5 Things I Hate About Domestic First Class

Oct 9, 2010

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Okay, so hate may be a strong word, but in the spirit of balanced reporting, I wanted to do a counter post to my “5 Things I Love About Domestic First Class” post. While it was much easier to come up with things I loved, these negative points do represent the things I dislike most:

1) The sense of entitlement. Many people feel that the sole act of sitting in a first class seat makes it okay to be a jerk. I’ve seen grown men jockey for position to be the very first person to board the plane (who really cares?). Beyond being jerks, some people can’t control themselves knowing that things are free in first class. I recently saw a man order two shots and a beer when the flight attendant was making a quick sweep through the cabin asking if anyone wanted a quick drink before departure. Seriously??

2) The booze. Speaking about the booze, it can be a godsend or a curse. Drinking while flying can completely wipe out any remaining energy your body has, since its a double whammy on the dehydration front. However, after a hard day, it can be very challenging to not indulge in a cocktail, especially as you relax in a big comfy seat and lick your wounds from a stressful day on the road.

3) The food. While the food can be amazing when you are running on fumes and haven’t had a chance to eat, it can also be evil. Its high in sodium and fat, yet on more than one occasion, I’ve been picking at a meal just because it was in front of me. And the snack basket chock full of Reese’s and Twix is a constant devil on your shoulder, seducing you to eat just one chocolately treat to get the taste of that bourbon cocktail out of your mouth.

4) The stigma. Most people don’t realize that a majority of people sitting in domestic first class are on the same exact fares as coach passengers. Such lack of understanding of “the game”, always elicits snarky (and jealous) comments as coach passengers walk by first class. I’ve even had a little kid point directly at me and say “Mommy, he’s in first class- I want to be rich someday!”. While I laugh it off mostly, it can be awkward when you see elderly people walking by or a senior executive at your company who thinks you somehow finagled booking first class, when they ride in coach. While most people revel in the “superior” class distinction of first class, I’m not one of them.

5) The addiction. Once you get used to first class, it is *so hard* to go back to coach! Whenever I’m stuck in coach, I want to scream out and say “No, really- I belong in first- Please, please treat me like a first class passenger!”. This addiction has even caused me to do silly things, like mileage runs. Mileage running is a self-destructive act where you fly solely for the purpose of accruing elite status (like the time I flew to Los Angeles and got back on the same plane to red-eye back to NY because I needed 4,000 miles to retain my Platinum status).

As you can see, there are many negative aspects of enjoying all that domestic first class has to offer. As such, if you ever see me on your flight and I have the misfortune of sitting in coach, feel free to offer me your first class seat. As an act of community service, I’ll take the seat and save you from these destructive pitfalls!

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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