How to Ace Business Class: 5 Tips for Traveling Like a CEO

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On a long-haul flight, etiquette can be seemingly tossed out the window from 40,000 feet. Are you the guy who takes off his socks and plants his toes on a neighbor’s seat? Don’t be that guy. These five tips will make sure you arrive in style—and avoid annoying your fellow passengers in the process. This is especially important if your seatmates include your boss or coworkers. You don’t want your mid-flight sleeping-pill-and-a-sheet-mask habit getting in the way of your next promotion, do you?

1. Dine Like a Gentleman

bloody mary 2
Cameris/Getty Images

We know the terminal in your home airport has killer fajitas, but avoid bringing fragrant meals on the plane with you—for your own comfort as well as your fellow passengers’ sake. Plan to eat before or after your flight or enjoy the in-flight meal, which, in business class, should be more than just wrapped sandwiches. As for drinks, by all means take full advantage of the premium bar cart, but don’t use a long flight as an excuse to party. No one wants to sit next to the tipsy guy—even the folks he’s going away with.

2. Dress Up in Fabrics That Fly Well

calvin klein suit
Calvin Klein

Whether you’re going straight from the flight into a meeting or just want to flex your airport style like a celebrity en route to the Cannes Film Festival, there’s nothing dated about wearing a suit on a flight in 2019—especially when you choose a tailored style that was built for a busy, modern life. Calvin Klein’s X-fit suits are wrinkle resistant and cut slim for an up-to-date look. We especially love a dark navy suit with a crisp white shirt and dress shoes for a look that’ll take you from your breakfast meeting to your flight to dinner at your destination.

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3. Bring Your Own Necessities 

parachute merino travel kit

The free headphones, blankets and pillows available on flights are OK in a pinch, but it’s best to bring your own personal items when you fly. Your over-ear headphones sound better, your merino blanket is softer and your neck pillow is definitely more comfortable than the little square thing they usually give you. Plus, these items add style to your in-flight look—even if you happen to be passed out underneath them.  

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4. Adjust Your Outfit (Without Getting Undressed)

calvin klein supima cotton sweater
Calvin Klein

It’s important to get comfortable as you settle into your seat before a long flight, but that shouldn’t involve bare feet or pulling your hoodie over your face and sprawling out on the tray table in front of you. Instead, slip your jacket off and hang it in the coat closet, then pull on a cashmere crewneck for a bit of warmth and added comfort. Loafers or slip-on sneakers are a great choice for a long flight because you can pop them off discreetly once the lights go dim—just make sure you’re wearing socks.

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5. Bring an In-Flight Grooming Kit

oars alps cooling cleansing wipes
Oars + Alps

Celebrities will have you believe that it’s perfectly normal to put on a sheet mask and give yourself a mini facial during a flight, but that’s crazy talk. What is reasonable is packing a wash bag with a few grooming essentials to keep your skin hydrated and your breath fresh during and after your flight. What you pack is a personal choice, but we’re fans of floss, mouthwash, hand lotion and facial wipes. If you already struggle with dryness, a facial oil or moisturizer isn’t out of the question either. And Don Draper types may even want to shave before getting off the plane.

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