Friday, June 25, 2010

How I became high class

World! Let it be known that I, G----- C------- A------- (privacy y'all) have accomplished a lifelong goal and dream.

I flew first class on an airplane.

That's right, walmart shopping, garage sale hunting, payless shoe wearing, Ross loving me was the 3rd person on the airplane. I enjoyed my first soda while children and adults bumbled by and tried to be patient waiting to stow their luggage.

I sat in the cushy leather seat with abundant leg room, my linebacker shoulders miles away from the yuppie Japanese guy next to me.

As I sat on the other side of the literal and socioeconomic curtain, I got to be one of those people I typically write of as indulgent shmucks who paid twice as much for the same 1 hour 40 min plane ride. Of course as I enjoyed my complimentary fancy pepperidge farm cookies (you know, the really good kind I never buy because they are like $7 for like ten cookies that I will most likely eat in one sitting) I decided I must share the secrets of my excellent fortune.

You see my dear readers, I did not compromise on my C-------(maiden name) bred frugality.

This upgrade was free.




I have cultivated a new talent in the last six months. Of the lasts 8 flights I've taken this year, I have extended my generous leg length in an emergency exit row for 6 of them. (I count a flight as every time I board a new plane. Many a trip has had a promising start with the coveted aisle seat, only for the next leg of the journey to be spent sandwiched next to an extremely obese drunken man and a stinky old lady.)

Today, I share with you my secrets to thrifty leg accommodating travel.

1)Look good when you travel

My old travel attire consisted of basketball shorts and my favorite thrift store shirt. Now I wear jewelry, makeup, and sometimes even my sexy hair. I compromise on pants and wear capri things I can wear to work AND still entertain the entire gate with my pseudo-yoga stretching, when travel duration requires it. I like to think my looks aren't getting me the special seat treatment. If it came down to upgrading a put together person or a scruffy one, most would choose the nicer dressed I think. But this may be a naive notion I created in hopes that I can still get a good seat for free when I have wrinkles and saggy boobs. But considering my humble seat requests have 100% success rate with men at the counter and only about 70% with women makes me wonder...

2) Be early

If all boarding passes have been issued, there is no hope for you. Sooooo put that 3 hour lay over to good use!

3) Ask! Ask! Ask!

Once I got an entire case of peanuts on a flight because I asked the attendant if my friend could get an extra pack because it was her birthday. Don't be afraid to ask.

Alright, you look nice, you did your online check in, you are early, what next? You head to the gate. Now you patiently wait in line to talk to the person at the gate desk. Have your current inferior boarding pass (or passes) ready, focus your mental energies on being charming, and proceed to step 4.

4) Smile big and if the situation reads right, make a joke in your request.

The airport is full of stressed out people. Don't be one of them. Radiate happiness and optimism.

Here's pretty much what I say:
"Hi! I'm actually one of the few who DON'T have a problem for you to fix! But I did want to see if you by chance just happen to have any emergency exit row seats open for my Amazon woman legs. Me and the poor person who winds up in front of me would REALLY appreciate it."

Then they ask for my boarding pass and start clicking.

5) Be very gracious either way

Remember, the more clicking on the keyboard, the better your chances. Be patient and keep smiling. If they offer you a seat for more money, politely decline and say that you will happily fill it if they don't have any takers before boarding. Remember, everyone likes to be helpful if you make it easy for them. And be kind even if they abruptly say "No. Next please." My favorite is to pronounce blessings on their head. "Thank you so much! I hope your shift ends soon, everyone you meet is pleasant, and that you find $20 on the ground!" I usually give a second thank you to them as I board. Sometimes I'll tell them I'll write nice things about them if they have a comment card to give me. If not, I extol the benefits of good karma.

6) Travel alone

One seat is easier to pull off than two together. I was blessed with two scoops adventure, three spoonfuls of wanderlust, a big helping of independence, and a sprinkle of spontaneity. This means I'm often gallivanting across the country solo for various reasons. But I will admit that a squished seat next to John in coach beats a seat by myself with 6-10 more inches.

But first class, that's another story :)

*This post is brought to you in part by saturday steals at Archives.


Jackijo said...

Maybe you need to have a second blog about traveling in luxury for cheap or something like that! I love the advice though.

ACW said...

So witty, so funny, and so COOL! I love you!

Jocelyn said...

I'm not sure they would believe a 5'5.5" woman would need extra leg room. Hmm. Perhaps if I told them Okapi needs some extra room, they might believe me.

I Heart Monster said...

And trading is always good too... not for first class obvs., but sometimes I see short people in the aisle and ask... sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I fly SW everywhere I can so that I can preboard and get the seat I want!

Awesome steal, glad you had a great time in first class.

Julianne said...

I was so jealous of your first class luxury, I thought I'd give it a try too. The blanket was a nice touch, but for me, coach is perfectly acceptable. Though if I was any taller, I'd be wishing for more room.

Merkley Jiating said...

I burned our dinner because I REALLY wanted to know how you got first class tickets. My speed reading wasn't fast enough. But it sounds like a good idea! If I ever fly without Alex then maybe I'll try it. I need to come up with a more fitting excuse though because Amazon legs won't really work for me.

Camille said...

Ugh. My goal in life.

Erin said...

This post was brilliantly written. I loved it. You did write it right? It sounds like you but then the link at the bottom confused me- especially since it didn't take me anywhere. I got a good laugh out of your comment about your "little blog friend". I wonder if John remembers me at all from NAU- we were in the same ward but we never got very well acquainted.

Joseph and Lianna Quillen said...

hahaha... reminds me of the time (i was probably 7) i flew standby first class... ice cream, cookies, enough leg room for my entire BODY... I remember thinking "one day ,if i have money, i would totally pay for this.." that day isn't yet... so I will keep your advice in mind!


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