First-class tickets are the way to go on long-distance flights

You can actually sleep when you have first-class seats.

First-class seats give you lots of space on American Airlines. Photo courtesy of American Airlines.

As I write this, there is exactly 1 hour and 58 minutes left on my 19-day trip to India. How do I know this?

Because the screen in my first-class space–you can’t really call it just a seat–tells me so. I wanted to start writing earlier on this roughly 15-hour trip from Delhi to Chicago aboard an American Airlines Boeing 777.

But there were too many other things to do. First, a 12:30 a.m. departure from Delhi meant I was tired and in first-class, the seat turns into a bed. I couldn’t resist. It’s not the same as being in your own bed, but it’s quite comfortable. I slept nearly eight hours in my first-class cubicle, waking rested and ready to work even if I had skipped the herb-crusted fish fillet and mint saffron rice in order to sleep.

Companion seats in first-class

Still, needing to take full advantage of probably my only first-class trip, I greeted my husband sitting in the seat behind me and moved to the  companion seat in his cubicle, where the steward brought us both coffee. Yes, the seats in first-class actually have visitor seats.

Last year, I won two first-class tickets to anywhere American flies in Asia. And winning that prize is probably the only time I’ll ever fly first-class, unless I win the lottery.

After coffee with my husband, I returned to my cubicle and was ready to work, but thought I should first check out the TV screen in my space to investigate the options. Research, you know. (Oops. Time to Chicago is 1 hour and 43 minutes. I’d better hurry up.)

Spread out to watch movies, or work

Under newly released movies were several I’d already seen, but one I had missed;  “True Grit.” It was a great treat to watch it, my seat almost in bed mode, quilt warmly tucked around my legs as the fresh cups of coffee continued to arrive. Next, I looked under the drama sections of movies and I couldn’t resist “Slumdog Millionaires.” I’d seen it before but resolved during my trip to India to give it another look. Done. Enough procrastinating.

Blueberry pancakes

Fully refreshed, and entertained, I started my work, managing to get several assignments out of the way before breakfast was served. The only problem was having to readjust the seat so that the work table was close enough so I could type on my laptop. Blueberry pancakes with hot syrup, fresh fruit and chai tea was another interruption.

I’ve still got much work to do, but I think this is a pretty full plane ride so far. Eight hours of sleep, two good movies, a made-to-order breakfast and a steward on hand to tell me at the moment I needed to know that I’m flying in a Boeing 777.

One hour and 35 minutes left. Is it too decadent to ask for a glass of champagne?