I’ve traveled alot over the years (361,728 miles on United alone since 1998) and have maintained a high status in United’s Mileage Plus program for several years. As a result of working in Denver for nearly all of 2004 and the early months of 2005, I lost my status and sat in coach when I began flying to San Francisco again this past March.
I recently regained my status, including the free upgrades perk, and am back in first class. This makes the flights a whole lot easier and more comfortable. I have room to work, read, and get something decent to eat (no matter what you believe about airplane food, the meals in first class are usually good).
Another reason I like first class will sound a bit elitist: I get to board before the rest of the passengers. This is just a reflection of my personality – I don’t like to wait in line.