life · travel

Top Shelf

Ever wonder what flying first class is really like?  Yesterday, C offered to upgrade my cross country flight and I am so glad I did! 

As you may know, to at least some small extent, I suffer from chronic pain.  This fact is manageable 90% of the time except when cramming my long body into small spaces for extended periods of time.  Oh how I envy petite people sometimes.  In an effort to elevate unnecessary carnage to my joints, I took advantage of this rare opportunity.

For a 4 hour flight, this is what first class looks like:

Group 1 boarding.  First to settle in.

Large comfy seats with plenty of leg room to stretch out and my arse never once touched the sides of the seat let alone bulged into the other seat with metal crushing my hips.

This may look “normal” for short people but my knees tend to hit the seat back in front of me in economy seats.  And look at the extra room towards the wall!  

Thick, adjustable head rests and a tray table that was discreetly tucked into the arm rest and became an actual lap table.  Let’s not forget electrical outlets!!


Beverage service immediately upon boarding before take off.  Did I mention all drinks are free, including unlimited alcohol?  If I were a lush that would be a win!

A warm, moist, lemon scented washcloth to freshen up immediately following take off.  

Continued beverage service in real glasses and a small ceramic bowl of nuts.  I wanted ice tea.  They didn’t have ice tea.  So what did they do?  Offered to brew a fresh batch of ice tea just for me!  I couldn’t believe it!!

Free lunch which was a delicious southwest chicken salad, bowl of fresh fruit, and cookie all served on real dishes with real silverware and a cloth napkin.


Continuous beverage service and first to disembark once landed.

Though not a first class exclusive, United now offers free entertainment on your personal devices but I had failed to update my United app before the trip.  Instead, I purchased an hour of wifi for $5.99, comparable to one hour of internet access at the local computer store in CA, so not a bad way to while away the time.

Now I bet you are wondering how much the first class upgrade cost?  A mere $99.  That’s it!  Best part of all, I am pain free and functional which in the end is priceless.  I highly recommend spending the extra money to upgrade the next time you have a prolonged flight, so long as it doesn’t break the bank.  You will be thoroughly glad you did!


Leaving Humboldt


Flying into San Fransisco


Flying not over the Rocky Mountains



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