I consider myself a low-maintence guy... This is not to say I don't appreciate the finer (read: more expensive) aspects of life, but I generally don't REQUIRE any of it to be satisfied.
Over the last 2+ years, business travel has been a fairly steady requirement for me. Nothing like my boy Brian, however. (He travels from Florida to Ohio every week - living away from his wife and baby girl Monday through Thursday). Anyway, the business travel has enabled me to accumulate some frequent flier perks every now and again.
Today, I type this from my plush Business class seat on my way back to NYC from SFO.
The first thing I noticed when entering "the zone" (ie. First class/business class) was that about 90% of the people "up here" are men. On top of that, I think almost all of these guys are wall-street types. I've already seen 2 Salomon Smith Barney bags and UBS briefcases...From the sounds of over-hearing conversations ... most of them either live in Conneticut or in the burbs of Northern California...
And then there is me...the young kid with his Google bag trying to fit in - so I break out my blackberry and act like I have important business to attend to... (I'm really playing video poker)...The truth is that once most people I sit next to in airplanes see my Google bag - that's it. Curiousity kicks in and the questions start...Sometimes what I really think they want to ask is..."are you worth a million or a BILLION dollars?" I then have to disappoint them by telling them I'm nowhere near close to either of those, BUT ..."I love what I do..."
Truth is, I can't even say that I think the "Google attention" is annoying. One would think that I get sick of answering (or avoiding) the same questions - but I don't... Perhaps more on this in another entry...
Anyhow, back to the perks of business class. You start by having the flight attendents take you jackets to be hung up (they will later bring it to me when the plane lands). I then sit in my cushy seat which has four different options of extended comfort (Recline, Leg-rest Extend, Leg-rest, and Footpad extend). About 5 minutes after take-off, I am served a nice cup of hot, salted nuts and choice of beverage (Jack and Ginger please). 5 Minutes later - round 2. 15 minutes later - round 3...(This is nice) Now it's time to grub...To start, some lettuce with a nice vinegrette dressing, alongside tomato and Mozzerella and a piece of multi-grain bread. Offer for round 4, but I opt for some water instead. Main course arrives (I chose the chicken over the beef and pasta). It's ok. Jack and Ginger part 4 arrives as well. Desert is a choice between a vanilla ice-cream sundae (with choice of hot fudge, caremel, strawberries, whip-cream and nuts) or a apple-carmel cheesecake. I chose ice-cream with strawberries.
Might I add that the "clean-up" process is almost instantanous upon completion. Quite a difference from coach - where I typically am forced to stare at the remnants of my $3 Snack box for 30 minutes.
Throughout the flight, if there is something I want (round 5 perhaps??) it's well within my reach. There are 2 flight attendents who seemingly only service this cabin.
Speaking of well within my reach ... I should be snooring outloud listening to the bankers next to me talk about the "upside or working for a large firm..."
Anyhow - before I make you snoor outloud - I'll get to my point...Although traveling in First/Business Class is certainly more than twice as good as traveling in Coach, I don't know if anyone on the plane today would pay double as much if it were on their own dime. I, luckily, was rewarded by the airline for my frequent travel. Most of the men sitting in first class now are rewarded by their companies for traveling cross-country. This being said, however you are able to swing it, I certainly recommend it.
Ah... Round 5 has arrived. Good Night.