WHEN booking flights, it can be tempting to buy everything as cheaply as possible.
But it's sometimes worthwhile spending a little bit extra to make sure your trip isn't completely unbearable.
There are several factors that can affect how comfortable a journey is – with seat selection being the main one.
Most airlines will charge passengers to pick where they sit, but according to frequent flyer Shelly Horton, it's a cost that's worth paying.
Shelly is a lifestyle presenter and columnist for 9Honey.
In a recent spate of travelling, she racked up 22 flights in the space of eight weeks.
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During that time, she learnt how to prioritise comfort over cost, as she spent extra on making sure she dodged some of the worst problems associated with flying.
Seat selection was right at the top of her list, with the middle seat her least favourite place to sit.
Some people are happy to have a seat randomly allocated for them, but Shelly will always pay to make sure she gets the best spot.
She told Stuff NZ: "Avoid the dreaded middle seat at all costs. It's worth a few extra bucks to ensure you're either stretching your legs in the aisle or enjoying the view from the window. Trust me; your sanity will thank you."
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Paid extras aren't only available in the plane's cabin either, with comfort to be found prior to boarding.
That includes in airport lounges, which Shelly also swears by as an essential luxury, especially if flights are delayed.
Most lounges will have food and drink included in their prices and will offer more comfortable places to sit than the seats at the airport departure gates.
Others will have showers for passengers looking to freshen up before their trip.
She said: "I have Virgin lounge membership as a work expense because I spend hours in airports. They are great to get work done and charge your computer and phone. Delays are inevitable, so at least you can work in comfort.
"One plus is that the coffee is always good."
As well as not paying for essentials, there are several big mistakes people can make at airports that can affect their flights.
One of those is relying on the airport screens for information about their trip.
Sun Online Travel's resident flight attendant explained why that could lead to problems.
They said: "A week doesn't go by without passengers making a mad dash to the plane, just getting on board in the nick of time.
"Not all of them are quite that lucky, with the doors closing before some of them get to their seats.
"Waiting for the information to be updated on the board cuts into precious time that you might not have in the airport, when it's important to get to your gate as soon as you can.
"I always Google the flight number and prefix instead – there are several websites that provide up-to-date information long before it appears on the departures board."
Meanwhile, these are the nine seats passengers should always avoid sitting in when flying.
And this hack solves the middle seat armrest argument once and for all.
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