Ruined for Life : The Story of Flying First Class

As a handful of you have pointed out, I have been absent for a couple of weeks. My reason? It’s simple. I recently experienced a new level of life –  a level involving elitism even I was unaware existed. Quite frankly, I am not sure I will ever recover.

Here’s how it happened.

A couple of weeks ago we were having dinner with friends and, literally out of the blue, we were offered the opportunity to fly to Japan THE FOLLOWING WEEK. We said yes. !!!!!! 

We were also informed that we would most likely be upgraded to first class.

Is this thing on?

You’ve got to be kidding me people! I’ve never even sat in a first class seat on a domestic flight, let alone dreamt of what it would be like to fly first internationally. Flat beds? Wine pairings? All the Disney and Justin Bieber movies you can watch? Sign. Me. Up.

Nervous and giddy, we hitched a ride to LaLa Land and eagerly awaited our names to be called for that 1:10am flight to Haneda.

Here we are with the Dougies, who graciously let us hop in their car all the way to LA. Glenn “slept” on the airport seats while I made myself a little fortress on the ground.

The only problem? It never happened. We were traveling on special stand-by tickets, so we were fully aware of the opportunity for adventure this would bring, but hadn’t really thought through what sleeping at LAX was going to look like. It’s about as glamorous as you can imagine –vaccuming from 2am-4am included. Not to worry, we were promptly re-routed through Detroit where we waited patiently for 7 hours, hoping and praying we would be headed to Japan soon.

“Murdock, party of 2.”

They called our name!

“Glenn, you go up! I’m too nervous!”

He willingly obliged.

My heart was aflutter. My stomach in knots. “Will we make it? Will we make it? Will we make it?” …I thought.

Glenn returned with two boarding passes – a good sign indeed. When he showed me the seats, I could have lept with glee!

Detroit, despite being a somewhat terrifying city, is actually an awesome airport with a cool train and fun fountains.

Ok I’ll stop rhyming now. Sorry.

“Keep it together!” I said to myself. But I was too excited! 3C and 3G! The front of the plane! Eeeeeeeeppp!!

And now, for those who are fellow non-first-classers: WE HAVE BEEN MISSING OUT! This is the life, people! I don’t care what they charge for these tickets, it’s worth it. Literally a life changer. I. AM. RUINED.

Let me paint you a picture of what life is like on “the other side.”

First, you board before everybody else. This is convenient not only because you have plenty of time to get situated, but also because you don’t have to deal with standing in line on the jet bridge with the riff-raff/back of the plane {which, yes, is noramlly me, but that’s beside the point}. As you get on the plane, the flight attendant looks at your ticket and then opens the curtain for you to enter the first class cabin. It’s like a dream. Humongous flat-bed seats, fluffy pillows, noise cancelling earphones, a travel pack filled with a toothbrush, mints, chapstick, lotion, comfy socks, an eye mask, earplugs, and anything else you might need. The second you sit down the flight attendant comes by asking if you would like a pre-flight glass of champagne or anything else to drink.

Yes. Yes I would. I’ve lived 30 years of life without a pre-flight glass of champagne, but all of a sudden it is evident I will never, ever, be able to fly without a little bubbly again.


“Mrs. Murdock, have you had a chance to review the dinner menu?” — my champagned elation is interrupted as I browse the evening’s selection. “Crab and avocado salad to start. Oh and yes, that vegetable soup does sound delightful. Mixed greens to keep things healthy. And how about the filet with bernaise sauce, rice pilaf, and steamed broccolini?

To drink? Hmm… well, hadn’t thought about that yet. “Why don’t we start with a glass of chardonnay and then move into the pinot noir when the main course comes.”

Is this real life??

I am grinning from ear to ear, Glenn and I high-five and start our movies – -just as a small bowl of warmed nuts arrives with our first glass of wine.

YOU GUYS. It’s literally like this the ENTIRE flight. Not to mention the fact that you have about 9 square feet {a slight exaggeration, maybe…} of the most comfortable airplane seat you could imagine. This was the first time in my life that I actually wanted the flight to last longer. 

A couple of hours before landing we were brought hot towels and breakfast. And then, right before touchdown, the flight attendants came around and thanked each of us personally for flying with them.

 It wasn’t so much that we were pampered or given the world’s most exceptional service while flying first — it was that we were treated like we mattered. Like humans. We were thanked for our business. We had space to breathe. We were fed without having to fork over a Visa for cheese and peanut butter crackers. It was awesome! Life will never be the same, and I am forever ruined.

Credits: Thanks for Delta Airlines for treating us so well. To April Ciervo for hooking it up so this flight was even possible. And to Glenn Murdock for being such a trooper and challenging me to always be up for adventure.