This week, with the aim of enhancing travel experiences, we have come up with 5 simple ways to make your next flight more enjoyable. I'm sure we have missed a couple, so please feel free to add some of your own below!
1. Just Ask…
If you book your flights at short notice... or you did not use a travel agent (please excuse the plug), you can sometimes find yourself with undesirable seat selections. Whether you are travelling on your own or with others, bad seat selections can not only ruin a flight, but in some cases, they can also make you miss connections. The good news is you can often change your fate by simply and politely (this is key) asking for seat changes at check-in or at the gate before you board. A lot of the time, airlines will hold some seat assignments until the day of the flight. Checking in early is the best way to ensure a chance of changing your seating assignments. In some cases, you may even be able to see more available seats when you check-in online 24 hours before your flight.
2. Use a Neck Pillow
I know those of you that do not own one of these, have seen others on the plane use them. They may look a little silly, but they are comfortable and substantially reduce neck pain. They also make it a little less likely for you to wake up with your head resting on the shoulder of the complete stranger next to you! There are all types of these pillows available and it’s really a matter of personal preference, but the best advice I can give is ‘buy before you fly’ - everything is more expensive at the airport and these are no exception. Shop online or even pop into our travel store to purchase one before you go.
3. Purchase Upgraded Economy
Upgraded economy is a fare class that offers more comfort than economy, but not as expensive as business class. Different carriers have different versions (for example Delta has Economy Comfort and United has Economy Plus) and it’s not just the name that differs. Some offer more legroom, while others have more recline and extra amenities. In fact, even the type of plane you are flying on can alter what’s included in an upgrade. Generally, international flights offer more and can even have a completely separate compartment for economy upgrade passengers, which does make a big difference to your level of comfort on those long haul flights.
4. Download Before You Go
Smartphones and other portable devices have access to all sorts of media and can keep you entertained while you travel. However, unless the data is already on your device, you will not be able to listen or watch anything without a good network or WiFi connection. Waiting until you are at the airport is risky as those connections are not always available (at least not for free) and downloading data uses a lot of battery power. Fully charging the device and saving any media to it before you leave the house is generally the best way to ensure you have something to keep you entertained while you fly.
5. Life's Better When You Share
When I think back to the movies I have enjoyed the most, they are always the ones I watched with other people. In my experience, we tend to laugh harder and pay more attention to the films and tv shows we share with others. Whether you are sitting with a friend, a family member or a complete stranger - there is a little inexpensive device that allows you to split your audio connection and add a second headset. You can use this 'audio splitter' on any portable device without impairing the sound quality. It even works on most airline's built in sound systems and so can act as a money saver when you share the movies that you purchase in-flight!