When it comes to international economy class, it is the little details that can make a person feel special. Most people are paying for a cheap fare, but it doesn’t mean they have to be treated as second class citizens.

Each airline has a different philosophy when it comes to what they do down the back. On the full service carriers, some provide the bare minimum of service while others go that extra mile. With that in mind, what makes economy class feel special?

Providing A Menu

The old cliché is that cabin crew come through with that time honoured refrain, “chicken or beef?”. This can be true, so it is a very nice surprise when you are offered a menu in the cheap seats.

Not only does it allow you to select your meal before the crew arrive, it feels more like a restaurant experience. Imagine going out for dinner and having someone walk over, offer you two choices and dump it on you. Probably not the best!

Real Cutlery Is Special

Airlines are still providing their economy class passengers with plastic utensils. You are paying what could be for you a lot of money to travel a long way, so I think it is inexcusable to give plastic knives and forks to people.

Plastic is pretty much the scourge of the 21st century, so getting away from it wherever possible is for the best. It also makes a person feel more normal. An aircraft is not an outdoor barbecue with plastic plates and plastic utensils, right?

A Decent Second Service

On many long haul flights, two meal services are provided. One of these is the main meal, whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner. The other is some kind of snack, and some airlines are really insulting when it comes to the second meal.

Provision of something decent and hot elevates the whole experience. Being handed something wrapped in plastic that seems ill thought out doesn’t really cut it. I’m looking at you, British Airways.

See what I mean? It looks cheap, it was cold, somewhat hard and really pretty awful all round. Skipping it would have been better, but better still would have been a nice warm croissant or danish instead.

Other Special Things

The Curious Case of the Disappearing Crew is common in economy class on long-haul flights. They go away between meal services, not to be seen until landing. People appreciate it when the crew come through in the middle of the night offering juice and water.

Since most people are watching movies through the flight, being handed something like an ice cream is great. You can eat and watch and it makes for a more cinematic experience. Qantas do this, as do some other airlines and it adds to the special factor.

Overall Thoughts

Making your economy class passengers feel special is important. They comprise the bulk of an airline’s passengers which means a good or bad experience is going to spread by word of mouth quite quickly.

Marketing and media always focus on the premium cabins, which makes sense. Wow the masses with your great offerings and they’ll choose you even when flying economy. I get it, but the real place to make a difference is providing actual good service down the back.

What makes international economy class special for you or when have you been surprised by something in that cabin? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Jt716 via Wikimedia Commons.