Around 3 billion people fly in coach every year and there is one main reason for that.
Sure, the seats might only be 17-inches wide on average, you might not have a lot of legroom, no in-flight meals, and limited entertainment, but given that the difference in price between economy and business can be as high as $3000, it’s not hard to see why coach seats are so popular.
However, there are steps you can take to make your trip in coach feel as close to first-class as possible. Today we’ll be walking you through some of them.
Bring Your Own Entertainment
If you’re expecting an inflight movie from the screen in the back of the chair while flying coach, we’re afraid you’re going to be disappointed. If you want entertainment, you’re going to need to bring your own.
However, there is some good news on that front. The days of being cut off for hours during a flight are over. Most airlines now allow you to connect your phone or tablet to the internet while in flight, although you might be asked put your phone in airplane mode during takeoff and landing.
The only downside to using your phone on a plane is that you’ll be passing over multiple telecommunications areas, which your phone will have to reconnect to, and probably some dead zones where your connection will drop out entirely.
So, if you’re watching a movie, you should be prepared for it to stutter and buffer every now and then. If you’re playing a game, you might want to consider something you can drop in and out of without detriment, like The Bubble Witch or Mario Kart, or a multiplayer game with high player turnover, like Zoom Poker.
Of course, phones are not the only option for on-board entertainment. You could bring a handheld console like a Nintendo Switch, or read a book or Kindle.
You Need to Accessorize
Accessories are the key to staying comfortable on a coach flight and for making travel easier in general.
Unlike flying in business or first class, flying in coach means you won’t get automatic access to amenities like a pillow, a blanket, or snacks. This means you’re going to have to bring your own.
If you’re on a particularly early or late flight, or one that goes on for more than a few hours, then you’re probably going to end up dozing. A neck pillow is a must in this situation. There is nothing worse than getting off a flight with a sore neck because you’ve not been able to support it while sleeping.
The same applies to a blanket. You don’t need to bring a full-sized quilt with you, just a small, pack-away, travel blanket that will keep you warm if the air-con in the cabin has been turned up a little high.
When it comes to food, try and avoid anything too heavy or greasy as that kind of snack will make you feel uncomfortable. Flying already has an unsettling effect on your digestive system, so stick with the normal airline staples of nuts and trail mix.
Instead of caffeinated or carbonated beverages, try water infused with ginger or mint. These will keep you hydrated without making you gassy.
Book Ahead and Be Polite
Even in coach, some seats are more desirable than others. The last thing you want on a long and uncomfortable flight is to be sat by a busy galley, next to the toilets, or at the back of the plane where the turbulence is at its worst.
Because the seats at the front are more desirable, they tend to get booked up faster and cost more. The best way to make sure you get one of these desirable seats is to book early.
Once you’re on the plane, make sure you are polite and grateful to your flight attendants. Not only is this the right thing to do, they have a hard job after all, but they also have the latitude to provide you with little perks, like extra food or alcohol, so it always pays to be nice.