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How to Make Your Coach Seat Feel Like First Class  

posted: 12/08/16
by: Katie Morton
Interior of a business / private jet.
iStock

For many of us, the holidays are a time when we jet off to visit our families. Don't let the stress of commercial air travel dampen the joy of the season. For those of us who can't swing the high cost of a first-class plane ticket, there ARE ways to make your coach seat feel a little more luxe. Here are 5 pro traveler tips for how to make coach feel a bit more like first class.

1. Book the Best Airline for Room

Some coach seats provide amenities that others don't. If you're someone who likes perks: Virgin Atlantic provides complimentary slippers and sleep eye masks to all guests, as well as one free cocktail before meals. JetBlue provides patrons free in-flight movies and DirectTV.

If you're looking for in-flight comfort: JetBlue seats boast a relatively spacious 33 inches of legroom (two inches more than the industry standard of 31 inches). If you're tall or just like to stretch, you can purchase Even More(TM) space on JetBlue when you book your ticket.

2. Choose Your Seat Wisely

One of the biggest benefits of first class is the extra space around you to recline. Comparatively, being crowded in coach can make you feel like cattle in a tight trailer. The good news is that most airlines now allow you to check the flight layout ahead of time to pre-select the best seats.

Best: Choose an emergency exit window seat for most optimal space and legroom.

Worst: Avoid the bulkheads, which can be even smaller than the usual coach seats. Also, avoid seats near the bathroom, the ones in the back don't recline and they will be noisy.

3. Avoid the Airplane Blankets

Airline blankets and pillows may be of questionable cleanliness, especially during holiday travel time (peak cold and flu season). Keep yourself cozy and healthy by packing your own portable travel amenities. If suitcase space is at a premium, wear a large shawl or a soft, oversized scarf on the plane, which can double as a blanket for naptime. Packable hotel slippers allow you to ditch your shoes and relax.

4. Nervous Flyer? Try to Unwind In Style

Book a private masseuse! You don't need to fly private to have your own pre-flight massage. Most large airports have massage areas where clients can indulge in seated 15-minute neck and shoulder massages to de-stress before boarding. Even a short massage can alleviate tension, reduce stress, and promote in-flight sleep.

If an on-board nap is your goal, don't forget to pack an eye mask in your carry-on to block out the rays. Make sure to pack headphones too, both for in-flight entertainment and to cut down on plane chatter. If you're the quirky type, rose-gold cat headphones make a fun stocking stuffer this season.

5. Use the First-Class Lounge

Did you know that, in some airports, you can use the first class lounge for free? Check out Lifehackers' How to Get Into Luxury Airport Lounges for Free to learn the tricks of the first-class trade. If you can't score a free lounge visit, then most lounges will allow you to purchase a day pass.

With just a few small indulgences and some pre-trip planning, your crowded coach seat can feel a little more high-class. Wishing you safe and happy travels this holiday season!