Dessert on my cross-country American Airlines flight

A number of days in the past, I took an American Airlines flight from New York to San Francisco. The good news is for me, I experienced accrued sufficient regular-flyer factors to get a free of charge round-journey ticket in enterprise course (which I mention in buy to rebut your sarcastic assumption that I must have been traveling initially-course, or that I am 1 of people prosperous men who travels like this each day).

Soon after our appetizer and entree, this is what my seat-mate requested for dessert. I have to confess that I requested an ice-product sundae. Decadent, decadent, decadent …

Oh, sure, for what it truly is really worth: this was taken with my modest minor Apple iphone 6s+ digital camera …

I am amused by how quite a few people are confident that a scene like this could only have been discovered in the initially-course part of the airplane and that may possibly be a reflection of the opinion most of us have of present day cattle-motor vehicle expertise in the economy part of most flights, exactly where we’re fortunate to even get a small bag of pretzels or peanuts. And it reminds me that, for considerably of the many years of the 80s and 90s, I did fly in the initially-course part of quite a few flights, as the majority of my traveling was for enterprise reasons, and I could generally locate a enterprise consumer prepared to shell out the fare.

But this journey was personal, not enterprise nobody else was paying out the fare. Indeed, nobody compensated everything at all: it was a “free of charge” journey, applying an accumulation of regular-flyer factors to get a seat in the enterprise-course part of the aircraft. The canned bulletins on our aircraft educated us that this certain cross-region flight on American Airlines is 1 of the number of remaining “3-course” flights that is made up of a initially-course part and a enterprise part, in addition to the undistinguished rabble in the economy part of the aircraft (exactly where I normally locate myself sitting down on current flights). And if the foods were being this good in the enterprise-course part, 1 can only envision how opulent they must be in initially course!

As 1 of the Flickr guests commented in the notes under, what is genuinely remarkable about this image is not the fruit and crackers, but the existence of “true” silverware. Soon after the terrorist assaults of 9-11 (extra than 14 yrs in the past, as I generate these terms), in which silverware utensils were being evidently employed in 1 of the assaults on the planes, most of us have grow to be accustomed to low-priced plastic utensils … apart from on some intercontinental flights. But here they were being, accessible to all of the travellers in the enterprise-course part of a domestic flight. (Once more, 1 can only envision what the silverware must have been like in initially course — perhaps true silver?)

All of this reminds me of the flights I at times took on that long-defunct airline, Pan Am, in which luxuries like this were being rather prevalent. On the coastline-to-coastline Boeing 747 flights, there was a stand-up cocktail bar in the back of the aircraft, exactly where you could get a soothing drink and chat with other travellers on the flight. (And you could smoke, also, which was not so good!)

But what I genuinely remember was the Pan Am flights from New York to London: they left at supper time, and if you were being fortunate sufficient to fly initially-course on the 747 flights (which must have cost a fortune, even in people days!), you sat upstairs and were being served supper in a model that would do justice to a wonderful French cafe in Paris or New York. Not only did you get true silverware, but you also obtained true china dishes, all of which was laid out on a true linen table-cloth. The primary-rib supper (I do not remember at any time looking at everything else supplied for supper) was often carved, clean, proper at your seat, and the pastries and ice-product sundae desserts continued all the way throughout the Atlantic …

And the decadent opulence was not just confined to initially-course. On 1 occasion in the early 1990s, my journey agent (a fantastic person, whose job has vanished in present day do-it-by yourself journey globe) obtained me a free of charge seat on a flight to Copenhagen in what was then a combined enterprise/initially-course part on an SAS flight. It was an right away flight, of course, and it turned out that I was the only passenger in that part of the aircraft (which also describes how my journey agent was equipped to get the seat for me!).

But the flight was completely stocked, on the non-existent possibility that initially/enterprise-course would in fact be complete — and as a result, they experienced a substantial tub of caviar, which was freely dispensed to all of the travellers in the cabin. Which consisted of just me. I eaten so considerably caviar on that flight that I could not stand to see the stuff for a complete calendar year right after the flight … not to mention a number of glasses of vodka, which the Danish evidently experience is a vital accompaniment to caviar. (Just in circumstance you desired to know, for some potential occasion.)

Alas, people days are long gone, and people flights are long gone, also. They do continue to have enterprise-course domestic flights, and the occasional coastline-to-coastline flight with 3 courses of assistance. And they certainly have initially-course sections on intercontinental flights. But in present day globe, even the enterprise-course seats are so highly-priced that 1 can rarely find the money for them. The consumer businesses for whom I work possibly could find the money for them, if they were being in the temper to do so but rather understandably, they would choose to conserve the hundreds of dollars of flight-fees for some other purpose. So, with the uncommon exception of annual flights that are financed with my regular-flyer factors, I am sitting down in the back of the aircraft together with all of the other disgruntled travellers, feeding on my peanuts and pretzels with a plastic fork and knife.

None of which describes why I took this image. I was not wondering of the glories of long-in the past journey when I glanced to 1 aspect from my aisle seat (as a young enterprise traveler, I often insisted on window seats, but in my older age, it truly is extra essential to be closer to the bathroom on these long flights), and saw the light streaming in via the window, as our aircraft raced westward at 35,000 ft. The light was astounding, and I just experienced to take a image … but I absolutely didn’t experience like pulling my digital camera bag down from the overhead compartment to locate a “fancy” digital camera for the shot. I was photographing only for my own enjoyment at that minute, and my minor Apple iphone digital camera was extra than ample.

But now that I have seemed at it, all of people recollections arrive back to me … and that makes the image all the extra important, at least to me.

Posted by Ed Yourdon on 2015-11-12 12:05:49

Tagged: , fork , knife , grapes , cracker , continue to daily life