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Flying the 747-400 in Seat 1A

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There is something prestigious about seat 1A.  Sure, anyone can grab that seat this day and age when flying on an all-economy or regional airline.  But for someone like me who grew up in the 70s watching jumbo jets flying overseas – seat 1A was something special.

Why is 1A special?  Maybe it has to do with the lowest number with the lowest letter making one feel like a winner.  As in "I am number one". Back in the day, when there was First Class on every airplane, 1A also meant you are first of the first.

At a personal level, 1A also felt like something inaccessible.  When I was young, my grandfather, who was a mechanic at China Airlines, went to Singapore on an one-year work assignment.  Upon his return, as a reward, the airline gave him seat 1A on that 747 flight back home.  I remember fondly my grandpa proudly telling the story: about how 1A is always blocked for VIPs and typically flies unoccupied.  He gushed how surprised he was when the gate agent at the last minute a…