A woman returning to Los Angeles after a seven day Caribbean cruise with her husband and two children admitted Tuesday that the unexpected upgrade to first class on her flight from Atlanta was actually the highlight of her trip.
"It was amazing," said Kris Anderson, age 54. "I loved boarding first then watching all the suckers in coach file past. I could see in their eyes they were wondering what made us so special or rich that we were willing to pay three times as much for our seats. I tried to play it all nonchalant, like I was just tired of traveling and ready to be home."
Anderson actually paid nothing for her upgrade, which was the result of Delta overbooking the flight. They gave away her seat in coach -- 29B, a middle seat -- but because there was an empty seat in first class they offered it to her.
Her two children, both teenagers, sat with Anderson's husband, Michael Anderson, in row 33.
The flight capped the end to their vacation to the Bahamas via cruise ship. They had paid only $699 per person after seeing a last minute deal on Travelocity. Anderson said that her family was disappointed by the small size of the cabins and grossed out by a cockroach they saw scuttle out of the cherry jello at the buffet. And she also got tired of her daughters' bickering.
Anderson reveled in her first class status by going to the bathroom reserved for first class passengers multiple times. Although they had eaten lunch prior to arriving at the airport so they would not have to pay for overpriced food, Anderson still ate the free meal.
"They served our drinks in an actual glass, not some flimsy plastic cup," she exulted. "And the pasta had portabello mushrooms in it, not just canned ones."
Anderson also took advantage of the free headphones -- which would have cost $2 if she sat in coach -- and the extra large fleece blankets -- which were not offered in coach because of concerns over flu, according to an on board announcement. "I asked a flight attendent why we got blankets if they were so concerned about passing around swine flu and he kind of smirked and said that was just a way for headquarters to cut costs."
The highlight of the trip came when they offered dessert -- ice cream with a coating of dark chocolate. "It was as good as the tartufo I once had at the Olive Garden," Anderson said.