When I’m flying, I pick my seat with all the consideration I’d give to buying a new house, and I suggest you do the same. It will be your home while you’re on board and can make or break your level of inflight comfort.
Look at the seating chart on the airline’s website and double check that information with the Seat Guru website. Exit rows provide more legroom and comfort, but some exit row seats don’t recline and some have fixed arms that make the seat slightly narrower. I usually learn everything I can online and then call the carrier to confirm.
Trust me, if you wait and do seat selection at the airport or let the airline choose your seat, you’ll end up in the center of a row where you have neither a view out the window nor easy access to the aisle.
Other Tips For Inflight Comfort
It’s really important to stay hydrated in the air and the little thimblefuls of water provided during the “beverage service” just don’t do it for me. Instead, I carry an empty water bottle through the TSA inspection and fill it at a water fountain near my gate. Drinking lots of water is healthy – and so is the exercise you get walking back and forth to the restroom.
I also think it isn’t a good idea to rely on the airline or airport for food. Airports are full of overpriced (and often unhealthy) options that you can take on board, but I prefer to carry a sandwich I made at home and a ziplock bag of organic grapes.
The truly self-sufficient will also bring their own in-flight entertainment. I keep it simple and just tuck in a book and my phone with ear buds. Music stored on the phone helps to drown out the Chatty Cathys around me so I can read. Other folks think ahead and download a movie onto their laptop or tablet. I also keep ear plugs and a sleep mask handy.
I would also never board a flight without a pashmina or jacket in my carry-on. It seems to me that the pilots (or whoever sets the cabin temperature) think everyone on board is having hot flashes.
One last thing about inflight comfort: I recommend bringing anti-bacterial wipes and using them to clean your tray table and anything else you might touch.
Category: Dealing with Illness and Discomfort