A number of times in the past, I took an American Airways flight from New York to San Francisco. The good thing is for me, I had accumulated enough recurrent-flyer points to get a absolutely free spherical-journey ticket in enterprise course (which I point out in order to rebut your sarcastic assumption that I have to have been touring 1st-course, or that I am a single of those abundant guys who travels like this each day).
After our appetizer and entree, this is what my seat-mate ordered for dessert. I have to confess that I ordered an ice-cream sundae. Decadent, decadent, decadent …
Oh, yes, for what it is really truly worth: this was taken with my modest very little Apple iphone 6s+ digital camera …
I am amused by how lots of persons are convinced that a scene like this could only have been located in the 1st-course portion of the airplane and that may well be a reflection of the feeling most of us have of modern cattle-vehicle working experience in the financial state portion of most flights, in which we are lucky to even get a compact bag of pretzels or peanuts. And it reminds me that, for a great deal of the many years of the 80s and 90s, I did fly in the 1st-course portion of lots of flights, as the vast majority of my touring was for enterprise uses, and I could usually find a enterprise consumer keen to spend the fare.
But this journey was particular, not enterprise nobody else was shelling out the fare. Without a doubt, nobody paid anything at all: it was a “absolutely free” journey, employing an accumulation of recurrent-flyer points to get a seat in the enterprise-course portion of the airplane. The canned announcements on our airplane informed us that this distinct cross-place flight on American Airways is a single of the number of remaining “3-course” flights that is made up of a 1st-course portion and a enterprise portion, in addition to the undistinguished rabble in the financial state portion of the airplane (in which I normally find myself sitting down on present-day flights). And if the meals were being this great in the enterprise-course portion, a single can only consider how opulent they have to be in 1st course!
As a single of the Flickr guests commented in the notes down below, what is actually truly exceptional about this picture is not the fruit and crackers, but the existence of “authentic” silverware. After the terrorist assaults of nine-11 (much more than fourteen yrs in the past, as I create these words and phrases), in which silverware utensils were being seemingly applied in a single of the assaults on the planes, most of us have turn out to be accustomed to low cost plastic utensils … apart from on some international flights. But listed here they were being, offered to all of the passengers in the enterprise-course portion of a domestic flight. (Again, a single can only consider what the silverware have to have been like in 1st course — it’s possible authentic silver?)
All of this reminds me of the flights I often took on that extensive-defunct airline, Pan Am, in which luxuries like this were being fairly popular. On the coast-to-coast Boeing 747 flights, there was a stand-up cocktail bar in the back of the airplane, in which you could get a stress-free drink and chat with other passengers on the flight. (And you could smoke, much too, which was not so great!)
But what I truly keep in mind was the Pan Am flights from New York to London: they still left at dinner time, and if you were being lucky enough to fly 1st-course on the 747 flights (which have to have price tag a fortune, even in those times!), you sat upstairs and were being served dinner in a design that would do justice to a fine French restaurant in Paris or New York. Not only did you get authentic silverware, but you also got authentic china dishes, all of which was laid out on a authentic linen table-fabric. The prime-rib dinner (I will not remember at any time viewing anything else available for dinner) was constantly carved, new, right at your seat, and the pastries and ice-cream sundae desserts ongoing all the way throughout the Atlantic …
And the decadent opulence was not just confined to 1st-course. On a single event in the early nineties, my travel agent (a fantastic man or woman, whose career has vanished in modern do-it-you travel environment) got me a absolutely free seat on a flight to Copenhagen in what was then a combined enterprise/1st-course portion on an SAS flight. It was an right away flight, of training course, and it turned out that I was the only passenger in that portion of the airplane (which also explains how my travel agent was able to get the seat for me!).
But the flight was totally stocked, on the non-existent probability that 1st/enterprise-course would truly be whole — and as a end result, they had a enormous tub of caviar, which was freely dispensed to all of the passengers in the cabin. Which consisted of just me. I eaten so a great deal caviar on that flight that I could not stand to see the things for a whole yr soon after the flight … not to point out a number of glasses of vodka, which the Danish seemingly really feel is a required accompaniment to caviar. (Just in situation you necessary to know, for some long run event.)
Alas, those times are gone, and those flights are gone, much too. They do however have enterprise-course domestic flights, and the occasional coast-to-coast flight with 3 courses of provider. And they definitely have 1st-course sections on international flights. But in modern environment, even the enterprise-course seats are so high priced that a single can rarely find the money for them. The consumer organizations for whom I perform possibly could find the money for them, if they were being in the temper to do so but fairly understandably, they would like to save the thousands of dollars of flight-expenses for some other goal. So, with the uncommon exception of annual flights that are financed with my recurrent-flyer points, I am sitting down in the back of the airplane along with all of the other disgruntled passengers, ingesting my peanuts and pretzels with a plastic fork and knife.
None of which explains why I took this image. I was not imagining of the glories of extensive-in the past travel when I glanced to a single side from my aisle seat (as a younger enterprise traveler, I constantly insisted on window seats, but in my more mature age, it is really much more crucial to be closer to the lavatory on these extensive flights), and noticed the mild streaming in by way of the window, as our airplane raced westward at 35,000 ft. The mild was astounding, and I basically had to get a image … but I definitely failed to really feel like pulling my digital camera bag down from the overhead compartment to find a “extravagant” digital camera for the shot. I was photographing only for my possess satisfaction at that moment, and my very little Apple iphone digital camera was much more than sufficient.
But now that I have seemed at it, all of those recollections come back to me … and that tends to make the image all the much more important, at least to me.
Posted by Ed Yourdon on 2015-11-12 12:05:forty nine
Tagged: , fork , knife , grapes , cracker , however lifestyle