Navigating your way through clueless tourists, grabby TSA guards, and disinterested ticket counter clerks is only half the battle. Once you make it to your seat, you've still got an entire flight to endure. Your best airplane strategy is almost always to sleep through the entire ordeal, but how does one sleep effectively while fully clothed, sitting up, in the middle seat? It's surprisingly easy with a bit of planning.
Your Plan of Attack
Wherever it is you're flying to, no matter how long or short the flight, do everything in your power to make it a non-stop flight. Nothing ruins your nap like having to disembark the plane. Also, schedule your flight for later in the evening so that you aren't trying to achieve REM sleep at three in the afternoon, though you'll want to balance that against the number of time zones you're crossing so as to minimize the disturbance to your internal clock. Choosing unpopular flight times, say Tuesday evenings, also ups your chances of getting lucky and being seated in an otherwise uninhabited row—it's an instant day bed.