A Guide to Economy Class Etiquette

Economy ClassFor those poor unfortunate souls who are forced to endure cattle class in these times of austerity, a few essential tips to survive the experience.

  1. Do not be alarmed upon obtaining your boarding pass when you check your seat number and discover that there are in fact more than 20 seats on a standard airliner.
  2. Remember to bring some currency/plastic for use prior to boarding the plane in the terminal. This is to purchase food and beverage from the shops as the lovely lady in the plush airline lounge, who used to greet you by your first name and have your favourite newspaper ready, will not even let you in past the front desk, let alone bring you a glass of bollinger with your hors d’oeuvres.
  3. Invest in a baby stroller/buggy. Strictly speaking, you don’t require a child, as long as you can give the pretence of having ‘young children or toddlers’ it is your ticket to boarding before the rest of the plane makes a mad dash to queue.
  4. If the above does not work, borrow a pair of crutches.
  5. Learn to turn right. Nonchalantly turning left will not go unnoticed by the fascist flight attendants who patrol the holy sanctum of first/business class.
  6. Get your carry-on luggage into the overhead bins asap. Any delay on your part will only result in your fellow passengers dominating the overhead bins with their frankly ridiculous amounts of hand luggage (did anyone not question how many bags they have?!)
  7. The next tip is of utmost importance, particularly if you are in for a long haul….. Be bold, stay strong and own the armrest. This sets the trend for the entire journey; sit in the middle seat and surrender the armrests either side of you like a coward and you are in for one uncomfortable flight.
  8. The art of toilet breaks is still debated widely. Arse or crotch? Do you excuse yourself and shuffle past your neighbour humping the seat in front and trying not to break wind? Or keep an eye on them as you squeeze past so they don’t get any funny ideas?
  9. Yes, that is food they are serving you. Yes, you do have to try and eat it with the plastic cutlery provided. No, they do not have Bollinger.
  10. Forget 180 degree flat beds. If you want to recline your seat, you will have to telepathically communicate with the passenger in front and behind of you. Together you can recline in tandem so that no one gets kneecapped or a tv screen two inches from their head.
  11. Flirting with the flight attendants will probably land you with a charge of sexual harassment. You are not a Don Juan schmoozing like a pro, you are an insignificant, lowly coach passenger to the crew, and an arrogant, sleazy prick to those unfortunate enough to be seated in your vicinity.
  12. Finally, when departing the aircraft at your destination and you walk through premium economy/business class, remember to pick up one of their complimentary newspapers or fancy magazines they have left behind. Small victories.

Go forth and be one with the people.