Friday, June 11, 2010

A First Class Voyage

This little trip tidbit deserves a post all its own. See, I failed to mention in the ultra-long post about the honeymoon one of the coolest parts of the whole trip... the flight to Hawaii.

Now, under normal circumstances I don't get too juiced about air travel. In fact, I'm typically scared to fly. I won't go into detail, but let's just say I had two really bad experiences back to back, which jump to the forefront of my mind every time I board an aircraft. I start getting nervous about a day before any scheduled flight.

So even though I knew my final flying destination would be fabulously fun, I still dreaded the journey itself. Add to that dread the length of a flight from Atlanta to Hawaii being about 8 1/2 hours (we were supposed to fly from Shreveport to Atlanta then to Honolulu), and you double the trauma. Then add to THAT, any turmoil involved with actually boarding the airplane... well, you get the picture.

Now that you have the background... here's the story.

We left our house in Ruston at 4:45 am (painful!) to drive to Shreveport Regional Airport, got there, and were in line at the Delta counter at 6 am. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 7:30 am. When it is finally our turn to check in, the Delta woman punches our confirmation number into the computer, and twists her face up in a knot. I can see the computer screen, which reads, "reservation not found with confirmation number." This is when I begin to panic slightly. So she types some more, and then says, "It appears you have been bumped from this flight. Your flight will leave tomorrow."

Not good. I get a bit more panicky.

Hubby, bless his heart, calmly begins to explain that this reservation has been booked for over two months, and that he's sure we are ahead of other people in the "who booked this flight first" category. So then the woman sort of changes her story and says that this flight will be leaving late so we would miss our connection in Atlanta.... blah blah blah.

This is when I started praying, because the way I looked at it we were NOT supposed to be on that flight for WHATEVER reason - maybe it would crash! (Yes, I become unreasonable when it comes to air travel. I know. It's unhealthy and silly. Sue me.) Truthfully, flying out the next day was sounding better and better to me at that point.

But Hubby keeps talking to the woman, who really doesn't seem to know what she's doing at all, and he mentions that we are on our honeymoon, and asks if there is anything she can do to make this right. I begin counting slowly and breathing deep yoga breaths. If I had had a brown paper sack, I would've used it.

Then all of a sudden the woman announces that she is going to go over the American Airlines counter to see if they can get us on THEIR connecting flights to Hawaii.

Wha???

I've never heard of this before. Competing airlines handing over their passengers because they screwed up? This intrigued me.

So the little woman walks over and talks to the folks at the American counter. She comes back and said it was worked out.

I was shocked.

We took our luggage over to the American Airlines counter, and the two ladies there said, "Y'all the honeymooners?" I knew right then everything would turn out fine.

Little did I know, however, that it would turn out a whole lot better than fine. First of all, the flight from Shreveport went to Dallas instead of Atlanta, and then straight to Honolulu from there. And even better, those sweet American Airlines ladies put us in First Class! It was AWESOME! They didn't tell us, either. We just started boarding the plane, and as I looked at our tickets I realized where our seats were. This is a bit embarrassing, but I actually wept with joy.

If you're on a short flight, riding coach is fine. You aren't on the plane long enough to for it to really make a difference. But if you are on a plane for 8 hours? Riding first class is defintely the way to go.


The best part about the experience is the seats. You can lie down FLAT without disturbing anyone in front of or behind you. It's like a bunch of recliners all lined up, with these neat little remote controls that move the headrest, the footrest, and the chair.


They also give you the equivalent of a small comforter to keep you warm, unlike the napkin sized "blanket" you get in the economy class. And Hubby's favorite part, they served drinks and snacks for the entire 8 hours. I think they probably made 7 or 8 pots of coffee just for him.

Those were the best 8 hours of air travel I've ever experienced. And the flight attendants were great, too. We ran into two of them while we were in Waikiki, and they both teased the hubby about his coffee consumption. It was great... like we were running into old friends.

It was a wonderful beginning to a fantastic trip!

2 comments:

rick said...

Linnea,
I just had to send you a comment on your last post. That was truly a phenomenal experience . What a great way to start out a honeymoon. Actually as someone who travels fairly frequently I can tell you that it is quite common to have a competing airline assist travelers during circumstances such as your was that day. But to upgrade you like they did was right out of a storybook. and guess what?..no one is more deserving of good things coming to them than you. When I lived in Shreveport for 7 years it was a real treat to watch your sports broadcast every night . My daughter , who is 27, was in college at the time and ended up in broadcasting for 4 years. My daughter and I once ran into you and your daughter at the mudbug festival around 2005 I think. You were as sweet in person as I imagined you would be. Congratulations on your recent marriage. He is one lucky man . The world is a better place with people like you in it.. Best wishes to one fantastic lady...Sincerely...Rick Shrewsbury (Annapolis, Maryland)

Linnea said...

Rick,

Thank you so much for your sweet comment! And it really was like a storybook... I felt like a princess! Now, on the return trip we were back in our original seats on an overnight flight with Delta, which consisted of a few crying babies and nowhere to lay our heads. So it wasn't quite so much fun. But I just kept remembering how it started. Those folks at American Airlines took really good care of us.

Thank you so much for reading, and even more for commenting. I hope to hear from you again soon!