I have been home now for twenty four hours but it doesn’t really feel like that long. I left Cephalonia on a 7 p.m. Flight into Athens Sunday evening. My flight home wasn’t until the next morning so I had to stay at the airport for twelve hours. In those hours I had a meal at the airport hotel and watched the final World Cup Match. Then I went back to the airport and found a couple of cushy chairs to pull together and lay on. But since I was by myself I couldn’t sleep very well.
At 5 a.m. I checked into my flight. I used miles for my round trip to and from Athens. All my miles. I had 110k and I needed all of them. The last time I used miles to get to Europe I only needed 70k. Sigh. I always check to see if I can upgrade to business or first class and it’s usually either unavailable or too expensive but for this trip I found an upgrade to first class on the way home would cost $300 so I did it. I was in a business class seat from Athens to Frankfurt and it really wasn’t any different from economy, except that the food was better. From Frankfurt to Chicago, though, I was in my own little “pod” and didn’t even feel like I was on a plane. I could barely contain myself when I saw my little “pod” and took this picture.
It was my first ever first class experience and it seemed the same for all people up there because we were all taking pictures of our “pods.”
At one point during the flight I saw the guy in front of me raise his camera above his head so he could video tape the entire circle of space around himself. (He will see me waving at him when he looks back on that video.)
Right after that I took this picture:
The food was phenomenal and my wine glass was never empty. I fell asleep before dessert but woke up an hour later to find my tray was gone and the need to use the bathroom before reclining my seat fully flat to get some real sleep. On the way to the bathroom I found everyone asleep. We looked like babies in basinets. Giant babies with the proportions used by iconographers under down blankets and sleeping soundly while the flight attendants did their paperwork. It made me giggle a bit. I remembered the flight to Athens where I awkwardly tried to find a comfortable position to sleep in while the kid next to me would wake me with his occasional rancid farting and the kid behind me bumped into my seat. I remembered the stupid woman who woke me when she opened her shade to peer into the obscenely bright sun lit sky. This, I thought, is probably what everyone back in economy must be experiencing and I didn’t feel one bit guilty. I slept like the baby I resembled in my fully flat seat. I had enough room to lie on my side or my back, however I wanted. This is how everyone should be able to fly on trips more that a couple of hours. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to go economy again. I will need to save another 110k miles before I return to Europe and you’d better believe I’m going to look for that upgrade.
I used my Global Entry status on my passport to bypass the long lines at passport control, found my luggage easily and got out of customs speedily to find my mom waiting for me to welcome me back. It’s nice coming home to your mom no matter how old you get. First class love.