Travel on airplanes is less luxurious than it once was, in-fact the airlines seem to keep making it less and less comfortable in coach. Time to fight back! Rebel against economy class. While you may have to travel in coach, you can upgrade your travel experience by following these hacks.
#1 Choose your seat wisely
- Seat Guru knows the layout of every type of plane (enter your flight number, airline, and date) and has comments for every seat so you can choose the best available.
- If you couldn’t book the seat you wanted when you purchased your tickets, it’s best to check for openings 24 hours before your scheduled departure – from that point up until departure is prime time for seat movement.
- Checking on open seats once you’re at the gate can also yield results, as fliers with status are upgraded to premium economy or business, and their coach seats open up.
- Always check pre-flight that your seat booking has not changed, as sometimes plane models are switched, and the airline will automatically move your position without alerting you.
#2 Obtain access to a lounge via Priority Pass Membership or a Credit Card
- Priority Pass membership allows you to access 1200 airline lounges worldwide and enjoy complimentary beverages, snacks, and the internet.
- There are different levels of membership, each offering its own per-visit cost (from free to $32 per person).
- You can also access lounges with certain credit cards; some provide complimentary Priority Pass membership, and some provide access to specific lounges.
- Of the many credit cards that provide complimentary Priority Pass memberships, here are a few: Chase Sapphire Reserve, Amex Hilton Aspire and Ascend, Citi Prestige, Amex Marriot Bonvoy Brilliant, and US Bank Altitude Reserve.
- American Express Platinum Cards provide access to Amex Centurion and International Lounges, as well as Delta and Priority Pass lounges.
- You can access the United Club lounges with certain Chase United credit cards.
- You can access the American Airlines Admirals Club lounges with the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Credit Card.
- You can access the Delta Sky Club lounges with their Amex Delta Reserve credit cards.
#3 Board early with priority boarding care of a credit card
- Most co-branded airline credit cards offer priority boarding, though some exceptions exist.
- Jet Blue, Alaska, and Hawaiian credit cards and the no annual fee credit cards for American, United, and Delta do not offer priority boarding.
- For some airlines to qualify, you need to have purchased the ticket with their credit card.
- This means you will board after the first and business class passengers and those with airline status but before all the other status-less economy class passengers.
- This is beneficial for securing that coveted overhead locker space.
#4 Connect to on-board Wi-Fi for free
- Most airlines offer paid Gogo Wi-Fi on their flights. If you’re a T-Mobile or Sprint customer, you get free Wi-Fi on every flight, just open the Gogo webpage and enter your mobile number in the T-Mobile customer section.
- Two credit cards provide complimentary Gogo passes as part of their benefits package; the Platinum Card from American Express offers ten free Gogo passes annually, and the US Bank Flexperks Travel Rewards Visa Signature card offers twelve.
Now that you’ve had your pre-flight refreshments at the lounge, boarded the plane early, secured great overhead locker space, settled into your very well-chosen seat, and are connected to the world via Wi-Fi, it’s time to make your little bit of on-board space as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. Here’s how:
#5 Bring your own noise-cancelling headphones and pre-loaded entertainment options on-board
- Whether you want to watch a movie, listen to a podcast, or sleep, your noise-cancelling headphones are miles above the free (or paid) budget earphones airlines provide in terms of comfort, sound quality, and best of all, sound reduction (when you need to eliminate the sounds of a crying baby or chatty passengers).
- Should the entertainment options be limited on the flight, you will be glad to have the pre-downloaded books on your kindle, podcasts on your phone, or movies on your laptop to keep you entertained.
#6 Come prepared with your own amenity kit
- Gone are the days when an airline would provide you with amenities in coach to make your flight more comfortable.
- Make your own kit or purchase the ‘Economy Class Rebellion’ Luxury Amenity Kit, which contains a silk eye mask for sleeping, cashmere socks for snuggly warmth, a facial mist to keep your skin hydrated throughout the flight, a cocktail kit to spice things up and a leather amenity bag with room to add a few more of your in-flight favorites.
#7 Prepare to become a mixologist at 30,000 feet
- Bring a cocktail kit on-board to turn an average drink into a delicious cocktail.
- We love the W&P Design cocktail kits with an extensive range from a Bloody Mary to a Champagne Cocktail; buy the required spirit on-board and mix away.
- Your seatmate will be incredibly envious, even if he does give you funny looks while you're mixing up your exotic cocktail.
- Alternatively, brush up on your cocktail making skills before the flight by watching this video that shows you how to use ingredients available in-flight to produce a not-so-average drink.
#8 Purchase a blow up footrest
- Ok, so you may look foolish blowing this up on the plane, but your feet and body will thank you immensely.
- The hardest part of sleeping in a coach seat is getting your legs comfortable, and the footrest imitates those stools they have in business class, though granted with a little less room…
#9 Tuck yourself in with cashmere
- These days you are no longer guaranteed a blanket or pillow on your flights, and there are reports that those blankets are not even washed between every flight…
- The ‘Make Travel Luxurious Again’ Cashmere Travel Set will upgrade any journey; the set is 100% cashmere and includes a blanket, eye mask, socks, and carry case that doubles as a pillowcase when you tuck the airline's supplied pillow inside.
To really take your Economy Class Rebellion to the next level, secure your plane ticket with air miles instead of shelling out your hard earned cash. There are numerous ways to earn air miles easily, and nothing feels like you're beating the system more than flying for free!
Here are some blog posts to get you on your way to earning those air miles:
Follow these tips and you’ll be rebelling against the establishment in no time!