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Life After Business Class?! 10 things you notice about flying coach

So you’ve taken a few flights in business class (lucky you!) and you love it (who doesn’t?), but now you need to fly coach again. Maybe you don’t have enough air miles, or you need to fly on certain dates. This situation happens to everyone – whatever the reason, you can’t fly up front.

So you book your coach flight, as more travel is better than no travel. How bad can it be? You may even get excited and reminisce about what travel used to be like. Here are 10 things you notice about flying coach, after flying business class!

1. Sleeping is really uncomfortable

Sleeping on a plane is tough whatever class you are in. The cabin is often hot, it may be an awkward time, and turbulence is not your friend. But sleeping in coach is horrible, I mean really horrible. If you are anything like me, sleeping in coach goes a little like this:

  • Try to sleep facing forward, but your neighbour is taking the arm rest and your knees rub the seat in front
  • You try to turn to the side but then your knee hits your neighbour
  • You turn to the other side and your leg is in the aisle. It gets hit 5 times in the next 20 minutes as passengers walk by
  • You finally get a little sleep, but are then awoken by your neighbour who needs to go to the toilet
  • He kindly wakes you up again 10 minutes later, to get back in
  • You try to get back to sleep but you just can’t, and then you realise your neck is really sore
  • Look at your watch and see that you still have 4 hours to get to New York
  • Give up trying to sleep and see what is on the TV
  • Browse all of the tv and films, and see that nothing really takes your fancy
  • Look at your watch again – 3 hours 50 minutes to New York
  • Yep, this really is torture

2. Your food is covered in plastic

One of the joys of being in coach, is that you get to remember what the food was like

  • No menus
  • No choice of dish
  • Nobody sets your table
  • No china to eat off
  • Food comes covered in plastic
  • Vegetables seem to be weeks old
  • Meat is dry. Meat is ALWAYS dry!

3. Getting to the bathroom is horrible

You walk to the bathroom, and gotta queue for 10 minutes to get in. On your way back, you get stuck behind the trolley – of course you do! You need to wait for the trolley to move forward 7 rows, before you can squeeze by. As you squeeze by the trolley, your butt rubs the face of a sweaty guy. 

4. Did I mention that the bathroom was disgusting?

After 2 hours of any economy flight, the bathroom will be pretty rotten. There is toilet paper everywhere. There is some liquid on the floor, surely water right? Here is 1 lesson that you need to learn – it is not water on the floor of the bathroom, it is never water! So please put your shoes on!

5. There are loads more screaming babies

As a parent, I have a lot of sympathy with parents that look after kids while travelling. It is massively stressful and exhausting. But facts are facts – nobody likes screaming babies…

In coach the ratio of kids is a lot higher, especially if you are going to a leisure destination like The Caribbean or Spain. The things about screaming babies, is that the 1st one will set off a 2nd screaming baby, which will set off a whole cacophony. So if the lack of space doesn’t stop you sleeping, then the chorus of screaming babies surely will.

6. Nobody really cares about you

Do you know one thing I really love about flying up front? You are made to feel special. Before the flight, the cabin crew will come up to you, address you by name and offer you a drink. Then another person will come by and give you a designer amenity kit, to improve your inflight comfort. This is the life..

In coach, get used to waiting 45 minutes for the trolley to come by. And whatever you do, do not be in the toilet when it does come by!

You are not special. You are not important. Do not forget it.

7. Get used to the terminal building

This one is optional. If you fly coach, you don’t get lounge access. However, any savvy traveller really should have a Priority Pass card for 3rd party lounge access.

But if you don’t have lounge access, get used to:

  • Paying $100 to feed a family in the terminal building
  • A 15-minute wait at Starbucks
  • Waiting in the terminal building, 12 rows back from the gate, facing the wrong way
  • No wi-fi? Amuse yourself by looking forward to the 8-hour flight you are about to endure

8. Boarding is horrible

Your choices are as follows:

  1. Stand like a lemon for 30 minutes, before they open the boarding gate
  2. Wait until the end, and have nowhere to put your bag, once you board

9. Check in is probably a nightmare

Yep, you gotta wait in line, just like everyone else

10. You remember why travel is amazing

My last point is a positive point! Once you get to your destination, you quickly forget how uncomfortable you flight was - and once you get home, you wish you were still on holiday! You remind yourself why travel is amazing – the amazing experiences you have are totally worth a coach flight. I have never had a flight so bad, that I wish I didn’t take the vacation.

I view any travel as gift, and always view more travel as better than less travel. So while I love to travel in Business and First Class, I would never turn down the opportunity to travel, if I had to fly coach.


I had a lot of fun writing this article! Flying in Business Class or First Class is always a gift that should be appreciated - you only realise it once you fly in coach again! 


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