SINGAPORE: Economy class can be the bane of many holidaymakers flying off to their year-end getaways. Ron Soret, who is vice president of AERIA Luxury Interiors and an aircraft interior specialist in San Antonio, Texas, gives his take on how to make the most of your flight if you are stuck in economy.
1. PICK YOUR SEAT AHEAD OF TIME
Leaving your seat up to chance could place you in the most restrictive, noisiest and shakiest part of the plane, said Soret in a Daily Mail article published on Dec 7.
2. SIT NEAR THE FRONT OF THE PLANE
Choosing a seat near the front of the plane will offer a smoother ride. “The front part of the cabin is typically the most comfortable,” said Soret. “Turbulence will be felt throughout the airplane but is milder in the forward part.”
This is because the wings keep the plane balanced, whereas the tail of the plane is more likely to bob. So seats anywhere in line with the wings or in front of them will experience the least amount of turbulence.
Soret also added that the front part of the cabin is the quietest. “Areas aft (near the back) of the engine exhaust are the noisier part of the cabin,” he said. Since the back of airplanes tends to be where the bathrooms are, it may also be the noisiest.
3. CHOOSE THE WINDOW OR AISLE SEAT
Both the window and aisle seats have their pros and cons. But Soret would still opt for the aisle seat as it lets you optimise legroom, and grants you easy access to the overhead compartments. Those who prefer the window seat have the luxury of leaning against the window as they rest.
The downside to sitting in the aisle seat is the obligation of constantly getting up when fellow passengers in the row have to use the bathroom. That can be annoying if you’ve finally found the perfect position to fall asleep in.
4. OPTIMISE LEGROOM
Legroom in economy class averages 79cm to 81cm. Soret’s favourite area for the most legroom is the bulkhead seats or first row with just a wall in front of you. If that isn’t enough, spend a little more for an economy-plus seat that offers extra space, he suggested.
5. CONTROL THE TEMPERATURE
Although it may feel like it’s freezing in the cabin sometimes, the temperature is maintained between 20 degrees Celsius to 22 degrees Celsius, said Soret. If that’s chilly or too warm for you, use the overhead vents to personalise the temperature. And if you’re too cold, ask for a blanket or pillow.
If you’re stuck in the middle seat in the last row of the plane that doesn’t recline, said Soret, bringing your own pillow, blanket and headphones may be the best way to block out noise and find comfort for getting some rest during your flight.
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