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Discover the Secrets of Comfort in Airline Economy Class Part 1

Updated on July 4, 2013
Typical 3-3-3 configuration in airline economy class.
Typical 3-3-3 configuration in airline economy class. | Source

Airline economy class frightens with the nightmare of tired and hungry passengers packed into sardine-can quarters on lengthy limb-numbing ordeals. But the low prices of this travel mode make it a necessary evil for most of us. Following a few easy tips can elevate the experience to something more comfortable.

© 2011 by Aurelio Locsin

Preparing for Airline Economy Class

If you like to sit in the aisle in large jets such as a Boeing 747, sit in the center section. Airline economy class cabins are normally arranged with a group of three seats on the left, three seats in the middle and three seats on the right.

· Sitting in either the left or right group aisle, means contending with two passengers in the inner seats. They have no choice but to climb over you to get to the restroom or stretch their legs. This will disturb you when you’re in the middle of meal or fast asleep.

· Sitting in one of the two center group aisles, means only one, or at most, two passengers will be in the inner seats. To reach the restroom, they have the choice of climbing over you or going through the aisle passenger on the opposite end of the group. Because they have two options, they will only likely bother you when it is most convenient for you. If you’re asleep, for example, they’ll avoid going through you. Instead, they’re more likely to go through the other aisle passenger who may be awake.


At the Airport

Bring comfortable clothes in your hand-carry. Just before boarding begins in airline economy class, duck into an airport restroom and change from your street clothes, into you comfortable clothes. (I typically wear gym shorts, t-shirt and slippers, or for cold-weather climates, track pants and sweatshirt.) This is especially desirable on long international flights, so that your body can expand and breath naturally throughout the journey. Just before your flight lands, change back into your seat clothes and store your comfortable clothes in your hand-carry.

Airline economy classpassengers typically board in groups arranged by row number, from last row to first. When the group BEFORE you is called, wait until those passengers line up, and then go to the end of that line. This means, you’ll be at the head of your group’s line when it is finally called. You can then board first. This increases the chance that the overhead bins in your group are still empty.

If you happen to reach the boarding gate before your group is called, more than likely, the boarding agent will use you as the signal to board your group. Otherwise, if she says you can’t board yet, stand aside, and let other passengers board who are in the group before you. Once she calls your group, you can move back to the head of the line.

Please continue with part 2 of Discover the Secret of Comfort in Airline Economy Class.


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