Last summer I flew first class for the very first time. My friend Sarah (yes, “Caribbean Sarah” as she’s known here on The Rose Table) and I flew first class to Saint Croix in August and basically had the time of our lives.
Thanks to my Hopper app, I had been watching plane ticket prices for four months. I like to be in the market for plane tickets for a while so I can get a great deal and have more money to spend on vacation. This time last year, I got a notification from Hopper telling me to “Book Now!” I immediately checked prices on American and couldn’t believe my eyes: there was a first class ticket for the same price as an economy ticket. I texted Sarah to see if she was in and because she’s up for anything, she said, “Absolutely!”
I have been absolutely ruined by this magical flight. We took the earliest flight out to Saint Croix, which includes a stop in Florida, from DFW Airport. (Side note: if you’ve never seen DFW Airport, you’re in for a treat. It’s such a user-friendly layout with tons of great shops and restaurants.) We were the first board and could not keep our cool when we saw our seats. They were so big, we could barely even reach each other! We had ample leg room and wooden arm rests wide enough to play cards. We even had convenient USB plugs between us to keep our phones charged.
For breakfast, we had yogurt, granola, fruit (pineapple, cantaloupe, melon, and berries) plus our choice of pastry. Our flight attendant kept our mimosas filled to the brim so between the cards, the space, and the champagne, we barely even noticed when we landed in Florida!
Immediately upon sitting down for our second flight from Florida to Saint Croix we were each given a bowl of warm nuts. We got to pick our meals ahead of time on aa.com and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality. I wasn’t expecting much, particularly since my family never purchases food on the airplane. We always purchase food inside the airport and carry it aboard but since meals are included in the first class plane ticket, we went ahead and ate on the plane. My lunch was a Greek salad with chicken and a pretzel roll. The chicken was plain but the salad, while small, was perfectly tasty: feta cheese, onions, Kalamata olives, and tomatoes. We were given our choice of several kinds of warm cookies. I can honestly say I’ve never been in a better mood on an airplane.
We were the first off the plane, another huge perk, and had an incredible six days on the island. Read all about our trip here and the beautiful Buccaneer Hotel here. Another advantage to first class is the free checked bags up to 70 pounds. I rarely check luggage, preferring to keep it where I can see it. (As a kid, it always seemed to be my luggage that airlines lost.) Thanks to actually checking my bag for free, I was able to bring Caribbean rum back with me!
I told Sarah on our last night, “This is the first time in my entire life that I’ve not dreaded traveling.” Does anyone else do that? On your last night, you stress out about your flight because, well, the actual traveling to and from your vacation is not fun. Or so I thought. We were genuinely excited to board the plane again knowing we were flying first class. Our return flight left sometime in the afternoon. This was actually a business class flight, as there was no first class on this particular plane. For lunch I opted for the pasta option, which came with a side salad (Greek!) and your choice of a roll. We felt very chic with our cloth napkins, wine, and warm cookies and caught up on magazine trends on our way to Florida.
For our final flight from Florida to Dallas, we were in the very first row and had fantastic interactive screens placed higher than if you have a seat in front of you. I felt like I was at my own private movie screening. Our flight attendant – I wish I could remember her name to give her a shoutout – was wonderful and made our flight extra enjoyable. For dinner I ate pearled couscous with chicken, a side salad, and roll. And wine. Give me a break, it’s free!
I easily would have spent $10 on the first breakfast, $15 on both lunches, and probably another $15-$20 on dinner had I purchased in the airport and I certainly never would have ordered any drinks. Now, depending on where you’re going, this still doesn’t have you break even. I wanted to fly first class to Sonoma last December but the ticket was three times as expensive as economy. If I find another deal like the one to USVI, I won’t even hesitate. First class on American Airlines takes the headache out traveling.
Thank you to American Airlines for a wonderful flight experience and thank you to Sarah for always being the most delightful travel companion.