes these things for granted, even a small town girl like me. Thrilling the first time & then ….like the song “is that all there is”.

    I am glad that I experienced them, but I can’t say any of it had significant value in my life. I did meet some wonderful people, but I have that kind of life that I seem to meet wonderful people where ever and however I go.

    The truth is, I hate airplanes and airports.I hate how bad planes are for our planet and prefer overland, slow travel, deep immersion & sustainable travel. Dirty airplane air on long flights gets to you in first class or coach. The ups, downs, turbulence takes a toll on all bodies.

    It is more comfortable in first class, but it still is a miserable long flight, boxed in with strangers, with others calling the shots-something to be endured and made the most out of.

    We have traveled to 4 continents, 29 countries & over 75,000 miles ( mostly overland & some at sea) with only 1 long flight in 2 1/2 years! This is much more preferable to us! Skip the flight entirely when ever possible!

    That said, we just took a ton of flights because we had to go meet all the disadvantaged school kids that come with us virtually. We flew all coach flights ( our nonprofit paid for international flights) and I must admit it was quite pleasant for all of us. ( Delta there & Air France back).

    I admire all the work you do to take your free flights, but it would not be worth it for us. I like easier and ( for me) more gratifying ways to save money on travel.

    I am in my 50′s now and have done a ton of travel in my life. I once took 6 months to go from Boston, to Key West, to San Diego, up to San Francisco. I find slow travel, usually overland brings me my finest travel memories & opportunities to meet fabulous people.

    The flights all seem to run together in my memory banks, first class or coach. Just something to be endured. I still enjoy the thrill of take off and landing, but I would be perfectly happy not to see another plane or airport in my life. ;)

    We actually find the privacy, food and comfort on a new freighter ship cabin and/or over-night train cabin, a MUCH more luxurious & elegant way to go.

  6. Flying business class on intercontinental flights is well worth it (especially as I’m 6′ 3″). I’ve flown it on British Airways and Singapore Airlines some while ago now. Otherwise a front row seat on a decent airline is not bad. Been in Qantas lounges here in Australia. Sound like the high end ones you mentioned. I think it is a $A200 annual fee. My wife belongs through her work. Nice comfy chairs, free food and drink wifi and newspapers. In all major airports in Australia. They can be packed full of people at peak times…

  7. Hey guys – great stories, everyone.

    @SoulTravelers,

    Thanks for sharing a different perspective!

    @Lea,

    Nope, oddly enough I have not yet flown with Emirates. The reason is mostly because I can’t use them with any (major) Round-the-World ticket. I can, however, get an Awards trip on Emirates from a couple of different mileage accounts, so I’ll definitely hope to do that at some point.

    @Emily,

    Sounds like you and I should stay away from Swiss Air. :) Although I have to say, on the short intra-Europe flights I’ve had with them, the service has been much better.

  8. I did get transferred into business class once, because there were no seats in economy. This was Aeroflot (Russian airline), though, so it was just basically economy class with more interesting people.

  9. What’s your take on premium economy, Chris?

    When we flew from Dubai to the UK the last time, got a great deal on Virgin which cost £20 more than normal economy seats – and I only checked on a (hopeful) whim.

    When we got on to the plane, I actually thought we were in some sort of new business class to begin with – so much nicer were the seats! Lots more room, foot rests – better service, better food options. Well worth the extra £20 per ticket.

    So, lesson learned for me is that it’s always worth checking to see what the extra is for premium economy – might be a lot lower than you expect!

  10. I fly a lot for work and since the company pays for the tickets, I get free miles. So I use these to upgrade myself and my wife to Business on the longer-haul routes. And I’ve used them for award travel to Alaska for my dad and myself (from ATL). Flying across the US isn’t worth the cost of the upgrade. But the extra room, drinks and upgrade in food is definitely worth it when I head to Asia. I’ve gotten a free upgrade from Korean Air (and got to sit in the upper deck of the plane) which was a great ride. Oh, and sometimes, I’ll fly Copa business class between the US and Brazil. The business fare is the same as economy on Delta or American. Plus you get a stopover in Panama which is a great place.

  11. Some years ago I bought a BKK-TPE-SEA and back ticket. I was living in Taipei at the time, and needed to show up for a friends wedding in Seattle in early July.

    I *thought* I had made my requirements clear to the travel agent who sold me the ticket in Bangkok. But, when I got to the airport in Taipei to check in for the TPE-SEA portion of the flight, I was informed I needed to pay an extra US$200.

    Why?
    Because as of July 1st, it was the high season, there was a surcharge on the seat. It just happened to be July the first. Nobody, not the travel agent, not the person I called a few days earlier to confirm my flight mentioned that a few extra US dollars were be charmed from pocket if I wanted on the plane that I *already* had booked and paid for.

    One of the rules in Asia is that if you lose your temper, then the game is over. In the west we often cop the “I’m the customer and you WILL, blah blah blah….
    Do that in Asia and you sitting in the corner with your head spinning and a bad feeling in your stomach.

    I worked my Chinese polite as best I could. Pleaded. Begged. Reasoned; all to no avail. No two hundred bucks, no making it to Seattle in time for the wedding.

    I finally asked “Why?” “Hey, yesterday I could have been on this plane without a surcharge, why is today that different?” The answer: “today we are booked full. But….”

    But, they were willing to fly me to SEA via LAX, without a surcharge. I thanked the manager politely.

    When I got the ticket counter to get the new boarding pass I discovered that I was upgraded to business class. It is a damn fine way to travel. Comfortable seats, good food, and usually a seat mate that has an interesting story as well.

    Lesson learned: help those who are trying to solve your problem, to solve the problem. They can sometimes show their gratitude in ways that will in turn make you feel grateful!

  12. I’ve never sat in first class, but just last night, I flew Economy from San Francisco to Raleigh. It was the most horrible flight ever. I was seated right by a lavatory, and all night (it was an overnight flight) I couldn’t sleep because of the constant toilet flushing and the flashing vacant/occupied sign.

    All I could think was “How the hell does Chris get into 1st class, and how can I get there?” Good post.

    Now I’m that much more jealous. :-)

  13. “One of the rules in Asia is that if you lose your temper, then the game is over. ”

    Whereas in Southwest Asia (Middle East) you sometimes need to pretend to be angry to get any attention at all.

  14. I flew Delta BusinessElite round trip from Atlanta to Madrid on a buddy pass once. The FAs were friendly and the food was good – but I think they thought I was an air marshall.

  15. Premium economy differs depending on the airline. Last time I flew home from Sydney to Chicago, Air New Zealand’s premium economy was fantastic. The food was amazing and the service was friendly. This is NOT first class, and I’d say pretty far from it… but the little extra over economy goes a long way toward making your 12 hour non-stop from Auckland to LA a tolerable experience.

    In contrast to Air New Zealand’s sterling premium economy is British Airways lackluster service in their premium economy cabin. Of course a melding of British and airline food will never make gourmands salivate, but the cramped environment and lousy service makes for a disappointing long haul from London to Sydney.

  16. I have flown business class on a few airlines and, with one single exception, the experience has been highly disappointing – especially considering the price paid (by the client for whom I flown). The worse has been LOT (the Polish Airlines). Bad service, bad food, almost no English spoken and a totally deserted cabin (by passengers and flight attendants). AA, UA, Lufthansa, Iberica were a little bit better, but not by much.

    However, I had one very notable experience – which ironically was the only time I’ve flown business class on my own dime – oh well, I did not pay for it, I used FF miles. That was when I flew Austrian Airlines to Vienna. At the end of the flight, I simply did not want to get off the plane. I wanted to stay there on the next leg. The most impressive thing about the experience has been the fact that they actually had a CHEF on board. No joking. He will take orders and prepared basically anything you wanted. I ordered Eggs Benedict for breakfast and they were out of this world. They had an entire cart of cheese and desert, with tons of choices of ice creams and sorbets. They served a very good pea soup French service (poured in your bowl at your “table”). They had huge individual TVs and more movies choices than I’ve ever seen. And the flight attendants were the most smiling and best looking attendants I ever had. Instead of a little cheap blanket, they had a nice, warm and cozy throw. I don’t know if that is true on every Austrian Airline international flight, because if it is, they will be my choice for when I travel to Europe. Very few little things leave me speechless, but it was a flawless experience from beginning to the end – especially when my day started with a compliment from everyone who passed me (I was wearing some very hot, traffic-stopping, red boots and a crispy white wool skirt). Austrian Airlines is part of Star Alliance and I have United to thank them for it.

    I agree that flying business on domestic flight is sort of a joke. I usually have enough free upgrades to put my name on the list for upgrade, but I actually think it is pointless and let those miles expire. I enjoy the company of people in Economy more. Somehow, on domestic flights, everyone seems to be busy, stressed, preoccupied and … 98% times all male. Boring! But you gave me an idea, I should cash in my free upgrades and give my seat to someone who looks like they need it.

    Happy travels,
    Alex

  17. I work for myself and have done lots of flying, but since it’s me paying, not a client, I’m always looking for the cheapest ticket, which in Europe inevitably means one of the no-frills airlines such as Easyjet, Ryanair or one of the crop of recent clones. It’s horrible really, to think that money has so much influence over your choices, but if I can fly for £30 / $50 in discomfort or spend at least 10 times as much on one of the prestige carriers, then I’ve always gone cheap – and hated it.

    That’s not the only part of air travel I dislike; lining up multiple times and being herded through pens towards security and immigration is degrading. We’re treated like a factory product on a conveyor belt. And there’s nothing you can say or do which is going to make any difference. If you make trouble, you can be sure which side is going to win. The last time I found myself and a hundred others shuffling slowly through the zig zag of barriers, I had an urge too strong to resist and started to baah loudly. I was vaguely hoping that the crowd would join in. They didn’t but I got some friendly smiles.

    Yeah, so I’m jealous of the first class experience!

  18. Wine is important to me. I think Air NZ has the best economy wine list in the world, and haven’t flown in or seen a better first class wine menu yet. Anyone?

  19. I NEVER fly Econony…why? These days, ticket brokers provide me with First Class seating, with all the comforts your described (and more!) for only around $300USD than an Economy ticket. Because I fly two trips per year from USA to ASIA, I’m a tall guy, so it’s makes no sense NOT to pay the extra cash for First Class. Also, we get to avoid long security lines, and we are allowed an extra bag for NO CHARGE and no OVER WEIGHT LIMIT charge. Finally, as the article pointed out, having a First Class ticket gets you into the First Class lounge at the airport, with showers, free food, free wifi, and just the general freedom from the screaming, younger humans onboard one’s flight (or at least I have the ability to get away from the noise into a private area). Yes, ticket brokers use LEGAL and speedy methods for taking care of my flight ALL ABOVE BOARD. This has been agreed upon by the USA Supreme Court.

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