Historians will look back at the first years of the 21st century and come to the conclusion that everyone in the world enjoys total luxury when flying. Bloggers write about the premium experience and completely overlook the reality behind the curtain.

The curtain divides the economy class cabin from business class and you’re not getting through unless you have the correct paperwork. This article shows what the majority of travellers experience when flying in the 21st century.

Boarding via a Jetbridge

When boarding is called, passengers in front of the curtain are usually on board first. Once their queue is empty, the much longer queue begins the walk onto the aircraft.

As there are so many people, often you will stand in the jetbridge for some time. Waiting in line is no fun, but it is all part of the experience.

Flying Behind The Curtain

Once on board, you take your seat. Invariably someone will be sat right next to you, resulting in a few centimetres of clearance between you and your seat mate. If they are hefty, sometimes you will touch for the whole flight.

After cabin baggage is shuffled around by diligent cabin crew in an attempt to create more space for even more hand luggage, it is time to depart. The curtain is pulled back at this point for safety reasons but once in the air it is closed, blocking any view of the happenings in the business class cabin.

On night flights, your view is a black window which reflects the interior of the cabin quite well. It is difficult to see out when the lights are up.

On Board Service

Cabin crew come by with a trolley and ask if you want to buy something. Will it be a sandwich? Tea? Coffee? How about a bottle of water? That’ll be £1.80 please. Nothing is free in economy class.

For the rest of the flight, you’re on your own. No smiling crew offering refills or chit chat or extra food. You will see the crew again to clear any rubbish, then it is time to land. At this stage the curtain is opened again, you land and you get off the flight.

Overall Thoughts

Consider the record set straight. Virtually everyone who travels by air sits behind the curtain and experiences a short haul flight as I have outlined above. For the historians reading this in 2586, this is the reality for most people.

Flights are comfortable and get you from A to B without much fuss which, though you may be led to believe otherwise, is the actual purpose of taking a flight.

Have you got any good or bad stories about flying in economy class? I’d love to hear them! Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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