Monday, July 26

Flying first class is just silly 

Between 1972 and 1981, I must have flown first class to Europe over 20 times on 747's. It was nice. Fantastic food. The 747 Upper Deck was quite the happening spot. Linen napkins, salad from a salad bowl with all the fixin's and usually a choice of filet mignon or some kind of fabulous seafood. Champagne and several wines with dinner.

Oh, and caviar as well. In fact, the first time I tasted caviar was on one of these flights. I love the stuff. Little chopped eggs, onions, and parsley on the side served with silver spoons and melba toasts.

Today, air travel (first class or no) is a very different animal. Nowhere near worth it for as much as they charge and as little as you get.

I always walk by these folks on my way to the back. What have they got for their $1500? A drink 15 minutes before I get mine, and a nice collection of magazines - half of which I've already read (because it's my business to) and the other half about golf and/or drinking wine. (I don't golf and I rarely spend more than $20 for a good bottle of wine that Wine Spectator raves about as much or more so than a $100 bottle!)

Also, this isn't the glam '70s or "greed is good" '80s. A lot of CEO's I respect travel coach. And that's good enough for me. I once sat next to Andy Rooney in coach. He drinks a hell of a lot, but he's a great guy. He can probably afford first class. Another time, I flew from DC to NY with Ted Koppel. Again, in coach. Another time, I was with Bill O'Reilly on Amtrak DC to NY - again, in the cheap seats.

Flying first class is more of an ego stroke than a necessity. Now, ego and money should be two separate things - but often they're inextricably tied together, which is sad. Read The Soul of Money if you want to get untangled about that. Until then, why not tie your ego to how much you can earn, not how much you can spend!

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