Mostly First Class Living - How I Want to Fly. Always.

Every time we fly, we try to figure out a way to get upgraded.  It's one of the reasons we stick with one airline partner.  If we're loyal to Oneworld, chances are upgrades could happen.

They rarely happen.

Sure, occasionally there's an upgrade to First Class on a domestic flight.  Then again, I have a ton of upgrade segments from this past year and haven't once been upgraded.  But I keep trying.

And one time there was that sweet ass Business Class upgrade to Australia.  That was cool.

But that isn't the norm.

Adele and I always strategize on how we can do the whole upgrade thing.  Do we call them in advance??  Do we keep trying at the check-in desk??  Then again in the lounge??  Then again at the gate??

Seriously, the amount of time spent thinking about upgrades is ridiculous.

Starting the flights off right. In the bar.
All of this trial and error makes for a sweeter moment when these upgrades actually do happen.

ORD-LAX (First Leg)

Kat bought into Main Cabin Extra for her flights, and Adele and I both kept our eyes on the openings.  With our Gold Statuses, 24 hours before the flight we would be able to move up to those seats.  A few hours before leaving my house for the airport, I went to check my seat options (again) and found I had been upgraded to First Class.  SCORE!!

Adele did her best to keep the germs at bay.
I was in Seat 2A.  As seats go, it was fine.  I was in a comfortable seat and the wine was flowing.  Also, since I had done enough flying over the month of November (work-based, so not blogworthy), I'd watched much of the American Airlines OnDemand New Releases movie choices.  So I dug into the classics and found a great option.

I should have gone with the pasta.
I find a Cabernet Sauvignon goes well with mint chocolate chip ice cream.
LAX-HKG (Second Leg)

Kat is ready!!
The only selfie we could muster.
As much as we tried, no one was able to upgrade to Business Class this time.  I mean, both Adele and I were able to get into Main Cabin Extra, so that was something.  I was in an Exit Row seat by a non-existent window.  And it was the bulkhead.  Of course, I had to stow my crap, which wasn't great.  But the goal was to sleep as long as possible on the journey.

Nothing but leg room!!
The biggest issue of this flight was how cold it was in this particular seat.  Multiple blankets were used.  And it still wasn't quite enough.  As for food...I apparently missed taking any pictures of food on this leg.  Sorry, folks.  This was the best food on any of the legs.  You'll just have to trust me on that one.

HKG-LAX (Third Leg)

24 hours before the flight, we were hanging out in Macau, checking for the Main Cabin Extra seats.  Adele found one seat by the window and kept trying to snag it.  But for whatever reason, it wouldn't hold.  Once we got back to our Airbnb, Adele and I separately played the same game.

I found the seat Adele had been trying to snag and was able to change to that seat.  Oddly enough, the same seat I was in on the way to Hong Kong.  No problem.  I could bundle up.  But neither one of us was done.

We both had (separately) jumped on the phone with American Airlines.  An upgrade to Business Class costs $350 and 25K miles.  I hadn't done a ton of shopping while I was in Hong Kong, so I figured it was a small price to pay.  But as of the time we called, we would be put on the upgrade list.  I wasn't guaranteed a spot.  Though I was seriously hoping I'd get a spot, cause Adele was none too pleased that I scored her seat in Main Cabin Extra.

Fast forward to the next day.  Our flight was already seriously delayed.  And both Adele and I kept checking e-mails and the AA app to see if we were going to get the upgrade.  But there was no word. There was no word on anything until about 30 minutes before boarding.

We sat at the gate, frantically refreshing the app.  I was #11 on the upgrade list.  Adele was #12.  As the minutes faded away, people on the upgrade list began being checked off.  Person number one, then two, then three, and five and six.  Every refresh had a new checkmark.

Then I was upgraded.

I feel like that statement wasn't stressed enough.  THEN I WAS UPGRADED!!

Sure, I just paid $350/25K miles to upgrade to Business Class.  But it happened.  And Adele was pissed.  Because she had still not been upgraded.  When I went up to the desk, she went with.  As much as I was excited for my moment, I was concerned she would not only not get upgraded, but she would also not get the seat I grabbed out from under her.

So we waited.

The next 10 minutes were kind of long.  Again, we kept refreshing the app, waiting for word on Adele's upgrade.  And then, minutes before boarding began, the checkmark showed up by Adele's name.  Phew.

Cheers, Bitches!!
The seats on our plane were similar-ish to the Qantas flight from earlier this year.  Larger screens for movie-viewing.  Fully lie flat seats.  Bose noise cancelling headphones.  Cole Haan amenity kit.  It was awesome.

My view.
A cubbie with water and headphones.
All of the controls.
Amenity kit and the innards.
The cubbie had a mirror for an unknown reason.
Almost immediately, a flight attendant came by serving champagne, mimosas and orange juice.  It was obviously champagne time.  After that, the other attendant arrived, handing out pajamas.  This was also the time when we gave our dinner order to the attendant.  Soon enough, we were in the air.

Pre-flight champagne!!
Wine and mixed nuts
I chose the duck.  I chose incorrectly.
More ice cream.  This time, an out of focus sundae with our choice of toppings was for dessert.
The biggest thing about these seats for me is that you can put your feet up, La-Z-Boy style.  I hate when my feet are touching the ground.  So that was my first step.  Feet up.  Jammies on.  Dinner served.  And then...

Then I slept for eight hours.

I'm not gonna lie, I'm not sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing.  Sure, sleeping for eight hours during the time when I was supposed to be asleep is great.  But I also don't like the idea that I missed out on the good stuff I was paying extra for.  Like the snacks.  I totally slept through the Dim Sum snacks.  Then again, I knew what was coming with the final leg.

LAX-ORD (The Final Leg)

This was always going to be the leg that sucked.  Our flight originally was scheduled to leave earlier in the evening, landing in Chicago late on Monday night.  And then the flight changed.  A few times.  And suddenly, we were on the red eye to Chicago.

Of course, this is the flight where we didn't get an upgrade.

The sleep on the flight to LAX was definitely necessary because there was no way I was going to be able to sleep on this particular flight.

I was on the window.  A decent sized guy was on the aisle.  And we thought that would be it.  Until it happened.  A large dude walked down the aisle.  And I knew what was going to happen.

Here's the thing.  The guy wasn't overweight.  He was just a large, muscular guy.  And he was squished between two large(er) people.  It was no fun for any of us.

So I spent three or four hours trying to make myself as small as humanly possible.  There was no comfort on this flight.  But what could I do??  Not much.  You just suck it up and live with it.  Home was around the corner and the trip was officially over.

Hello, Chicago!!
Even though the trip was over, there is still one more story to be told.


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