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Discover the Secrets of Comfort in Airline Economy Class Part 2

Updated on July 4, 2013
Northwest Airlines economy class on a Beoing 757
Northwest Airlines economy class on a Beoing 757 | Source

This is a continuation of part 1 of Discover the Secret of Comfort in Airline Economy Class. This part 2 covers tips you can follow after you’ve boarded the plane.

© 2011 by Aurelio Locsin


Airline Economy Class Flight Attendants

Regardless of your previous experiences with them in airline economy class, under-thanked and hardworking flight attendants want to do a good job in keeping you comfortable and ensuring your safety. Anything you can do to make their job easier will be appreciated, and responded to in kind.

Bringing them treats is totally unexpected and is a welcome surprise. Chocolates, cookies, candies or home-made cakes are an appreciated change from the typical airline food they suffer. A few airline economy class crews are justifiably wary at food gifts, for health reasons. If that’s a concern, bring reading material such as books, magazines and catalogs. (They will have read through all the airline periodicals within their first few flights of their shift month. And this reading material is frequently changed only once month.)

If you’ve enjoyed a particular dish, dessert or snack, don’t be afraid to ask for seconds. But do so discretely, by going to the galley and seeing if they have any extras. They’ll be happy to oblige, especially if you’ve earlier given them a treat. I’ve also asked for non-alcoholic beverages such as soft-drinks, juices and water throughout the flight. There’s no need to wait for mealtimes for these refreshments.

Save any plastic bags or wrappers that cover pillows and blankets, or headsets. You can use this to temporarily store any trash you accumulate during the flight. You can give these trash bags to flight attendants when they make their rounds.


Travel in airline economy class, especially on international flights, can grant a small pack of freebies, typically consisting of a toothbrush, toothpaste, slipper-socks and even eye masks. However, even when these aren’t available, several other freebies are generally yours for the asking:

· Toiletries such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, disposable razors, shaving cream, tampons and moist towelettes.

· Children’s toys and games, which are normally automatically given to children who board. If you don’t have a kid with you, ask for them for your little ones at home.

· Airline advertising ephmera such as playing cards, postcards, pens or pencils, stationery and envelopes. My favorite item to ask for is a pilot’s pin or badge. These are typically made of plastic and occasionally, metal, and are excellent for collectors or kids. Tell flight attendants that you want to give the badge to your kid as a special reminder of your flight.

Before You Land

In part 1 of Discover the Secret of Comfort in Airline Economy Class, I talked about changing into your street clothes before landing. You normally have to do this within the confines of an airplane restroom, which requires some agility. Ask the flight attendant if there’s a protected space, where you can quickly change clothes. Depending on what relationship you’ve established with them beforehand, they may let you do it in a curtained area not normally available to passengers. Or they may be willing to stand guard against intrusion by other passengers while you change in a relatively isolated nook.

Let me know in the Comments section if you’ve tried any of these tips, or if you have additional ones to add for flying in airline economy class.


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