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Hideyuki Kamon / Flickr

Ditch the In-Flight Magazine to Grab Extra Legroom


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You’re trapped in aluminum tube in a cramped seat with two people breathing down you for five hours. Yeah, it kinda sucks if you’re kind of a big dude.

First of all, there are a couple of things that you can do to make the whole flying experience a little bit better. (My guess is anyone who said it was all about the journey and not the destination probably didn’t fly a lot.) If you’ve got the stature of Yao Ming, you’ll most likely have the option of paying a little bit more for premium economy seats or, if God was sooo kind, he would put you in first class (hah!). If money only grew on trees.

A normal seat gives you about 32 inches, while “premium” seats give you just a little bit more, anywhere from an extra three to four inches of legroom. Most of the time, it’s not worth coughing up the extra dough unless you’re flying on a really good airline or you’re facing an exceptionally long flight. Just think about it for a second and look at a ruler: three inches is really not that much. And thankfully, all plane rides come to an end at some point.

But, thank the lawd, there are a couple things to remedy the airline cramping your style (in more ways than one). Travel writer and author Chuck Thompson suggests getting an extra inch of space the old-fashioned way from his book Smile When You’re Lying:

Since you’re under no obligation to accept the airline’s clutter, the next time you’re on a plane, take everything they’ve put in the seat-back pocket, and stick it in the overhead bin. Voila! You just bought yourself an extra inch of legroom.

That means saying hasta luego to the crappy in-flight magazine, safety card and SkyMall and sticking it all above your head. Trust me, you can find other ways to entertain yourself for a couple of hours and there’s absolutely no way you need a covert alarm clock camera.

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