Four Ways To Find Comfort in Economy Class

I make my way into my window seat from New York to Denver. It doesn’t feel so terrible back here in economy class, or so I think for a New York minute. And then my middle seat neighbor arrives and promptly takes up the armrest along with half of my seat with his elbow. He has also apparently taken a shower in cheap cologne in preparation for the flight. He extends his legs into my miniscule legroom space. I mutter to myself that it’s only a few hours. I can just work the whole time and ignore how uncomfortable I am. I whip out my laptop and type away until the seat in front of me lunges back, mere inches from my nose. My computer screen slams shut thanks to by lounge-happy neighbor.

Flying in economy class is about as far from glamorous and comfortable as you can get. When your arm goes numb because you are trying to type on a computer up to your nose due to the lounging passenger in front of you, you can hear business class laughing from the front of the plane. We can’t all afford business class seats or fork over all of miles for more room. However there are a few things those of us in the back of the bus on flights can do to make the experience more comfortable.

Check With Seat Site Experts When Selecting a Seat: If you have to sit in economy class, you might as well know everything about the seats on your plane. Often I snag a window seat, thinking I have the best seat that I can afford. And then I board to find no window in my row and a giant metal box taking up all of my legroom. You can avoid these fiascos by checking with sites like Seat Guru and Seat Expert. You can learn a great deal about the airplane you will be flying and spot just where the best seats may be.

Consider Minor Upgrades If Stuck in the Middle Seat or On Long Hauls
: Sometimes the middle seat is unavoidable. While you could tough it out, if you are on a flight longer than a few hours, you will quickly regret that decision. Many airlines now have sections with more legroom in between economy and business. These upgrades are far less than they would be to jump to business or first class and yet they provide that extra amount of room that makes the flight bearable. On a flight from Munich to Newark, I decided to upgrade to this “luxury” economy section. I ended up having three seats to myself because the section was a ghost town. Had I not forked over a little bit more, I would have been packed like a sardine back in regular economy and miserable in the process.

Book Flights By Plane Not Just Price: Most of us just book flights by the price and the schedule. However, if you want to be more comfortable back in your economy class seat, you should book tickets based on airplanes with better seating plans. Before you click purchase, look up your airplane’s layout. It might be two-three-two with two seats on the window, three in the middle of the plane and two on the other side of the plane. It could be the more cramped three-four-three with three on the one side, four in the middle and three on the other side. Then again it could be a smaller plane where there is just one seat on one side of the plane and two seats on the other. If you want to avoid feeling uncomfortable in economy, book a ticket based on price, schedule and also by the airplane’s seating layout.

Pack a Do Not Disturb Kit: The screams of a baby or maybe an adult are enough to make you uncomfortable back in economy class. I have only flown business class once and one of the things I noticed what made the flight so much more enjoyable was the quiet. Travelers in economy class can make their cabin less of a zoo by packing a do not disturb kit. You should have earplugs or music to drown out the noise. You should also wear comfortable clothes so that in the little space that you do have, at least your clothes aren’t constricting. Passengers in economy class also might want to consider some blinders to block out the light from a window or a jarring reading light next door.



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