This Travel Tip Tuesday is all about the art of flying well. It’s what every frequent flyer hopes for. It’s the reason you bother with airline loyalty. It’s a Complimentary Upgrade! The best unexpected upgrade was definitely on a 14 hour international flight from Bangkok to Vienna, but a domestic upgrade (less than 6 hours in length) is nothing to scoff at!
On a recent flight from Dulles, VA, to Austin, TX, I received an e-mail a couple of days prior to my flight that brought a smile to my face. It’s not a super long flight–just under 3 hours and 20 minutes–but having a larger seat and an in-flight meal were welcome amenities that morning. Here’s the message of delight:
So what’s it like? Take a look!
A larger seat with ample leg room awaits! The tray table unfolds from the arm of the chair, and you have a little space to set your phone or a cup of water on the large (sharable) armrest between the seats. There is also plenty of room for your personal item and/or carry on under the seat in front of you. But be aware that if you’re seated in the front row, you will have to put everything in the overhead bin for taxi, take off, and landing. There is no seat in front of you, and the area around your feet has to be clear.
When you take your seat, a flight attendant will come around to take your drink order. Yes, even before the door closes! I always get water because hydration is so important in flight. You may also have soft drinks, juices, coffee, and the like. Airlines differ in their offerings, so if you’re not sure what your choices are, just ask!
Shortly after take off, your friendly flight attendant will bring by a warm, clean-scented towel to clean your hands before the meal.
Free Direct TV! In Economy, you’d have to swipe a credit card on the seat back TV, but the service is complementary in United First. Choose from movies, TV shows, news, sports, and more. You can also utilize their wi-fi service on your laptop, notebook, or smartphone (also available in Economy), but if you want to do more than watch their entertainment options there, you will still have to pay for wi-fi.
Breakfast time! If your flight is scheduled for more than three hours, you’re in luck! You will get a proper meal. If your flight is scheduled for less than three hours, you will have your choice of snacks.
My flight started at 8:35am and was scheduled for 3 hours and 20 minutes, so breakfast was the meal on my flight. Midday, you’ll be served lunch, and in the evening you’ll enjoy dinner. There are usually two choices, and one will be vegetarian-friendly.
The choices on my flight were overnight oats or an egg white panini. I chose the panini, which was quite hearty! Both meal options came with fruit, yogurt, and choice of croissant or cinnamon roll (both served warm!).
And here are some lunch/dinner options:
Is it worth it? Well, since I only paid for an Economy Class seat and got the nicer stuff for free… YES!
Have you ever gotten a fun upgrade? Tell me about it below!