I guess we’d all like to fly first class whenever we travel but I don’t know about you – I don’t see first class air travel being in my future. But those of us who are confined to coach, we can still try to make our flights a pleasant as possible with a little forethought. First class – certainly on some of the better airlines – is truly luxurious, especially for long haul flights.
For those of us in cattle class, we can never hope to transform our narrow seats into luxurious daybeds and there’s no magic wand in the world that can change the mediocre airline food into a gourmet meal but there are several things we can do to make our economy travel better.
Have you ever gazed wistfully at the people who are heading for the first class lounge at the airport? No hard and uncomfortable seats for them. No queuing for ages to get an overpriced, pre-packaged sandwich. But did you know that for a small fee you too can use these lounges?
This is especially useful if you aren’t travelling alone and if you travel a few times a year, it’s particularly cost effective. You can find more details here. Just using this simple trick starts your journey off on the right foot and helps to make your entire trip stress-free.
If that’s not your style, you can certainly make the airport experience better by using these tips.
There’s no doubt that flying first class offers you bigger seats, more legroom and other luxuries. And there’s nothing you can do to expand the space. But you can make it more comfortable. One of the most useful items is a footrest – if it’s inflatable, so much the better.
Airline first class marketers make a big thing of supplying noise cancelling headphones, ear plugs, toiletry and dental kits … but these are all things that you can take yourself. (And remember that first class has crying babies too!) What’s more, you can decide on the brands you like the most. There’s huge range of pillows that you can buy (many inflatable so they take up little room in your bag) which are much better than the tiny ones we coach passengers are given.
Although we are also supplied with a thin blanket, a much better idea is to take your own peshtemal can double up as a towel or even a sarong/beach coverup. When you’re planning your flight, plan for your comfort too and make it a priority. There are many products that can make your flight more comfortable – see examples below.
This is where first class truly has the edge. First class passengers drink champagne (or the beverage of their choice) and dine on gourmet foods. But remember, although the food and drinks are ‘free’ the first class passenger has paid perhaps five or even ten times more than we have so ‘free’ is hardly the correct word.
There are some travellers who forget that we can take our own food on the plane with us. If you want champagne, take champagne! Of course, you’ll have to buy it once you’ve been through security but that’s really no hardship and it will certainly give you the feeling of luxury.
Here are details of the foods you can take with you on the plane. As you’ll see, there are few restrictions regarding the foods you can take on the plane. The only proviso is that everything must be securely packaged. So why not make your flight into a gourmet occasion? If you love to cook, you can have great fun devising special foods for your journey.
But if you’re not a cook, it’s easy to splash out at your local deli. Why not treat yourself? Healthy options are wonderful but you’ll also feel fabulous if you spoil yourself with a few special treats.
Of course, the important thing here is to take along with you the items that you think are special. We all have different tastes, after all. I would much prefer cream cheese and smoked salmon sandwiches to the boring airline food – or brie and tomato, or mozzarella and tomato – all served with a robust red wine … others might prefer a selection of sliced deli meats with salad served with fresh apricot juice.
Whatever makes you feel good.
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.