There’s a dirty little secret amongst frequent fliers: We don’t like to fly economy. Especially on long-haul flights. Some of us may even have a fear of flying coach on any length of flight and it’s becoming a growing trend. Since there doesn’t appear to be a scientific name already, I would like to introduce a new word into the English dictionary: Econophobia [e-con-oh-foh-bee-uh] — Noun. An abnormal fear of flying in economy on commercial airlines. Origin: Late 20th-century when US airlines began cutting costs, shrinking legroom and significantly reducing service. RELATED: Here’s How You Can Really Get Upgraded to First Class
Econophobia usually occurs when one grows up spoiled or becomes an elite member of an airline’s frequent flier program. The latter gets used to perks like free or heavily discounted upgrades. Airline executives act like crack dealers since they give members a taste of what it’s like on the other side of the curtain, knowing they will get addicted and come back for more … though of course, it comes at a cost.
Getting upgraded isn’t easy. There are times (more often than not, for me) when the first/business class cabin is full, the fare rules on the ticket don’t allow for upgrades or it’s just too expensive.
This is when it can get ugly for econophobes as they tend to pull out all the tricks, coming up with all kinds of excuses to reservation agents, check-in agents, gate agents and flight attendants about why they need to get upgraded: I’m on my honeymoon, I’m too tall, I hurt my back in a car accident. Just full-on begging.
But if you’re an econophobe, all is not lost. I’ve written lots of tips to help make it less painful flying coach. First, here’s how you can really get upgraded to first class, here’s how to make coach feel like first class and here are 7 hacks for getting the best coach seat on a plane.
And of course, we also have to make sure we’re not part of the problem in coach by avoiding these 10 terrible, horrible, no good, very bad airplane habits. And here are 10 common air travel pet peeves and how to deal with them.
Are you or is anyone you know an econophobe? How do you deal with it? Leave a comment!
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Totally. When I worked for Ritz-Carlton would make sure to smile when asking about upgrade and take out my business card telling them to call me when traveling and I would see i I could help out. No firm promises, but it did work at times. I limp up to the counter so they can see how bad my knee is and sometimes that will get me the first row in coach, which on domestic flights is ok as long as you have food.