I can tell you this: growing a successful travel business has its perks, but it also has its pitfalls. Since my first experience turning miles into incredible memories decades ago, I’ve done my very, very best to avoid turning right, you know, to the economy cabin where fights break out, knees get bashed and service is rarely served with a smile. After a recent run of around 12 economy flights in the last few weeks, ranging from 1 hour to over 6, I decided it’s time to re evaluate my tips to survive the economy cabin….

Your Seating Assignment Really Matters More Than Anything…

Unlike the Points Guy, I don’t feel the need to mention my height in every paragraph ever written on the site. I am however 6’3” and inches matter. Bulkhead seats, or extra legroom seats are game changers for me and I would argue for anyone else hoping to not feel like a sardine. If you’re able to secure an awesome deal, which you should, it can absolutely be worth the fee for a better seat. If your elite status gets it for free, all the merrier.

Customizing Your Journey Can Be Immense…

I’ve done a post on carry on essentials and favorite travel gear. I do those posts not in an attempt to turn the site into H&M, shipping merchandise worldwide, but because it really, really helps. I live for my wireless Bose QC35 headphones, shutting out the whining babies and adult babies. I feel infinitely happier knowing that I can travel carry on only with my Away case. I never cry about buying a bottle of water in the terminal, hydration is a key to jet lag. Bring the things that make you happy, comfortable and rested. Oh, and offline Netflix, duh.

Standing Up For A While Is Really Crucial…

This seems so basic, but after back to back economy flights from NY to LA in heavy (slowing) winds, I’m a new believer. After three hours, just when the back begins to feel like you’ve been battered with a shovel (don’t worry, it’s actually just a slimline seat), get up and walk to the galley. Perhaps it’s just luck, but lately I’ve had friendly flight attendants happy to gab for a few minutes as I awkwardly stretch in the small space. Get some fresh air, stretch the muscles out, grab an extra cup of water and stimulate the brain with some random conversation.

A Lounge Can Really Put You In The “Right” Mood…

And by “right” mood, I mean a drunk mood. Only half kidding. A big thing that “sucks” about flying economy is that it feels airlines almost go out of their way to make the entire experience painful. Long queues to to check in, horrendous security lines and then a completely stale area that never seems to have enough seats. Hitting a lounge, which, remember, anyone can access for some food, drinks, wifi, relaxation and comfy chairs can really change your outlook and state of mind before a flight. If you don’t need to put something in an overhead bin, you can spend even more time in tranquility.

Netflix, Netflix And More Netflix…

My worst enemy on any flight is the goddamn trip status display. Is there anything that feels more excruciatingly slow than watching the timer go from 5:59 remaining to 5:58? Sure, it’s fun to see where you are, how fast you’re going and whether you’ve got a headwind or a tailwind, but Netflix and or any other way to watch movies, television or documentaries is king. I watched SOMM on the plane to LA, and while it was totally overrated, it helped in the passing of time.