Enjoying Coach

by: admin
March 15, 2010

OK, so maybe “enjoy” is too strong a word to be applied to coach seating that is 17.8″ wide, with fixed armrests and rigid backs.

British Airways international coach seatingOn short domestic flights, it’s easy enough to just suck it up and endure coach , but when you’re facing a 12 hour or longer international flight, planning ahead for economy class survival can make a bit difference.

The first way to be more comfortable in coach is getting the best possible seat. Before you book your flight, check out Seat Guru, where you’ll find detailed maps of each airline’s planes , match your flight to the map, and look for any seat that offers a bit of extra space, a better view, or whatever it is that you find appealing.

Stretching , while in your seat, or in the aisles, waiting area outside restrooms, or cabin galley (when the crew isn’t working there) , can make a big difference. Place your hands on the armrests and slowly twist your torso to loosen your upper body.  Stretching Towards Health offers stretching exercises that can be done in an airplane seat, a desk chair, or anywhere else where mobility is limited.

Ponytails, or clips that hold your hair up, can seem like an easy way to look presentable when you’re in a rush to the airport, but can cause hassles at security if you have to take them out. Worse, many these styles and clips can make it hard to lean your head back comfortably once you’re on the plane.

Wear loose-fitting, layered clothes. Loose, because you’ll be sitting for a long while, and layered because temperatures vary widely between terminals and the plane , or even on the plane at different times during a long flight. The right clothing can make a big difference on long flights , even if you aren’t in coach, as pop superstar Lady Gaga found out recently, when one of her costumes caused painful swelling and a small blod clot while on a flight. The pop star learned first-hand that long periods of inactivity and cramped limbs can cause potentially life threatening deep-vein thrombosis (DVT), a condition in which clots form.

Dr. Andrzej Szuba of the Stanford University Medical Center offers detailed tips on avoiding painful swelling or the more serious DVT on long plane flights. While he says that healthy travelers have little to worry about if they dress properly, he advises anyone concerned about the condition to take precautions.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/irishflyguy/ / CC BY-SA 2.0

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