Sunday, October 24, 2010

Not First Class...


As I was saying yesterday, with a bit of a boast... We had these first class tickets for our flight the New York. The seat reservations were confirmed electronically only hours before the flight. Then we arrive at the check-in counter at the appointed time and find that, mysteriously, we have been downgraded to business!

The indignity! You can imagine how we felt. The agent at the check-in counter said she could do nothing, that I would need to talk to the agent in the Red Carpet Lounge. The agent in the Red Carpet Lounge said she could do nothing, I would need to talk to the agent at the gate. The agent at the gate said she could do nothing--she was too busy!--I would need to talk to the agent at the United Airlines customer service desk. The agent at the United Airlines customer desk... well, there was only one of them, and there was a line of half a dozen people ahead of me, each with their own problem. I gave up, until...

We arrived on board and I communicated our displeasure at the seat change--there's a principle at stake here, friends!--to the on-board cabin chief, who went out to talk to the agent at the gate. He came back with polite explanations, none of them accounting for the fact the we had reservations for seats 2C and 2D on our tickets, and were now given different and far less classy seats. I know, I sound like a pathetic bore. Complaining to be sitting in the best seats in Business? Kind of small. Still, the airline had clearly screwed up, and why not hold them accountable?

From then on, of course, we were given the best possible attention in our new seats. The attendants were particularly... well, attentive. Seated in the front row of business, by the door, we had leg room for giants and suffered only from the absence of those pockets in back of the seat ahead of you, where you can usefully stow your magazines, books, etc. Everything was a bit on top of us. Oh, and they have new entertainment features, little hand-held boxes with screens where you can choose your own music, move, game, or television show. You have to squint a bit at the little screen, and you tend to get tied up in connection wires for power, headphones, etc. But okay. I watched "Dinner for Idiots" (something like that) which was one of those exasperating movies where everything keeps going wrong for the hero--until he learns his inevitable life-lesson. An occasional chuckle. Not heartily recommended.

Anyhow, lest I seem carping and ungracious, here we are, installed in a wonderful 31st floor apartment overlooking Central Park...


... enjoying the fact that we're back in New York after quite a few years' absence. Last night, arriving late, we took a midnight walk from 56th Street and Broadway down to 53rd, across to Fifth Avenue and back up to Central Park, ending up back at Columbus Circle. A late night snack, a good night's sleep, and we woke this morning to a gorgeous autumn day. Looking forward to getting out and about.


3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Peter, This post does seem a little overly focused on the comforts of travel, and a little unaware of how the rest of us live.

PeterAtLarge said...

It was supposed to be a little tongue-in-cheek, self-deprecating!

Anonymous said...

Very tongue-in-cheek! Very self-deprecating! I smiled all afternoon at work thinking of the indignity of it all! Have a great visit to the Big Apple!