Whatever Happened to First Class?

As a longtime veteran of the coach cabin and all the horrors therein – the battles for overhead space, the wheelie-bag traffic jams, the knee-numbing legroom – one can only imagine my thrill when I boarded a recent American Airlines flight from San Jose, Calif., to Dallas. There I was, after all, in the front row. My seat was wide, the armrest was enormous, and the guys behind me were talking, businessman-style, about real estate and golf, bankruptcies and bogies. This was the high life, I figured, a conviction that only intensified when the flight attendant approached with a silver tray and addressed me – unprompted – as “Mr. McKinley.” Then he handed me, well, a towel.



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