Why I Won’t Fly Coach Again
March 18, 2019
When I first joined IOFFC back in August of 2014, I had never flown first or business ever in my life. Back then, the premium economy check box was empty as well and the notion of premium airline seats was more fantasy than a possible reality. I remember walking up and down the airplane aisles catching glimpses of patrons and wondering how the @#% did these people afford such snobbish seating. After understanding the economics of first and business class, I realized I would never be able to afford premium airfare on my salary.
Fast forward to 2019 and I am of the mindset that flying long haul in economy is akin to living in the Amazon rainforest for a month. Being involved with IOFFC has given me access to low cost premium travel. Since then, I’ve flown to more than 20 times in premium cabins and have come to a few realizations that the new me would like to tell the old me:
Commercial Flying Isn’t Supposed to be Comfortable
There is a reason why the disgruntled traveler calls it “cattle class”. From check-in to boarding to take off and landing, you are shuffled through each stage like cows on a processing line. Usually you are shoulder to shoulder with other travelers and good luck getting privacy at any point during your trip.
The goal of the airline is to fit as many patrons into the pressurized tube as possible. I am not suggesting that business or first is meant to be comfortable. I prefer using the adage that flying business or first makes the journey more tolerable.
Having a flatbed in your seat is a huge upgrade from economy but at the end of the day you are literally sleeping on a seat with an extended leg rest. Compare that with your bed at home and email me personally if you think both are on the same levels of comfort.
The Illusion of Privacy is Invaluable
Airlines aren’t exactly in the business of giving as much space as possible for premium travelers. Instead, they constantly hire designers and engineers to develop the next generation of seats that APPEAR to offer a higher grade of space, privacy and comfort.
Regardless of their design practise, the fact remains that premium seats do offer perceived levels of privacy that are invaluable during any commercial flight. In economy, having privacy is simply not possible.
There will always be someone sitting next to you. If you turn your head around your entire sight-line will fill with an endless plane of bobbing heads as far as the eye can see. In first or business, although your spacing is still relatively small, there are many design choices that have been made that make you feel like you have your own space.