Monday, August 25, 2008

United 843

First Class on United 843's Boeing 757.

My two week odyssey out west is ending and I'm on the way back home through Chicago. In the news, you always hear about airlines and their troubles. One thing I've noticed is that the airplanes are always full. If they're so full, how come they keep saying their losing money?

And the flight to Chicago was jam-packed. Overbooked. Crap, I should have chosed the upgrade last night while checking in online. Now I'm screwed. Destined to wedge myself in-between some jerkoff and Vince Vaughn - I don't know which is worse.

Apple juice and hot nuts.

Happily, days of sitting on my ass flying around the world is about to pay off. They've called my name over the loudspeaker and asked me to come to the counter. Of course, there's six LA Airport Police officers standing there too and I can't help but think they're here to arrest me for some past indiscretion. Luckily, they're arresting the drunken lady that wants to fly on our flight and not me (this time).

As I saunter up to the counter, I'm handed a different boarding pass. One that puts me on the other side of the curtain and into the comfortable environs of First Class. It's a domestic flight so I'm not expecting much, but am very glad to be out of the fracas in economy.

Pastrami Sandwich with bread, rice salad and ginger ale.

While waiting for boarding, I spot a book that someone has left on a table. I grab it and start reading. It's pretty interesting and since I have no other reading material, I co-opt it for myself. It's called The Judas Strain by James Rollins and it's about some sort of virus that's about to be unleashed upon the world by a shadowy organization that must be stopped by the hero.

Moments later, a young man approaches a black man in a baseball cap and holds out a book for him to sign. I never would have noticed him otherwise, but the man signs the book and after a few minutes, I realize that the man in the cap is Don Cheadle with his two children. Figured he would be in the front with me, but evidently he's crushed somewhere in the back as well. Poor bastard.

The flight to Chicago is pleasant. The First Class seats are actually better and more comfortable than the ones on the 767 to Hawaii. In fact, this First Class makes the Hawaii first class downright paltry. I was expecting the worst and it turned out great. They even used real linens. And gave me warm cookies.

Milk and Cookies.

Sunset across America.

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