first class is not really that excel, but is average. You get a nice leather seat with more width and legroom (36-7"), and gets free drinks. There will be a "snack" service on flights longer than three hours -- the full hot meal is no longer offered. On transcon or PHX
/East Coast flights, you get a choice of two cold plates, and then a cookie or a pie. The beverage is still offered in real glasses on longer flights. I heard that hot pockets are served lately... but not really a "meal" if you know what I mean.
For short flights, they are fine -- drinks are served in plastic cups, but complimentary alcoholic beverage.
Service has been fine actually -- better than five years ago. They are pretty good with serving beverages... I guess some F/As feel bad for the so called "meals" served in first class.
If you are flying transcon, some major airlines have matched HP
's first class fare, especially in "A" class. For example, both DL
offered a $310OW/$620RT between LGA
offered an "A" fare for $1000RT between West and East Coast via DFW
also offered a "D" discounted business class fare of $1000USD on the premium transcon flights between LAX
. I think Air Tran and Spirit both offer a "business" class service that is pretty similar with HP
without the cold plate... only snack mixes... but the price may be cheaper.