You’re seated in economy class when the flight attendant closes the curtain between your section and first class.
You keep thinking, ‘If only I had more money, I could have traveled first class.”
There’s still hope for you. In the next five minutes, learn tricks pro travelers use to feel like they are flying first class when they’re traveling in economy.
Compare Airline Services
Each airline offers different services in economy classes, so compare the services to find out which airline you want to fly with.
Third-party apps allow you to compare airline services and find out the seat type, pitch, and seat width. You can also check the reviews of specific seats. Know if seat 38D in an Air Lingus Airbus reclines or not before booking.
You’ll know if the airline offers Wi-Fi and power outlets. Furthermore, you’ll know if you’ll get access to on-demand TV.
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Book the Perfect Seat
Which seat is the perfect one? The answer varies as per your needs.
If you prefer extra legroom, book a seat in the emergency exit row. Expect to pay up to $80 more than regular seats.
The exit row seats don’t always recline, so if you book a seat on the row behind the exit row, you’re less likely to have someone reclining and shrinking your legroom further. In addition, you can recline your seat.
Bulkhead seats — seats at the front end of the plane — offer more space than regular seats. However, you won’t get a seat pocket or under-seat storage.
Book a window seat if you wish to enjoy the view outside. Furthermore, a frequent toilet visitor won’t clamber over you every 15 minutes. Grab an aisle seat if you’re the aforementioned frequent toilet visitor.
Book both the window and aisle seats if you travel with a friend. Chances are, no one will book the middle seat for themselves. You’ll have the entire row to yourselves. If someone books the middle seat, you can ask them to switch to the window or aisle seat.
Book a seat away from the toilet. You won’t have to witness the line or endure the smell. Select a seat away from the engine to avoid the sound. You can accomplish this by sitting in one of the middle rows of a widebody aircraft, or ahead of the engines on any aircraft.
If all of these tricks fail, check for empty seats and rows. Ask the flight attendant to move you to the empty seats. They’re more than willing to do so if they can.
Enjoy the Airport Lounge
Entry to airport lounges is no longer reserved for first-class and business-class travelers. Buy a daily pass or an annual membership to enter airport lounges.
You will pay up to $50 for each person for a daily pass. An annual membership can cost up to $650 a year for one person.
Credit cards, including the American Express Platinum card, offer VIP access to airport lounges. You’ll have to pay an annual fee ranging from $350 to $2,500 depending on the card.
Carry a Cocktail Kit
If you’re bored with the Diet Cokes and ginger ales served on the flight, make your own cocktail with a cocktail kit. There’s nothing better than sipping on a margarita or Moscow Mule 20,000 feet in the air.
Check with the airline to ensure they allow the cocktail kit you want to bring.
Take a Travel Pillow
Airlines offer free pillows on long-haul flights. However, the pillows feel like a paper towel wrapped around cotton balls. The pillows slip behind your head as well.
Carry an inflatable travel pillow. Choose a horseshoe-shaped one that circles your neck. The pillows never let your head fall over while you sleep, so you won’t have neck pains.
Sitting down for long hours can hurt your lower back. Buy a lumbar pillow to support your spine and avoid lower back pain.
Bring an Eye Mask
Block out the light and doze off with an eye mask.
Buy an eye mask that sits away from your eyes. Furthermore, choose a mask with in-built eye cavities. These masks never push into the eyelids, which can be painful.
Carry a Blanket
Yes, airlines provide free blankets. However, the thin blankets never offer much-needed warmth, so you should carry your own in your hand luggage.
If you don’t have space for a blanket in your hand luggage, wear a pashmina scarf or shawl. You can also wear a light cardigan or jacket.
Bring Noise-Canceling Headphones
A noisy fellow passenger. A crying baby. The roaring engine. Each of them — or all of them combined — can ruin your journey. Noise-canceling headphones offer the perfect solution, so you won’t have to listen to music at full volume to drown the outside noise.
Airlines offer free earbuds. However, the earbuds never block out the noise.
The cold air inside an airplane cabin can make your skin dry. Carry moisturizer and lip balm to protect your skin and lips. You can also use a hydrating facemask.
Carry under-eye gels to remove the puffiness below your eyes. You can also use eye patches for the same effect.
If you ever decide to brush your teeth on your journey, ask for a cup of water. The water in flight toilets isn’t potable.
Also, carry sanitizing wipes to clean seats, armrests, and tray tables.
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Bring Your Own Food
If you don’t like the options being served on the plane, try to buy some chocolate or a snack from the food outlets at the airport before boarding your flight. You can bring food from home as well.
Check the airline website to learn what food they allow inside the aircraft.
Never bring odorous food, and be sure to respect your fellow passengers’ boundaries. Nothing is worse than a fellow passenger scattering chips all over your pants.
Have Realistic Expectations
You can feel like you’re flying first class if you follow the aforementioned tricks. You can also help yourself afford a first-class ticket on your next trip by buying a travel insurance policy before this one begins. With travel insurance, you can be guarded against lost expenses due to flight cancellations and delays. Get the nonrefundable costs that are covered by your policy reimbursed so that you can travel again in the future. Never obsess over traveling in first class. You’ll arrive at the destination at the same time; no matter if you travel in first-class or economy. Focus on the destination, not the journey.
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