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Going Home

Part 1

Got to the airport with no trouble – so little trouble, in fact, I found myself here almost two hours before the flight was scheduled to leave. Gave me an opportunity to make sure the laptop was up to 100% charge this time.

Sure enough, my boarding passes were two different colors this time. The ticket agent immediately spotted this and asked if I wanted to upgrade my coach ticket. Apparently you can buy more legroom in coach and have a 2 1/2th class ticket or something. I’ll probably just try and sleep through my 3rd class part of this ride, but from here to Chicago its first class again.


Part 2

The connection inn Chicago was only 35 minutes, so there was no wait. I had to go from one section of the huge Chicago terminal to another one, but then it was right back onto the airplane.

And oh hell yes is there a difference between 1st and 3rd class. Obviously, the seats are half the size. The space around the seat is about a quarter the size. In first class I was actually able to get out of my window seat without the person in the next seat over having to get up. I pretty much can't move in here.

In first class a drink was served every 15 minutes or so - as long as I had coffee they kept refilling the china teacup they served it in. Back here in steerage they are willing to give us a thimble of coffee in a Styrofoam cup & two dry crumbly cookies about halfway into the flight, and we were informed how we could all pay $5 for a snack box lunch if we wanted.

Just the same - it almost looked like I would be able to use the laptop back here in row 39 - there was just barely enough space to set it up properly, the top edge f the screen fitting just under the overhanging lip on the top of the chair in front of me.

That lasted about 20 minutes until the person in front of me decided to lean the seat back. Had I not immediately grabbed the laptop and hauled it back out of the way the screen would have been crushed between the chair and the tray table. I'm now typing with the laptop about 1/3 of the way closed and I'm looking down at the screen at about a 40 degree angle.

This particular plane actually has all three classes in it - and from what I can see, second class is what I remember - first class seats with 3rd class service. I suppose the idea is mainly so that "business class" travelers have room to do what I can't.

Outside of the severely cramped accomodations (you get what you pay for - and I did get a lot of unpaid for extra special treatment) the flight went on time, ahead of schedule, and the person next to me was pleasant.  Much better than it could have been.

Including a 20 minute period of extremem turbulance we had to fly through somewhere over the rockies.  I mean food stuck on the ceiling turbulance.  I mean stuff flying around the cabin and thoughts of structural failure going through my head.   But wedged in as I was, i couldn't bebounced around much, and it was quite frankly just a little less boredom to the ride.

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c_eagle December 31st, 2006
It's quite remarkable to note all the extreme disctinctions between the classes... 8|

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