top of page

Surviving Long Flights

Updated: Mar 14, 2022

I only fly economy. I figure I can put up with a lot of discomfort to have more time or a fun experience once I reach destination. I have convinced myself that I can handle even the longest flight. Do I look with intense envy at those fancy lie-down seats in first class as I walk past them to my seat in the cattle car at the back? Absolutely. I have flown on many long haul flights in economy-the majority of them could not be described as comfortable. Flying coach class can be awful but there are ways to make sure you have a good flight. Here are my top tips on how to survive a long flight in economy class.

Pay for Seat Selection

There aren't any really fabulous seats in economy class but some are better than others. Most airlines offer an economy plus price that includes seat selection. Seats in front of the bulkhead have greater leg room but your carry-on must be stowed overhead, making accessing it during flight more of a challenge. The seats in the very last rows don't recline. On some discount airlines, none of the seats recline. There are advantages to both aisle and window seats. Middle seats work for smaller folks like me but can be very confining for almost everyone else. Seats beside the emergency exits have lots of room but again, carry-on bags cannot be on the floor in front of you.

Try to get your seat assignment as you book your flight. Before choosing seats, I usually look up the seat map for my flight on