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Tips for Surviving 10 Hours in Coach

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. ( MainStreet) -- With the holiday season comes some of the year's busiest travel days, and passengers face sold-out flights, scaled-back services and inevitable delays that compound an already taxing airline experience. For those who usually fly business class through their work or preferential airline status, busier flights mean less likely chances of upgrades even for those with all the frequent-flier miles and status in the world.

For those facing the prospect of a transcontinental flight in coach, here's a game plan to make the most of the experience even if you happen to be seated at the very back of the plane.

Even for those who usually fly business class, busier flights mean upgrades are less likely and time in coach all but inevitable.

Book your seat ASAP
Always confirm your seat at the time of ticket purchase -- before you even hang up the phone or leave the Web page -- for the best possible seats. Be sure to note the specifics of your flight, specifically what type of aircraft is used for the service (usually listed on the actual reservation page). This information is a must for using Web sites such as Seatguru, which can help you find the best seats in any class as well as avoid seats that might be too close to the bathroom, offer the least amount of legroom or perhaps don't recline due to their proximity to exits.

Window in the front
As a practice, it's usually best for sleepers to opt for a window seat. It enables you to rest your head and not be bothered by neighbors asking you to get up so they can use the bathroom. Even if you hate asking others to move, the Darwinian world of airline seating means that he who sits next to the window often rests the best. Also, try to get as close as possible to the front of the plane; the rear tends to be louder and suffer more pronounced in-flight movement.

Pre-flight workout
Want to sleep on the plane? Before you board, forgo that lazy breakfast or dinner for a pre-flight workout. Hit your local gym or, if you're already in transit, find out about nearby gyms or airport hotels with fitness centers within walking distance of the terminal. Once you're there, do a strenuous mix of cardio and full-body weight training that will stimulate your entire body and make the idea of falling asleep, even in 54C, an enticing one.

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