Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > TravelBuzz
Reload this Page >

Claustrophobic flyer - first class in a smaller plane or coach on a larger plane

Claustrophobic flyer - first class in a smaller plane or coach on a larger plane

Old Dec 15, 2017, 3:47 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 6
Question Claustrophobic flyer - first class in a smaller plane or coach on a larger plane

I'm a claustrophobic flyer and want to take my first flight in years. I figure it's time to get past this.

My question for others who may have the same fears and who have flown first class on a smaller plane (Embraer E175) and coach on a larger (737 class) plane - which felt more claustrophobic? While the idea of first class space sounds like a good idea, I'm a very tall person and am afraid the smaller confines of the smaller E175 might be an issue. I've never flown on a smaller jet.

Any help would be appreciated!
boblhead is offline  
Old Dec 15, 2017, 4:13 pm
  #2  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: MCI
Programs: AA Gold 1MM, AS MVP, UA Silver, WN A-List, Marriott LT Titanium, HH Diamond
Posts: 52,432
The E175 feels *much* better inside than a 737. Y vs Y and F vs F - both have a roomier feel on the E175. (F because you can get a single seat that is both aisle and window. Y because it's 2x2 instead of 3x3.)

While the jet itself is a little smaller, it is a better passenger experience all around. If you have the option to buy F on a 175, do it - no hesitation.

Complaints on these fora about "regional jets" are mostly about the Embraer 135 and 145, as well as the Canadair jets like the 200. The E175-190 series is quite nice. It's become my favorite short-haul type, really.
pinniped is offline  
Old Dec 15, 2017, 4:22 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: South Park, CO
Programs: Tegridy Elite
Posts: 5,679
You may not really know for sure until you try it out for yourself. While I don't have issues with it myself, a good friend of mine does. In his case, he has severe problems in a regional jet of any kind even in F. Actually it's not much better for him even with the larger "mainline" jets. He has found that if he can sit in an aisle seat and board at the very end of the boarding process on a larger plane, it helps a lot but doesn't eliminate the risk of problems. From what my buddy describes, sometimes a particular seating situation will bother him more than others, but he isn't always sure why. He's in the process of trying some medications from his doctor now and may look into some cognitive behavior therapy next.

Anyway just one anecdote. I hope you find out something that works for you!
84fiero is offline  
Old Dec 15, 2017, 5:04 pm
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Programs: DL PM, MR Titanium/LTP, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 10,130
E175 in F especially if you can get an "A" seat since E175s in F are configured 1-2 so you'll have the entire row to yourself with no one immediately next to you. That'll help with the claustrophobia and the inside of the E175 feels roomier than the 737 (IMO). What airline(s) are under consideration here?
Duke787 is offline  
Old Dec 15, 2017, 5:46 pm
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 6
Originally Posted by Duke787
What airline(s) are under consideration here?
Delta Connection out of LAX or Southwest out of Burbank.

Last edited by boblhead; Dec 15, 2017 at 9:22 pm
boblhead is offline  
Old Dec 15, 2017, 8:23 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: GIG - YYC - SVO
Programs: Lost it all and don't care
Posts: 945
Originally Posted by Duke787
E175 in F especially if you can get an "A" seat since E175s in F are configured 1-2
Yep......sit on the left all by yourself. Row 2 or 3 is preferred. I too like the Embraer aircraft as they are very comfortable from a pax point of view, even in the back.
KDS777 is offline  
Old Dec 15, 2017, 8:44 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 1
I make sure that I have an aisle seat. In addition, I turn the air vent on and it's blowing on my head. I avoid wearing heavy clothing to keep myself cool. I have a bottle of water with me along with a towel in case I need to wipe the sweat off my face and neck. I always use the bathroom before the flight to avoid feeling trapped. Good luck!
L555768 is offline  
Old Dec 15, 2017, 9:29 pm
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Programs: DL PM, MR Titanium/LTP, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 10,130
Originally Posted by boblhead
Delta Connection out of LAX or Southwest out of Burbank.
I would take DL in F. I would think that WN has another added negative component which is the open seating - you can't know your seat ahead and there's a crush of people boarding based on their letter and if you wait to board at the end you'll end up with a middle seat in the back which is probably not ideal.

If you book DL F you can opt to be the last person to board and then just get on and take your single seat and minimize time on the plane.
Duke787 is offline  
Old Dec 15, 2017, 9:48 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Programs: DL DM, UA, AA
Posts: 84
Lorazepam for the win!
Dianne47 and NoTravelIsFree like this.
OroroT is offline  
Old Dec 15, 2017, 10:13 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Programs: aeroplan
Posts: 158
I have the same issue with added bonus of Turbulence Tummy. After many years of mental prep talks followed by misery in flight, I gave in and got a prescription for Ativan. Ativan, an aisle seat and a G&T (note alcohol and Ativan are actually contraindicated) has helped me deal with flying. Flying in F or J helps a good deal also.
NoTravelIsFree is offline  
Old Dec 15, 2017, 11:18 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: NOC/LAX
Posts: 430
I know this issue well. Well enough to understand that its different for everybody. I can only speak to what has worked for me, and that is to fly F (or at least J) whenever possible. I generally have a drink or two before the flight (in the lounge or otherwise). On the plane, I make sure to notice and appreciate any extra space I have and take my time looking at the menu, talking to the flight attendants, or whatever else I can occupy myself with. Making sure I am in the middle of an engaging book also helps. I always have my favorite songs and earbuds at the ready. A pre-departure drink helps, if available, and I am ready to enjoy the flight as much as possible. I think of my seat as my home for the next however many hours and look forward to watching movies, reading, or listening to music undistracted. (When do we get to do that at home??)

As others have mentioned, anti-anxiety meds are always an option, but only if you forgo the alcohol. I have never mixed and never would.

Know that you arent alone and many others are experiencing the same thing. I wish you all the best.
NoTravelIsFree likes this.
hedur is offline  
Old Dec 16, 2017, 12:15 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: MidSouth
Programs: AA; Delta GM
Posts: 728
I am not claustrophobic, but I do have a form of social anxiety. Flying first class makes a huge difference for me, simply because I feel like I have more space that is mine. As other posters have noted, there are certain things that may make you feel better. I also always have a water bottle with me, even though I know one is provided in Delta first class. Having the air vent adjusted for maximum air flow toward my head/face also helps me tremendously.

Oh, and gin & tonic works wonders, too.

One caution about the bulkhead seat. I am uncomfortable looking at a wall right in front of my face. I find it easier to look at the back of someone else's seat/top of their head as, again, it gives me the feeling of more space.

I'd do Delta as well since you can reserve the seat you want instead of getting whatever you can find open. Good luck with your flight!!
aquamarinesteph is offline  
Old Dec 16, 2017, 12:26 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Programs: AA, DL, Avis, Enterprise, National, IHG, HH, SPG/MR
Posts: 1,852
Originally Posted by boblhead
I'm a claustrophobic flyer and want to take my first flight in years. I figure it's time to get past this.

My question for others who may have the same fears and who have flown first class on a smaller plane (Embraer E175) and coach on a larger (737 class) plane - which felt more claustrophobic? While the idea of first class space sounds like a good idea, I'm a very tall person and am afraid the smaller confines of the smaller E175 might be an issue. I've never flown on a smaller jet.

Any help would be appreciated!
Take the single seat side in F on the E175.

Or if you just want to get past it, as you say, take a window seat in Y on the aircraft with the smallest pitch and width.
kb9522 is offline  
Old Dec 16, 2017, 3:54 am
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Sydney Australia
Programs: No programs & No Points!!!
Posts: 14,203
In First Class you get treated better so if you are a bit nervous I think the flight attendants will be more accommodating to you in helping talk to you to make you feel better.
Annalisa12 is offline  
Old Dec 16, 2017, 8:27 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Houston, TX
Programs: WN A+/Companion, UA Gold, SPG/Marriott Platinum, Hilton Diamond, National Exec
Posts: 10
Originally Posted by boblhead
I'm a claustrophobic flyer and want to take my first flight in years. I figure it's time to get past this.
My question for others who may have the same fears and who have flown first class on a smaller plane (Embraer E175) and coach on a larger (737 class) plane - which felt more claustrophobic? While the idea of first class space sounds like a good idea, I'm a very tall person and am afraid the smaller confines of the smaller E175 might be an issue. I've never flown on a smaller jet.
A year or so ago I was crammed onto a regional jet 2x2 extra narrow seating (I think it was AA), window seat, full flight, and at the last minute rather large (VERY large) person crammed themselves into the aisle seat next to me, squishing me against the window. I looked out the window, thinking of circling DFW at 10k feet, and what always seem like extra long taxi's to the gate at DFW, wishing I could just get off the airplane. This strong claustrophobic sensation come over me. I got up, made some excuse to the FA, and got off the plane. FA was very nice and even had to fetch my gate checked bag that was already loaded onto the aircraft. I rented a car and drove home.

So, I get at least some of what you feel.

The next flight I switched to Southwest, knowing I'll always be on a 737 with open seating. Never a problem. Made A-List Preferred this year.

-Greg
boudin is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.