An Ice Cream Social in the Sky

Good morning, Seattle! I’m in town to accompany the boyfriend to his 10-year high school reunion tomorrow. Last night, I flew on a nonstop United Airlines flight from Washington, DC to Seattle-Tacoma Airport. Because I travel a lot for work, I’ve accrued a bit of status with United. This means that I occasionally receive complimentary upgrades to First Class! Normally, my favorite First Class perk is the free wine (let’s be honest, a bit of alcohol eases any turbulence anxiety). But since United merged with Continental last year, I’ve heard rumors of United serving ice cream in First Class on domestic cross-country flights. Last night, I happily confirmed those rumors.

After a mediocre dinner (chicken and rice), I noticed the stewards maneuvering a small cart into the First Class cabin. My heart leaped. Was it true? Sure enough, I took my headphones off in time to hear the steward ask a man in front of me “Would you care for an ice cream sundae this evening?”

What? I said to myself. I heard about ice cream – but nothing about sundaes! Sure enough, the man was given his choice of three toppings (fudge, caramel or strawberry sauce), whipped cream and chopped walnuts. Usually I’d go for chocolate sauce, but I could see that the bowls of ice cream were already starting to melt – so the last thing I wanted to do was speed up the process with a warm topping. Therefore, I opted for strawberry sauce and whipped cream. Simple but classic.

The ice cream was nothing special – ordinary vanilla bean – and the strawberry sauce clearly came from a frozen container. The whipped cream was definitely a step above Reddi-wip, but nothing to write home about. Yet, somehow, everything tasted better in the sky.

Thanks for the ice cream social, United!