How to Make Coach Feel More Like First Class

We flyin' first class, up in the sky . . . OK, not really. But you don't need thousands of dollars — or thousands of airline miles — to bring a little glamour and comfort to your air travel experience. With these simple tips, you can make economy class feel less like a commuter bus and more like a private jet.

  1. Choose the best route and seat. Before booking your ticket, use Routehappy to assess the comfort level of each ticket option. It compares the amount of space, amenities like outlets and in-flight entertainment, and WiFi service on available flights. Then, hop on SeatGuru to decide which exact seat you should choose.
  2. Bring a toothbrush and toothpaste in your purse. You'll feel so fresh and so clean, just like most first-class passengers who get this in their amenity kits.
  3. Pack an eye mask and earplugs. In first class, you might only see a handful of fellow passengers. Fake the privacy by blocking everyone out.
  4. Dress to impress. Don't dress for the class you have. Dress for the class you want. Ditch those yoga pants, and instead wear your favorite pair of comfy jeggings, a neat shirt, a blazer, and classic yet comfy flats. It's more pleasant to travel with a bare face, so just add a polished ponytail and some lipstick to keep you feeling fancy through security.
  5. Change into pj's. Here's a secret of first-class travel: many airlines give you pajamas to change into! If you're taking a red eye or long-haul flight, pack those yoga pants or other sleepwear and change after the meal service. It will help put you in the mood for sleep, and your street clothes won't be wrinkled and smelly when you change into them before landing.
  6. Wear fuzzy socks. My favorites are the plush Nap Socks from Brookstone. They're easier to pack than slippers and will keep your feet warm.
  7. Use a big scarf as a blanket. Most of us have a soft wool scarf that's practically as big as a blanket. Make that your go-to travel accessory so you can cozy up with it on the plane, just like those first-class travelers who have airline-sponsored quilts.
  8. Order an adult beverage. It might not be free, but hey, it's cheaper than a first-class ticket that comes with "free" drinks. The small splurge will make you feel spoiled.
  9. Stock your iPad with movies and TV shows. One of the biggest perks of first-class travel is the endless supply of premium movies and TV shows. Don't rely on looped entertainment, shared screens, or satellite TV with commercials.
  10. Bring a real pillow, not a blow-up one. A real, down-like pillow will do wonders compared to those cheap ones sold at airport gift shops.