Philadelphia PHL -> Tampa TPA
It was all about enjoying seats at the front of the plane, as we made our way in style from Europe to the USA. In addition to flying business class on our Transatlantic flight, we had our first experience with first class domestic travel. We flew American Airline first class from Philadelphia to Tampa on the Airbus A319, loving the first class service. If you’ve been considering a first class flight, take a peek at our experience…
First Class Domestic Travel:
Following a flight delay of 2 hours, we were second in line to board the plane. We stowed our bags, and were immediately greeted by the flight attendant, who offered us drinks. After the long flight from Dublin, alcohol was the last thing on our minds, so we just went with ginger ale and cokes instead of champagne.
There are only 8 first class seats on the American Airbus A319, and my family occupied the four seats in row #1. The seats were comfortably wide with good legroom. Thin blankets had been placed on the seats, and were much appreciated by Lucy as she was ready to curl up for a nap.
The only downside of being up front was the stares of people as they made their way past to their seats. And some don’t stare nicely either :/
After take off, hot towels were provided, followed by drinks and warm mixed nuts. Derrick chose a glass of red wine, but I was fighting a headache so I had another ginger ale.
We were then offered a choice of an antipasto plate or a fruit and cheese plate. Lucy was thrilled to have grapes without seeds for the first time in a year (there are no seedless grapes in France). The flight attendant offered Lucy cookies that she had from another flight as it was evident she wasn’t in the mood to munch much more off her cheese plate. A thoughtful extra for the kids!
Then it was time to relax for the last hour or so of the flight. As the attendant was only serving 8 passengers, she was extremely attentive. Our drinks were refilled often and she repeatedly checked on our comfort throughout flight.
Because we flew business class from Dublin to Philadelphia (read about it here), first class was automatically part of our booking. Interestingly, this leg only cost us around $60 more for all of us than just flying into Philadelphia and skipping the Tampa leg. You can’t beat that price!
First Class Domestic Travel with Kids Tips:
- This was a short domestic flight, and there was no in-flight entertainment. Ensure your preferred device is loaded with a book or movie before flying. Bring any activities kids may want to keep themselves occupied during the flight.
- Kid friendly snacks may not be available, so plan ahead. But the fruit and cheese plate is a great option for kids, even if you don’t.
- Pillows were not provided, so you may want to bring along a travel pillow for the flight. Click here to see a cute option for young travelers.
As our flight was continuously delayed by 30 minute increments, we didn’t get a chance to use the American Airlines lounge in Philadelphia. When flying first class, remember that the lounge is part of your ticket. Relaxing in the lounge before take-off is so much better than sitting in the general boarding area! And yes, kids are welcome.
Flying domestic first class is a great experience with or without kids. The service is excellent and the seats are considerably more comfortable. However, the typical cost for just a single short-haul flight doesn’t make sense for my family. I’d rather save money by flying economy on short flights and splurge on business class for those longer flights. That is unless I can get another incredible deal! Then it’s hello first class!
What has been your experience with first class domestic travel? Do you recommend flying first class within the USA?