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The gulf between first-cllass & economy   Travel by Plane

Started Feb-1 by Gimmie Chocolate Shorty (TOILETHEA1); 123 views.

Airline perks: The gulf between first-class and economy passengers just keeps widening

It seems like every time you look, airlines have added a ridiculous new amenity. Now they're chauffeuring passengers to the gate in limousines and offering cabins with beds, private showers and butler service.

But these airline perks aren't for you. They're only available to the elite flyers or the superrich. The rest of us must endure shrinking seats with zero service. Does anyone else think there's something wrong with this picture?

No one asked for this obscene, if not un-American, division between the "haves" and "have-nots" onboard. Instead, airlines invented a flying caste system that's embarrassing and offensive to any fair-minded traveler.

To get an idea of the extremes to which airlines will go, talk to an expert like Shane Chapman, senior vice president of airline industry relations at Ovation Travel

"The perks are amazing," he says.

It starts at a VIP check-in area "away from the chaos in the airport," says Chapman. Next, you take a separate entrance to a TSA PreCheck area and then go to a club lounge. Some lounges offer hotel-like amenities, including sleeping pods, showers and gourmet meals.

These special passengers never have to walk down a long concourse. They catch a ride to the gate in a Cadillac (American Airlines), Porsche (Delta Air Lines) or a Mercedes (United Airlines).

The on-board experience, particularly on international flights, is just as over the top. Premium passengers have their own cabins, where they're pampered and overfed, and they sleep on a lie-flat bed. And yes, some aircraft have their own showers. (Domestic flights are a somewhat different matter. There, the class divide isn't quite as extreme.)

Actually, it is a clever way to encourage train and bus travel, if air is too expensive, then let the driver handle his bus or tram on its route.

With all the headaches of flying, I'm surprised more don't!

How often do you fly?  15 times a month?  2x a week?  once a quarter?  almost never?  How can you compare if you do not fly on a regular basis?

Last time I flew was two years ago, maybe it was the time of day but there were long lines, crowded lobby areas, thankfully I'm always an early bird so no stress.   And now they have fees for everything it seems but breathing.   And even as short as I am, even I feel cramped on the plane.