My 12 year old daughter’s experience in first class

My family recently flew to Orange County, California for my kids’ spring break. I have three children: a 12 year old, a 10 year old, and a 4 year old.

Orange County is only a twelve hour drive from Salt Lake City, but we decided to fly because we had some vouchers to burn through. My wife and I each had $200 vouchers from getting bumped on our way back from BACON (Boarding Area Convention) that were expiring at the end of April. We also had a Delta Platinum American Express voucher that was expiring soon. Therefore we purchased 5 airline tickets from SLC to Long Beach California. We used both $200 vouchers, paying $20 out of pocket. We used the BOGO voucher paying $220 out of pocket. Lastly, we used Delta Skymiles for the final ticket.

As a Platinum on Delta, my upgrade cleared way before the flight. The first class section really isn’t that much different than economy on these small CRJ-900 planes and since only 1 of us was going to be able to sit up front, I decided to let my 12 year old sit up there in exchange for her unedited thoughts about sitting in first class. For her, it was a pretty cool experience.

Here it is in her own words:

I am twelve years old and was just able to be in first class for the first time. There were a couple of bad things like having the window too far away and not being able to find my tray table, but there were also good things like having amazing snacks and a comfy seat.

One thing I did not like was that the window was far way from me. I sat in a single seat, so both next to the aisle and the window, but I had to lean forward to see out the window. That was a little disappointing to me. I also did not like that there was no tray table, or at least that was what I thought then. I was not able to find the tray table. I later learned from my parents that it was actually kind of hidden on the side of the seat by the wall. They should have a sign or note on the arm rest so that you know where that is. I still survived without it though.

They brought a basket around full of treats and snacks. They only brought it around once, but I guess that makes sense if the flight is only an hour and a half long. There were pretzels, peanuts, cookies, chocolate, and bananas. I took two items and loved them! I had a Kit-Kat and a bag of peanuts. I also had two cups of Sprite. The first time they asked what beverage I would like they brought it to me in a plastic cup. When they asked me the second time I again said Sprite but they gave me water, this time in a glass. I did not mind having water instead of Sprite so I decided not to say anything. I guess the flight attendant discovered that she had made a mistake and brought me a glass of Sprite. I personally liked having the plastic cup rather than a glass cup because it was much lighter and easier to handle.

The flight attendant seemed quite surprised that I was in first class and kept asking me questions like who I was flying with. I said that my parents were at the back of the plane. She then replied that it was very nice of them to let me come up here in first class.

The seats were very comfortable to sit in. They were much larger than the regular seats. They seemed much taller with a headrest. They also provided a little pillow and blanket. I didn’t use the blanket but the pillow was very soft. The seat also had on the arm rest a cup holder. It was more like a flat circle but still meant for cups. That was nice to have instead of having to pull out the tray table (even if I could not find it).

So my first time in first class was awesome! Hopefully I will be able to go into first class again soon. You can get wonderful snacks, drinks and seats.



  1. How cute!! Hope she would have more chance to fly first class, especially for longer flights. 🙂 I have 3 girls age 14,10 and 8. We flew Cathay first class to HK last Christmas and they still giggled when they talked about it months later.

  2. @Sharon – I look forward to the day where they can experience international first class too. It was amazing to me how excited she was about something I just take for granted now.

  3. @Jason we can probably share notes how to plan our family trips. Like you, everywhere we go we are an army of 5! Domestic travel is so much easier to plan but to reduce cost I have to plan a year out. For flying in premium class, planning was stressful even a year out! Our three week trip to China over the holiday was a blast and to be able to share the whole experience with the girls it is just priceless!

  4. Assuming you didn’t edit her essay, your daughter writes better than most of my university students. Congrats. 🙂

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