3 Signs You May Not Belong In First Class.

By Posted in - Travel Resources on August 13th, 2012 A view from our first class view on American Airlines.


Last week on our flight out of Guatemala, Beth and I stepped into the promise land: First Class.

And it was everything we thought it would be–lots of space, plush seats, priority boarding, and complimentary food and beverages. It was magical, there was even one moment where I found myself sipping champagne, listening to Hendrix’s Star Spangled Banner over the airline radio, watching The Office, playing my first winning game of iPhone Monopoly against Beth and eating warm nuts (yes, all at the same time), and I thought to myself this must be what heaven is like.

Then we got home, and I got sick, presumably from something I ate in first class. During those three days, in which, I again had priority; though, it was only for the bathroom, I did a lot of thinking about our time in First Class and realized how obvious to frequent first class flyers that we were first timers. I then came up with this list of signs that you may not belong in first class.

A scotch and warm peanuts from American Airlines first class.

1. Getting overly excited about warm nuts.

I’m assuming the flight attendants heated the assortment of nuts up in the microwave, but when you get them at 30,000 feet, you smile and giggle about how freaking great it is that they give out warm nuts in a bowl. In all honesty, this could have something to do with the fact that the airlines are too cheap to even pass out a gram of prepackaged nuts to economy class, but regardless, to get excited about warm nuts is a sign you may not belong.

2. Pissed you didn’t walk over the first class mat at the departure gate.

Recently, I noticed that during boarding on major carriers that in the first and business class boarding lane the airlines lay out a special mat that only the aforementioned get to walk over at the gate, while everyone else, even some of us with priority boarding because of a credit card (looking at you United) don’t get this royal treatment.

However, during our recent first class travels, I was shut down from the mat twice. In Guatemala City, I was diverted. But then it got worse. In Miami, they didn’t even have a special rug for those of us in first class. I mean, seriously, the children in Guatemala laid out pine needles for us to walk on when we arrived at the school, so you’re telling me the airline can’t throw out a dirty mat for us? In hindsight though, I realized that if you get upset about not getting to walk over the magical first class mat, then you may not belong.

Β 3. Your tray table looks like it just endured a room service bender.

After an hour, my 11 x 17 tray table looked like a Las Vegas hotel room occupied by Hunter S. Thompson, except there was no hotel bill to deal with and certainly no fear and loathing, only a smiling flight attendant all too eager to fill my empty wine glass. Now, over indulging in first class may or may not be faux pas, especially for actors, musicians or literary geniuses, but since I’m none of these, then I’m putting an overloaded tray table in the you may not belong list.

What are your tips for making the most out of flying First Class?

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(29) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Sara -

    August 13, 2012 at 4:56 am

    Lol, these are all probably good signs, but I will have no shame in being guilty of all of them when my credit card points eventually get me to the golden first class gates (especially of an international flight).

    Also, my guess is that another sign you’re a newbie is if you ask whatever celebrity/politician/reality show star who’s also in first class for an autograph and snap a pic with your phone.

    • Randy -

      August 13, 2012 at 6:30 am

      @Sara, Redeeming our credit card points will most likely be the next time we fly first class again, and, I know for fact, we will end up repeating all of these things again. Luckily, there were no celebrities on our flight (that I knew of), else that would have probably been #4. πŸ™‚

  • Paul (To Asia) -

    August 13, 2012 at 6:18 am

    Hi Randy
    Excellent take on your experiences in First class. I’m not a regular first class passenger but have been lucky enough to catch a few flights in first class and for me its always the food and of course comfort. I don’t know why but its like I haven’t eaten for a week, as soon as I get in first class I just need to gobble everything up! Then relax in the comfortable seat and wait for the next meal to come along πŸ™‚

    • Randy -

      August 13, 2012 at 6:32 am

      @Paul (To Asia), Thanks Paul! Glad you liked the post. I feel exactly the same way as you. I guess it’s kind of like the ultimate man cave. πŸ™‚

  • sarah wu -

    August 13, 2012 at 6:58 am

    Fun post… and good signs Randy. We never flew in first class not even when I went to mexico for my wedding. So I don’t know what it feels like but I’m sure I’ll keep those nuts / wine coming like you and Beth..lol

    • Randy -

      August 13, 2012 at 11:08 am

      @sarah wu, First off, congrats on the wedding! Secondly, I’d be very disappointed to find out that you didn’t let the warm nuts and wine flow. πŸ™‚

  • A Cook Not Mad (Nat) -

    August 13, 2012 at 8:41 am

    As much as we’d love to be upgraded to first class I know the day that happens I may as well file for bankruptcy because I’ll never be able to go back to coach.
    And you can be sure if it does happen I would go Hunter S. Thompson all over that s#%t. πŸ™‚

    • Randy -

      August 15, 2012 at 7:26 pm

      @A Cook Not Mad (Nat), Long live HST! I have faith that when the day comes, you’ll have no problem going gonzo on first class.

      I always felt the same away about flying first class, but now that I’ve had a few weeks away from it, I feel alright about returning back to economy for our upcoming trip to San Diego. However, I’ll probably change my tune when I get to the airport. πŸ™‚

  • Lane -

    August 13, 2012 at 11:41 am

    4) Marveling that the wine is free, and flowing freely. I gulped down several. THEN, the jerk next to me informed my giggling self, “one in the air equals two on the ground”. Can you say hangover?

    • Randy -

      August 16, 2012 at 6:23 pm

      @Lane, Ha! That is the perfect #4. Despite, over-indulging in the adult beverages department, I didn’t wake up with a hangover. I’m thinking it may have to do with all that extra oxygen in first class, since there are less people to suck it up. πŸ™‚

  • Erica -

    August 13, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    We have never been able to pull off the first class ordeal. I think it will just make me bitter.

    • Randy -

      August 16, 2012 at 6:24 pm

      @Erica, You will! And it won’t. I look forward to hearing your thoughts after your first time.

  • Vera Marie Badertscher -

    August 13, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    First, don’t you know that warming nuts is a common cure for stale ones? So they take the leftovers from the cattle class and warm them up and serve in first class.

    Second, another sign was when the two of you tried to sit in one seat, thinking it was a LoveSeat after those skimpy nine-inch seats in the back of the plane.

    • Randy -

      August 16, 2012 at 6:32 pm

      @Vera Marie Badertscher, Say it ain’t so, not the nuts. If that is the case, though, I’m not surprised. I don’t have much faith in airlines these days. But boy, did I really love the size of those seats and don’t even get me started on their reclining capabilities.

  • Nancie -

    August 13, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    My advice…sit back and enjoy! Remember, the person in front of you or behind probably doesn’t belong their either πŸ™‚ Oh, and be sure to sample all the good wine!

    • Randy -

      August 16, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      @Nancie, So true! I like your style Nancie. πŸ™‚

  • Raymond @ Man On The Lam -

    August 13, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    I’ve flown in first class a couple of times for work — fully reclining chair, hot towels, menu choice — the works! But I usually end up crammed in coach (I’m 6ft 3).

    I do like the idea of having children lay out pine needles before me everywhere I go though. I think that may even be a Fiverr gig. πŸ™‚

    • Randy -

      August 16, 2012 at 6:35 pm

      @Raymond @ Man On The Lam, If it’s not already a Fiverr gig, then it needs to be one. Could you imagine? That would be fantastic, especially for first dates and important business meetings. Heck, I may even pay $10 for that. πŸ™‚

  • Andrea -

    August 14, 2012 at 1:07 am

    Hahaha – this post made me laugh, especially the tray table and mat. We still get excited about those things too when we get to fly business (I’ve never flown first, but since they invented those planes with private rooms, I’m dying to win some money to try those out!)

    • Randy -

      August 16, 2012 at 6:38 pm

      @Andrea, Thanks Andrea! I just saw an ad for one of those private rooms and it was amazing. The cabin looked like the inside of a hotel room. I’ll keep my finger’s crossed for you. πŸ™‚

  • Stephanie – The Travel Chica -

    August 14, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Now I feel like a loser because I’ve never sat in first class πŸ™‚

    • Randy -

      August 16, 2012 at 6:41 pm

      @Stephanie – The Travel Chica, Trust me, if anyone’s a loser it’s me, not you. I’m the one who’s complaining because I couldn’t walk over a dirty airline rug. πŸ™‚

  • Laurence -

    August 14, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    You know it’s your first time in a first-class seat when you’re too excited to sit still. And exploit all food and drink refills.

  • Tim Clark -

    August 14, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    I also feel the same Stephanie. I haven’t sat on first class and I haven’t thought of trying it actually. But I found your post entertaining and informative, Randy. Thanks for sharing.

  • Brooke vs. the World -

    August 15, 2012 at 4:43 am

    Reminds me of the first time I flew business class! Such a different experience and I got so excited over the little things… like mini salt and pepper shakers with my meals! Teheheheh

    • Randy -

      August 16, 2012 at 6:43 pm

      @Brooke vs. the World, Yeah, I love all that mini stuff too. In fact, I saved a little balsamic vinaigrette bottle, just so I could show Beth’s parents.

  • Nelson -

    August 20, 2012 at 1:04 am

    I’m not a regular first class passenger but have been lucky enough to catch a few flights in first class that my company sponsored for the tickets. For me its always the food and of course comfort. I don’t know why but its like I haven’t eaten for a week, as soon as I get in first class LOL. Good post thanks for sharing.

  • Alex -

    September 19, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Funny post Randy! I’ve flown first class several times and the warm nuts are still exciting to me (proving I will never truly belong up front). I don’t have loads of money- just a good friend that happens to work for Delta.

    Yes the alcohol flows up front but sometimes it stops for me! Another way I know I don’t belong up there is that I’ve been cut off a few times. “No more for you sir.” I always prefer a last drink warning before the rude cutoff. Once I was able to fly from the US to Europe successfully drinking the whole way. At breakfast I asked for vodka with my OJ and Baileys with my coffee. She obliged, sometimes they don’t πŸ™‚

    To maximize the drinks long haul, try very hard not to start slurring your words πŸ™‚

  • Leanne -

    November 16, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    My husband and I are about to do trip # 6, 7 or maybe 8 from Vancouver BC to Adelaide Australia thru Seoul Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney and Auckland. We have never flown first class, or business class and I would love to. Why? I just want the comfort. Comfort. Comfort.