For most of us, overseas airline travel sees us crammed into cattle class and casting envious glances towards the front of the plane, at the chosen ones lapping up the luxury. Don’t despair though, you can achieve a more upmarket flight experience with our travel cheat advice.
Check in online
By taking advantage of the online check in service offered by your airline, you can avoid lengthy waits in queues at the airport and, more importantly, choose your seats. Contrary to popular opinion, although the exit rows are good for extra legroom, they are not the best available as they do not recline. The best seat would be the seat behind the exit row, on the aisle, as no one will be reclining their seat into your lap.
Travel there in style
Consider booking a private car or limousine to transport you to the airport. Depending on how far away from the airport you live, the extra cost for the convenience of being collected from your front door and delivered directly to the terminal to board your flight without the headaches of navigating long-term parking, traffic snarls and lugging your suitcases around yourself, can be worth it.
At the airport
Do a little research into the services offered at the airports from which you are departing and/or stopping over. Many offer pay-per-use airport lounges where you can take advantage of features such as meals, snacks and beverages, free wifi access and computer workstations where you can catch up on work (or update your Facebook status). In some cases there may even be showers, massages and sleep rooms.
Find a quiet seat in one of the less-frequented bars at the airport (the Irish bars are generally ones to avoid) and treat yourself to a glass of your favourite tipple and a tasty snack before boarding your flight. It will give you time to sort out your hand luggage in peace, fill out any necessary paperwork and take a deep breath before rushing off to your departure gate.
Create your own comfort kit
Although you will be supplied with some of the following things on many international flights, the quality is questionable at times. So pack a few of these goodies into your hand luggage to ensure that you feel like you are receiving the royal treatment.
- A good, inflatable travel pillow
- Noise-cancelling headphones
- A top quality sleeping mask
- A lightweight blanket or pashmina to snuggle in, cashmere is perfect (but pricey) so a slightly cheaper alternative may be preferable
- Slipper socks so you can take off your shoes mid flight, but still feel comfortable walking around the plane
- Stop in Duty Free before boarding the plane and indulge yourself with some top-quality chocolates
- Don’t forget to take some toiletries such as eye drops and under eye gel, moisturiser and lip balm to freshen up before landing
Do you have any tips to share that can make economy travel a more pleasurable experience?