I have spent a lot of hours in economy class during my lifetime. Many of the flights I have made over the last 12-plus years have been long-haul from Asia to the United States to Europe. Each flight was taken in economy class allowing me to learn how to deal with long flights in that hated economy class.
Over the years, I looked for ways to make those economy class flights feel a bit more like, well not first class, but something a little bit better than at the back of the plane. So, here are some tips for you to survive long flights in economy class and live a little more like the rich and famous.
1. Pack your Kindle full of films
A Kindle, or other branded tablet, can be a lifesaver when flying economy. Of course, many airlines I fly such as Virgin provide monitors and a host of movies. Yet, I always find the movies available are ones I couldn’t careless to watch. My Kindle has been all over the world with me providing me with great films, TV shows, and books to read.
On another note, my son (who is six years old) loves having his tablet when we travel. With family on two different continents, he is used to long-haul flights and a Kindle keeps him busy throughout with films and games.
2. Joggers are a godsend
There was a time when people got dressed up in suits and/or dress to fly. I supposed people used to wear suits and dress for everything at one time. The good news is, those days of dressing up to travel are over.
Activewear is one of the greatest inventions for travelers taking long-haul flights in economy class. There is nothing more comfortable than wearing a pair of jogging bottoms, running shoes, and a hoodie when chillaxing in economy class.
Slider sandals and flip flops are also a brilliant idea for long-haul economy flights. Why? Because you can slip off your shoes and still move around easily while wearing sandals. Don’t go barefoot or in socks, that is for savages.
Once you are sitting down, you can relax in style with your sandals and/or shoes off just like at home. Just make sure your feet do not stink from wandering around as a tourist before your flight.
3. Pick an appropriate seat
Pick your seat depending on what you want to get out of the flight. If you want to sleep through the flight, a window seat is optimal. Travelers who prefer to get to the bathroom more easily or to get up to move around should get an aisle seat.
The worst possible place to sit, however, is in one in the middle of a three or four-seat row. This is the most dreaded seat position on a long flight in economy class. Avoid these seats and the uncomfortable situations that occur with strangers sitting on both sides of you.
4. Explore the world of podcasts
I love podcasts and listen to them whether commuting to my office, on a long run or cooking dinner. Therefore, downloading some of my favorite podcasts are a must when traveling.
Films can get old, but listening to a podcast, especially a series can pass the hours away. Personal favorites are true crime podcasts, shows that explore history and mysteries, or the great Stuff You Should Know series.
When I was young, I would take long-haul flights and spend hours drinking free beer as I soared over the ocean. Invariably, I would fall asleep and wake up groggy when arriving at my final destination.
Had I known then what I know now, I would have spent the entire flight simply relaxing and drinking water to stay hydrated.
Being hydrated and not drinking too much alcohol on a flight not only keeps an arrival hangover away but prevents you from getting up and down to go to the bathroom.
6. Order a special meal
Are you vegan, vegetarian, or need a meal based on your religious beliefs? No? Well, it doesn’t matter because ordering a special meal means getting served food before anyone else in economy class.
Flight stewards serve the special meals prior to dishing up the other items on the menu to the rest of the passengers. So, always order a special meal even if you don’t actually need or want one.
Economy class on a long haul flight does not automatically mean an uncomfortable flight
These tips can help you survive an economy flight. The economy class doesn’t have to be a terrible experience. You just need to know how to treat the beast to have a great flight.