Although, everyone wishes they could be sitting in the front of the plane, it is a reality that not many people can, even if they are using points for their flights. To make the experience better in the back, these are five tips and tricks to make you feel like you are flying up front, without the heavy cost (points or cash).
#1 Expedited Security
When you are trying to get to your flight or from your flight, there is nothing worse than waiting in long security or customs lines. That is why there is TSA PreCheck, CLEAR and Global Entry. TSA PreCheck is available at many airports in the US and can save hours of time. You do not have to take off your shoes or even take your computer out of your bag. If you want to get to the front of the TSA PreCheck line, then consider getting CLEAR for an additional features that time-saving boost. Not to mention that when you scan your fingerprints or eyes for CLEAR, you feel like a James Bond VIP. On the other end, Global entry allows you to walk right past the wait when you are trying to go through customs. Make sure to check out my article on TSA Precheck and CLEAR, Security Lines: No Thank You.
After clearing security, make your way to an airport lounge. The lounges almost always have food and comfortable seating, while some even have spas, shower suites and more. You can get into them using credit cards to your advantage. A number of premium travel cards such as Citi Prestige, American Express Platinum Card, Hilton Aspire and more come with a priority pass membership that will allow you into 1,300 lounges worldwide. The Platinum Card also offers access to their network of Centurion lounges, Delta lounges (when flying Delta), and more. Not only will you be getting the same experience as those sitting up in the front of the plane, you will feel good knowing that you are there for free while they are paying big bucks. Have some fun sipping champagne in a seat that is definitely more comfortable then the black gate armchairs.
#3 Extra Legroom Seats
Extra legroom seats look the same as other economy seats, but they normally have at least 6 extra inches of legroom. You may not even be able to tell them apart by looking at them, but when you sit down, you will definitely notice the difference. Many airlines allow their loyalty members to select extra legroom seats for free either during booking or the day of the flight. If you have this ability, make sure to use it for the extra room. If you do not have the ability to book extra legroom seats for free, consider paying if the cost is reasonable. If you plan on sticking with regular seats, make sure to check your bag so you can put your personal items in the overhead compartment. This will allow your legs more room to breathe. Use extra legroom at your discretion depending on how cramped regular seats are for you.
#4 Make Yourself an Amenity Kit
This tip is definitely more important on longer flights but helps no matter what. When I refer to an amenity kit, I am referring to the other soft product items that many airlines give business and first class passengers besides self care items like toothpaste, a toothbrush or hand cream. Bring comfy sweatpants or pajamas to wear on your flight. Also make sure to bring noise canceling headphones to tune out unpleasant noise. Slippers or furry moccasins are incredibly comfortable to wear around the plane. Finally, I recommend bringing your own blanket. I find that airline blankets are skimpy and do not keep me warm.
Bring your favorite foods and drinks onto the flight. You could bring your own premium snacks such as an olive assortment, charcuterie board, or some nice desserts. You could even make yourself a five course meal and eat it on board. Essentially, you can eat or drink whatever your heart desires. I guess you could even bring your own Dom Pérignon if you purchased it after security or brought it in small quantities. Then the people sitting up front would be the ones missing out. Don’t forget about bringing your own warm chocolate chip cookies.
Overall, flying in the back does not need to be a bad experience. Yes, many airlines have made your time flying in the back of the plane less comfortable with more seats. The truth is that no matter where you are seated, you are all going to get there at the same time. Just because you did not pay for premium travel does not mean that you should not have a fun, premium experience while onboard.
Joyce Tannenbaum says
Great idea about the amenity kit and food! You could even set the trend and bring your own white linen napkins to cover your tray table!! Sweet!