This catchy song from 1990 was running through my mind yesterday as we sat down in Business Elite on our Delta flight from JFK in New York to Milan, Italy as the flight attendants began passing around champagne and juice while the rest of the plane was boarding. It was truly a sweet moment and only the start of an amazing experience in the world of first class traveling that will make it difficult to ever go back to coach.
We started the day in Detroit with a long list of flights that we might be able to make to get us to New York in order to fly to Italy. With buddy passes, we fly standby and are last in line, but we also pay less than half price for them so like most things in life, there are trade-offs. And if the seats available are business elite, that’s what we’re stuck with.
We wanted to get to JFK International because from there, we could get to either Rome or Milan and then on to Naples. However, our first flight to JFK filled up and we were left in Detroit. 45 minutes later we were on another flight, but this time it was to LaGuardia Airport, 25 minutes away from JFK. But it was NY and we were one step closer. So when we landed, it was a sprint to the cab stand with a traffic filled ride to the other airport. We checked in at the kiosk, got through security, ran to our gate, and as we got to within earshot of the gate, we heard our names announced. We went straight to the desk and she handed us two business elite tickets (first class) to Milan. We immediately boarded, sat in our big lazy boy chairs and were handed glasses of champagne and orange juice as everyone else boarded after us.
Thus began an amazing 8 hour journey to Europe. It started with the champagne, followed by ordering our dinner. We had a four course meal with cheeses, and dessert; there was even wine with each course if we desired. We had individual chairs in the middle of the plane with tv monitors, real pillows and a real comforter to cozy up to. We had our own little bags of Delta goodies including socks to walk around the plane in, eye covers for sleeping, ear plugs, tooth brush, and more. And the seat reclined to a completely flat bed to sleep! We wanted to take pictures but restrained ourselves so we didn’t stand out too much. The food was legitimately good food served with real china and silverware, cloth napkins, and real glasses for wine. After dinner, it was time for a movie and then off to sleep. We woke up in the morning, an hour before Italy to a plated breakfast. We filled up and then freshened up in time to land in Milan. Truly an awesome experience; thank you Karla and Keith.
It was 7:30 am and our goal was to get to Naples. So we took a bus to the train station and just made the fast train (4 hours and 20 minutes) to Naples. Once on the train, we thankfully sat next to a really friendly guy from Naples that let us use his phone and even gave us a full run down of Italy as well as tips on traveling further in Europe. Everything fell right into place and we made it to Naples, caught another bus, and then were picked up by Matt’s friend Maura.
It’s been great since and we have a lot to look forward to. Our friend that we’ll be staying with has an amazing place right off the water a little north of town. There are produce vendors, bread shops, and pizza places everywhere (Napoli is supposedly the birthplace of pizza). So while we aren’t quite rich enough to always fly first class, we are likely to be rich in experience, especially after the next couple months here in Europe. It was an ideal start and there is much to look forward to.