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95% of the world's population

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Flying economy class on long haul flights can be cramped and uncomfortable, read on for top tips on how to make your Airport and Flight experience more bearable.

First things first - Plan & Prepare! The more you prepare the more enjoyable and less stressful your journey will be. Start by giving yourself 'extra time' getting to the airport and aim to arrive at the airport earlier than planned!. Nowadays delays due to traffic jams, airport parking, queues for airport check-in and security can all affect the time taken to navigate through the airport system. By planning and giving yourself extra time, any delays you come across will seem less stressful and may even prevent a missed flight.

  • Fastrack Security: Sometimes just getting to the airport can be a stressful experience, so think about ways to help ease that stress when you arrive. First you can beat the security-check queues by pre-purchasing a Fast Track Security Pass (available at most UK International Airports). At peak departure times the pass can save a lot of wasted time zig zagging your way through the security area, you avoid the normal queues by stepping into the VIP Fast Track Lane instead.
  • Airport Lounges: Next its onto the peaceful haven of the Executive Lounge, the Lounge Pass is you next best friend, it will whisk you away from the hustle & bustle outside, with some lounges offering a free glass of bubbly to help you relax. For example, The Gatwick Club Aspire Lounge is an oasis of calm in a very busy airport, here you can relax and pick up a newspaper or magazine while enjoying a drink including beer, wine and snacks, there's also a business zone with WiFi.
    Expect to pay around 30GBP for a lounge pass, available at many of the UK's main international airports, it may be possible to purchase both the Lounge Pass and Fast Track security pass at the same time and at a discounted price, buying a lounge pass online and in advance is usually cheaper than buying at the airport.
  • Get Comfy: Quite an obvious one but often overlooked, on long haul flights sitting in one position for several hours requires comfortable clothing, loose cotton layers are best, they can be removed or added as required. Don't forget to pack an inflatable pillow and comfy eye mask, to finish off the look take a pair of hotel slippers, they will add to your comfort level as well as help protect your toes and socks.
  • Choose your Airline carefully: The economy class flying experience can vary from airline to airline, with seat widths and legroom space having a big effect on your comfort levels. Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways and Thai Airways all have a good reputation for economy seat size and general economy-class experience.
  • Check in Early: Choosing your seating can help make your flying experience more bearable, extra leg room can sometimes be found at bulkhead or exit row seating. Checking-in online early gives you the best chance on choosing the seats you want.
  • Passing the time: Modern in-flight entertainment can often provide the necessary distraction needed to help pass the time, however they can often malfunction, so take your own media kit loaded with the films and music you like, alternatively pack a good book to read or if you have space load up on magazines, there's always plenty of shops with lots of choice in the departure hall.

For more travel tips & information check out the F4 Travel Blog.

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