Vanity Challenge (Part 2)
Vanity Challenge (Part 2): By the way, why do people pay for first class seats in a plane?
Why is there a portion of the plane called first class or cloud nine as some airlines call it?
In July this year, the economy seat of the American airlines flying from John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City to Heathrow Airport in London cost US$915, but if you are flying first class on the same airline, that increases to US$5,407.
Let me break it down. We are talking of, in the same plane, in the same journey, taking off at the same time, arriving at the same time, flown by the same pilot, Someone pays 300k in Naira equivalent, another pays almost 2 million.
For a 45 minutes journey from Lagos to Abuja, someone in economy will pay around 25k, the person in first class will pay 60k. Same plane. Same possible flight delay. Same hour of flying. Same fate if the plane crashes.
Before you wash this away and conclude that I am thinking like a poor man, let me say something.
I have read some articles about why people fly first class and why you should fly first class. I have talked with some friends who love flying first class to know what they had to say.
They all seem to be saying the same thing.
First, they talked about the seat: The seat width, the seat pitch – called legroom, and how it is necessary for comfort and relaxation as oppose to the one in economy class. In other words, in first class there is a room for your leg. lol!
They also talked about the services. The food. The drinks. The WiFi, the in-flight entertainment, the type of TV screen e.t.c.
Again most airlines have a special lounge where those flying first class stay while waiting for the flight. Depending on the airline, some have free WiFi, free drinks, nice couch. (Free is what they called it, but they already paid for it.) And when passengers are to be checked in, you don’t join the “poor” economy class people to queue.
A friend of mine told me, “Kelvin, the first time you will fly first class, you will not want to fly economy.”
I asked him why?
He started talking about the seats, the TV, the treatments and he concluded by saying. . . “I can’t explain the feeling.”
I said to him:
I know in truth that airlines try to make first class very luxurious. Seeing some of the features, you will be moved. But tell me the truth, how can big screen TV be the reason you want to fly first class? TV that most people don’t even watch. Just for the few minutes or hours you will fly, will the TV in first class be better than the one in your house you hardly put on?
Or is it WiFi? What is WiFi to you? You that hardly use internet as such, but will be reading news paper? Or is it food? Is the food better than your mother’s?
Is it because of seat width or legroom. Economy is not uncomfortable either. So you want me to believe that the reason you paid four times of the money someone else paid to travel on the same flight, is because of seat? Is that how scarce big seats are in your house?
Then he turned to me and said something that defined everything we do in this life. He said, “First class just as the name, puts you in a special class. You get this feeling that puts you up there.”
Like it or not, everyday, consciously or unconsciously we are fighting for class. It is not merely comfort that drives people to board first class, comfort is used to disguise the real intent which many are even unconscious of.
People fly first class, just as the name is, “First Class”, to be in a certain class. Even those in economy see themselves in another class different from those using bus. One day they will want to graduate to first class. Then, they will discover that even in first class, there is another class. If you fly Emirates, you will know that there are different levels in first class.
The reason why most of us want to have more money, more power, more influence is simply to keep having the feeling of being in a class higher than others. This is why first class is very expensive, so as to keep maintaining the status. The moment every average person is able to afford first class, another higher class will be created. Which is in fact already happening.
This is what I call the #VanityChallenge.