Flying First Class


There are no better words than: dear passenger, you have been upgraded. I paid for economy. But the seventy thousand miles a year and airline loyalty both stood up for me.

Let me tell you: that blue curtain that separates those two worlds makes a huge of difference.

Forget the: “Dear Mr. M, thank you for flying with us. For today’s flight we have Belgian Chocolate Ice Cream (meaning Hägen Daas). Would you want some?” I don’t care about that! Let all the passengers have ice cream! And cookies! And wine!

I don’t care  about the “gourmet” meals packed tightly into a ceramic dish, looking like a playhouse kit more than anything else. I don’t care about the movies and music.

I especially don’t care for the passengers flying next to me: succesful businessmen flying to tropical paradises to “flaunt” about in front of beautiful local women; Latina hips or Asian punani. Or young entrepeneurs so rich, first class seems like coach to them. Just because Daddy invented facetwitter and they inherited a four hundred gazillion dollar fortune. They’ll still blow it all by their 31st birthday. Screw them!

All I care about is leg-room. I’m 6’4″, I’m built as a wicker-man, with long legs and arms, and I find coach class to be cruel and unusual punishment so, when I get upgraded in a 13-hour-long flight, going back home from seeing open-heart surgeries in a rural hospital in the outskirts of Gwan Zho, I’m taking it.

I sit comfortably, I have room in front of me. My knees won’t fall victim to a twelve-year-old who just discovered reclining. I even moan when I get to stretch my legs. The pleasure!

And then, it hits me. I’ve had too much cheap wine, too much water and that darn air-conditioning is pressing my bladder up to the point in which I’m nervously mumbling when I reach the bathroom. I push the door and lock it.

It is strictly forbidden to smoke in the lavatories. Punishable by law.

And I’m always baffled. THIS is the first class nobody shows you. I brace myself by pushing my shoulders to the side and planting myself flat, I unzip my pants and praise the heavens around me that the aircraft doesn’t hit a speed bump at 30 000 ft. My head must lean back, there’s no room, so aiming happens blind. Oh dear.

So. Why is it that First Class is so cute and posh and nice but the lavatory is as cramped as a mine service elevator? I can’t even stand straight. Check your heads, United.

And, if you don’t believe me, just check this out:

A cramped john

Hoping for no turbulence

(Yes, yes, hispter self-portrait, I know)

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