Here’s a travel hack I use to make coach feel like first class (and on some domestic planes even better than first class): I secure an exit or bulkhead row, and then after takeoff I turn my medium size carry-on into a leg rest. I place a blanket or pillow on top to make it even more comfortable.
If you don’t have a medium size carry-on (I use my Briggs & Riley rolling briefcase), consider getting the TravelPaw Inflatable Travel Leg Rest ($24.49). It’s only 4″ x 7.5″ x 4″ and 1.37lbs, but after inflating it’s 9.5″ x 15″ x 17.3″ so it’s the perfect height for putting your legs up. As the website says, “It’s firm enough to support any kind of movement, stretching or curling without cutting the comfort it can offer. It will improve circulation, after hours of waiting, and help you endure even the longest flights.” It takes only 15 seconds inflate and two seconds to deflate, and it’s foldable. It even comes with a free travel pillow.
If you’re not satisfied with the product for any reason, the company allows you to return it within 60 days for a full refund. No wonder it’s one of Amazon’s bestselling travel products.
While it’s understandable that you’d want to maximize whatever scant relief you can when airlines seem determined to cram you into ever-smaller spaces, Don’t brush past the fundamental reason the exit row is an option: you’ve agreed to help the flight crew, in an emergency, get as many passengers to safety as possible, and this aisle must remain clear. Encouraging others to fill the space with luggage could be your most ill-advised tip to date.