Delta Flight 5781: SEA to SFO

Last Sunday, on my flight from Seattle to San Francisco, I was one of six passengers on the plane.

As someone who has begrudgingly accepted the increasingly crowded world of air travel, this was a complete shock. So I figured that I would share my experience. After all, it might be my only flight where the pilot delivers his announcements to the passengers face to face.

Early last week, I decided at the last minute to head up to Seattle for the weekend to visit Jie’s family for Chinese New Year. Jie was driving up earlier in the week so I would have to fly alone. Ticket prices were predictably sky high only a few days out so, on a lark, I decided to go on Priceline to see if I could snag a cheap ticket. 

It worked. Using the Name Your Own Price feature, I was able to get a ticket 50% cheaper than anything else that I could find. The downside? I had to fly there mid-day on Friday and fly home at 6am on Sunday morning.

After struggling to wake up in the wee hours of Sunday morning, Jie and I made it to the airport about 45 minutes before my flight was scheduled to take off. The long security line coupled with the remote location of my departure gate meant that I arrived to board about 15 minutes before the departure time.

When I saw nobody else boarding the plane, I thought they had finished boarding and I might have missed the flight. But I saw that the door to the jetway was still open and bounded on to the plane ready to pass out in my cramped window seat.

Except when I walked on board all I saw were rows and rows of empty seats. There was a guy in first class, another guy in an exit row and a family of three close to the front of the plane. I figured, this plane isn’t going to fill up much more, so I slumped into an exit row aisle seat.

Before I could get too comfortable though, the flight attendant said over the PA, “everyone move up to first class”. I quickly hustled up front to grab a seat.

At which point, the flight attendant told us to let him know if we needed anything and the pilot walked up to tell us the same thing. Since the flight was so early, there was nobody ahead of us for takeoff and we left right on time.

I promptly passed out, woke up after about 30 minutes, saw that food had been served, and was able to get a “first class” veggie wrap with metal cutlery and a white napkin! After finishing my meal, I passed out again.

Sadly (is it really sad?), the flight couldn’t have been longer than 90 minutes. So I had little opportunity to enjoy my surroundings. We arrived 30 minutes early and I had to wave goodbye to my last first class flight for awhile.

The biggest lesson learned? If you fly at really inconvenient times, not only will you fly more cheaply, but it’s also much less likely to be crowded. It won’t always be worth the inconvenience but, in this case, it made the flying experience much more tolerable.

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One Response to Delta Flight 5781: SEA to SFO

  1. luminouszest says:

    oh I’m jealous!!! never been to the SFO!

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