Flying First Class

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I’m a big fan of flying, mainly because I don’t like to drive. I’m one of those people everybody hates because I can sleep through pretty much anything. You name it—bright lights, babies crying, the annoying flight attendant making her microphone debut. I’m usually asleep before the plane even starts moving.

But there’s one thing that has always bugged me about flying: first-class passengers. You know, those irritating people who are already sipping their third cocktail as you wait for the guy with the oversized luggage to figure out it won’t fit the overhead bin. I get really bitter just thinking about it. Who do these “first-class” think they are? And how dare they sit in that section without looking the part? T-shirts and sweatpants? Please. At least let me think these elite tickets are way out of my league.

As it turns out … that’s not necessarily the case. Through our bitter discontent, my husband and I have found a way to manipulate the system. We fly AirTran, whose reward system is based on points, not miles. We get a certain number of points based on our flights and the money we charge to our AirTran credit card. In the past, the amount of points needed to upgrade to first class has been ridiculous, totally not worth it. However, if you call and upgrade exactly twenty-four hours before your flight, the amount of points is cut in half. Eureka!

And that’s exactly what we did. Ryan called exactly twenty-four hours before our flight and we scored the last two seats in the first-class section. It was totally worth it. I purposely wore a t-shirt and sweatpants.

I was on my second glass of wine when Ryan pointed at a woman boarding the plane, “Look, there’s Jackée!” For those of you unfamiliar, Jackée Harry is an actress who’s best known for her role as the flirtatious neighbor on 227, a television sitcom in the mid 80s. Ryan and I grew up watching this series, probably because we’re from Ohio and it was more interesting than cow-tipping. Actually, that role earned Jackée an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Most recently, she was cast in VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club 2, which gives you an idea of where her career is now headed.

So, we watched with baited breath as our beloved comedic icon boarded the plane, fully expecting her to sit in the seat just across the aisle from us. After all, it was the only first-class seat still available. As she brushed past, destined for her seat in coach, my husband and I looked at each other in complete amazement.

“Wow, we’ve finally made it!”


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