Author Rakesh Agrawal
The whole cabin was first class, but not in the way you typically associate with first class. Seats were actually much closer to coach seats in width, with a 2-2 configuration.
Concorde is quite small. I’m not a big guy and you can see in the picture above how I compare to the width of the cabin. Because the flights were short, there isn’t lie flat seating. There weren’t any movies, IIRC.
For pure opulence, British Airways‘ first class is much nicer.
The highlights for me:
The exclusivity. I was in the Concorde Room at JFK and my friend looked around the room and said “Hey, that woman looks like Gwyneth Paltrow But what would she be doing flying commercial?” I had to remind her that it was Concorde. Gwyneth was a real sweetheart — we chatted for about 10 minutes.
Seeing the curvature of the earth from 60,000 feet. Knowing that you’re going Mach 2. You really can’t feel it, but you know it thanks to altitude and speed gauges placed prominently in the cabin.
The look of shock on my friend’s face when we got to the Concorde ticket counter. (She thought we were flying coach.)
Being a part of history. At the time I flew, Concorde’s retirement hadn’t been announced. (That happened a year later.) But it still felt like I was getting to do something that not many people get to do. Now that it’s been retired, I’m even happier that I had the opportunity.
Getting to New York before the time we took off from London.
Great food and wine. The link below has pictures of the food and wine.
Great service. Given that Concorde was their flagship service, their best crews were on it. They also appreciated that it was a special experience for many passengers. They gave you an embossed certificate showing that you’ve flown Concorde and some Concorde stationery.
A sense of accomplishment that a schlub like me who grew up in poverty could do this.