Dessert on my cross-country American Airways flight

Dessert on my cross-country American Airlines flight

A several times ago, I took an American Airways flight from New York to San Francisco. Luckily for me, I had gathered adequate regular-flyer details to get a free of charge round-vacation ticket in business class (which I point out in order to rebut your sarcastic assumption that I should have been touring first-class, or that I’m one particular of those people wealthy guys who travels like this every single working day).

Just after our appetizer and entree, this is what my seat-mate requested for dessert. I have to confess that I requested an ice-cream sundae. Decadent, decadent, decadent …

Oh, yes, for what it really is truly worth: this was taken with my modest minor Apple iphone 6s+ camera …

I’m amused by how lots of people today are convinced that a scene like this could only have been observed in the first-class segment of the plane and that might be a reflection of the impression most of us have of today’s cattle-motor vehicle expertise in the economic climate segment of most flights, exactly where we are blessed to even get a smaller bag of pretzels or peanuts. And it reminds me that, for significantly of the many years of the 80s and 90s, I did fly in the first-class segment of lots of flights, as the vast majority of my touring was for business uses, and I could normally obtain a business shopper eager to spend the fare.

But this vacation was personalized, not business no person else was paying the fare. Indeed, no person compensated anything at all: it was a “free of charge” vacation, using an accumulation of regular-flyer details to get a seat in the business-class segment of the plane. The canned bulletins on our plane informed us that this unique cross-country flight on American Airways is one particular of the several remaining “three-class” flights that includes a first-class segment and a business segment, in addition to the undistinguished rabble in the economic climate segment of the plane (exactly where I generally obtain myself sitting on present flights). And if the foods have been this superior in the business-class segment, one particular can only envision how opulent they should be in first class!

As one particular of the Flickr site visitors commented in the notes below, what is actually really amazing about this image is not the fruit and crackers, but the presence of “serious” silverware. Just after the terrorist attacks of nine-eleven (a lot more than fourteen yrs ago, as I create these terms), in which silverware utensils have been evidently applied in one particular of the attacks on the planes, most of us have grow to be accustomed to low-priced plastic utensils … besides on some worldwide flights. But right here they have been, offered to all of the travellers in the business-class segment of a domestic flight. (Again, one particular can only envision what the silverware should have been like in first class — perhaps serious silver?)

All of this reminds me of the flights I once in a while took on that lengthy-defunct airline, Pan Am, in which luxuries like this have been pretty prevalent. On the coastline-to-coastline Boeing 747 flights, there was a stand-up cocktail bar in the back again of the plane, exactly where you could get a stress-free drink and chat with other travellers on the flight. (And you could smoke, as well, which was not so superior!)

But what I really keep in mind was the Pan Am flights from New York to London: they remaining at evening meal time, and if you have been blessed adequate to fly first-class on the 747 flights (which should have cost a fortune, even in those people times!), you sat upstairs and have been served evening meal in a fashion that would do justice to a fine French restaurant in Paris or New York. Not only did you get serious silverware, but you also obtained serious china dishes, all of which was laid out on a serious linen table-cloth. The primary-rib evening meal (I don’t remember ever observing anything else supplied for evening meal) was normally carved, fresh new, proper at your seat, and the pastries and ice-cream sundae desserts continued all the way throughout the Atlantic …

And the decadent opulence was not just confined to first-class. On one particular event in the early nineties, my journey agent (a fantastic particular person, whose profession has vanished in today’s do-it-you journey planet) obtained me a free of charge seat on a flight to Copenhagen in what was then a blended business/first-class segment on an SAS flight. It was an overnight flight, of class, and it turned out that I was the only passenger in that segment of the plane (which also describes how my journey agent was equipped to get the seat for me!).

But the flight was totally stocked, on the non-existent chance that first/business-class would really be complete — and as a result, they had a huge tub of caviar, which was freely dispensed to all of the travellers in the cabin. Which consisted of just me. I eaten so significantly caviar on that flight that I could not stand to see the things for a complete 12 months just after the flight … not to point out a several glasses of vodka, which the Danish evidently experience is a needed accompaniment to caviar. (Just in situation you needed to know, for some future event.)

Alas, those people times are absent, and those people flights are absent, as well. They do continue to have business-class domestic flights, and the occasional coastline-to-coastline flight with three courses of services. And they of course have first-class sections on worldwide flights. But in today’s planet, even the business-class seats are so expensive that one particular can barely manage them. The shopper businesses for whom I get the job done in all probability could manage them, if they have been in the temper to do so but pretty understandably, they would prefer to save the thousands of dollars of flight-costs for some other reason. So, with the exceptional exception of annual flights that are financed with my regular-flyer details, I’m sitting in the back again of the plane along with all of the other disgruntled travellers, consuming my peanuts and pretzels with a plastic fork and knife.

None of which describes why I took this picture. I was not thinking of the glories of lengthy-ago journey when I glanced to one particular facet from my aisle seat (as a more youthful business traveler, I normally insisted on window seats, but in my older age, it really is a lot more vital to be nearer to the bathroom on these lengthy flights), and saw the mild streaming in by means of the window, as our plane raced westward at 35,000 toes. The mild was awesome, and I basically had to acquire a picture … but I undoubtedly did not experience like pulling my camera bag down from the overhead compartment to obtain a “fancy” camera for the shot. I was photographing only for my personal satisfaction at that minute, and my minor Apple iphone camera was a lot more than adequate.

But now that I’ve looked at it, all of those people memories occur back again to me … and that tends to make the picture all the a lot more valuable, at minimum to me.

Posted by Ed Yourdon on 2015-eleven-12 12:05:forty nine

Tagged: , fork , knife , grapes , cracker , continue to life

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