Gold Royal Crown
Royal Crown image by skeeze on Pixabay

7 Ways to Fake a First Class Experience in Economy

Because you deserve the finest malt liquor.

Long-haul flights are the worst. If you’re on a 10-hour flight, cramped up with legroom that even a dog couldn’t fit in, food that is only fit for a prison cafeteria, in seats that I can only imagine are filled with more germs than a toilet, you’re in for one hell of a ride (literally).

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But not everyone can shell out the ridiculous prices it costs to travel in Business or First Class. “Help me, I’m poor!

Here are seven tips to make your Economy experience a little less miserable and — although not exactly like First Class — a whole lot better than your buddies who didn’t read this post.

#1: Book The Right Seats

Before picking your seats, check Seat Guru. You’ll find critical seat information like if you’re going to be stuck sitting next to a bassinet (a.k.a. a screaming child) or the bathroom (a.k.a. poop smells) all flight long.

If traveling with a friend, book the window and the aisle seat. More often than not, the center seat will remain empty which = more room. And even if someone swoops that seat, they will only be extra grateful to you when you ask them to switch to the window.

#2: Carry On Cocktail Kit (… and a Plastic Champagne Flute)

Just because you’re not in First Class doesn’t mean you can’t drink like you are. First Class offers top shelf liquors. So, if you’re a booze snob (I hope to be you one day by the way), head to BevMo and purchase premium mini liquor bottles to take on the plane.

If you only care about the buzz (holla!), it’s all about how you drink that drink. Pack a mini cocktail kit and a plastic champagne flute for ultimate luxury that even your Instagram won’t be able to tell you just faked.

#3: Pack Your Own Snacks

Let’s be real, Economy in-flight meals will never win Top Chef or even, say, a pre-school cooking competition. The real difference between Economy and First Class (aside from the seats which, well, there’s no solution for that) is the food.

The key here is snacking. First class offers a wide array of options available any time during the flight, so be sure to pack a variety of treats. A few of my favorite are: clementines, a cheese and crackers snack box (thank you, Starbucks), See’s Candy, nuts (to go with your cocktails obvi), dried/fresh fruit, coconut water (which you should purchase at the airport), pretzels, and a small pack of almond butter.

Ostrich Pillow
Pack a Sleep Mask … or an Ostrich Pillow

#4: Bring a Face Mask

Sure, you run the risk of looking like a serial killer for 30 minutes but it’s well worth the temporary embarrassment. Grab one of those sheet masks, head to the bathroom, wash your face and your hands and once you’re back at your seat, plop that baby on.

If you’re on the shy side, wait until the cabin lights are dimmed. Bonus tip: make sure it doesn’t have a strong smell, you want to avoid acting like a serial killer.

#5: Bring PJs to Change Into

On long haul flights, First Class fliers get their own personal jammies. If they get it, so should we, amirite?

Bring a change of cozy clothes to put on whenever you’re ready to hit that snooze button. Oh, and don’t forget some socks (compression socks are the best).

#6: Eye Mask, Ear Plugs, and a Neck Pillow

This one is a must. For ultimate relaxation, don’t forget a heavy duty eye mask and a pair of ear plugs to drown out your neighbor’s snores.

If you’re fancy enough to have a pair of noise-canceling headphones … well, I’m incredibly jealous of you.

'Bridesmaids' First Class (movie screenshot)

#7: Bring an iPad Filled With Movies

Most airlines provide decent entertainment, even in Economy. But, if you really want to take it to the next level, download a bunch of movies on your iPad. Just make sure it’s charged before takeoff or bring a portable charging stick. Pack a ziplock full of popcorn and you, my friend, are all set.

And now I know it won’t be exactly like Upper Class, but it’ll sure make your Economy experience a whole lot more bearable. Hopefully, this makes you less likely to channel that iconic scene from Bridesmaids where you put on your biggest shades and sneak into the First Class Cabin, Mrs. Iglesias.

Remember, a flight is just that. A flight that takes you somewhere new, somewhere special, and begins your journey to discovery. So what if you have to sit in a smelly, cramped tube for several hours? At least you’ll have extra money to spend on the actual adventure now.

Safe travels!

  1. Nice tips! Bringing a sleep mask and loads of movies always worked for me. I still have to find out that how to sleep for several hours :D
    Happy 2019.

  2. Can’t agree enough about the use of SeatGuru, especially if you don’t fly often. Once you start flying or fly often on one airline you’ll start to learn where the best seats are, but if you are new to flying SeatGuru is a most. It will certainly help avoiding those cramped and smelly seats. Plus they provide great information on things like Wifi, IFE, and other inflight services.

  3. These are some great tips for a more comfortable and engaging economy class flight. For me, first class will always be first class so no matter how I fake it, I will still be aware that I am not there, but might as well make the best of economy.

  4. Some really good tips here especially the bringing along some mini liquor bottles. I need to check out seatguru too, ive not used it before. Economy now seems more inviting.

  5. It’s illegal to bring your own booze on a flight and help yourself to it. The airlines must serve you all the alcohol you drink, so that they can control it and cut you off if needed.

    The way to do this is BYOB and politely ask the flight attendents if they would be so kind as to serve it to you. This is allowed. It would be super easy to just sneak it yourself, but this is technically forbidden. I don’t know what would happen if they catch you, but I don’t want to find out.

    All opened bottles must be disposed of at the end of the flight, so just bring minis.

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