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- Richard Moss
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Long Haul Flight Tips
Singapore Airlines currently operate the world’s longest direct flight route, exceeding 18 hours. Almost within touching distance of an eye-watering 19 hours. Planted in one seat, on a crowded flight for anywhere above 8 hours might be a nightmare to many. These simple flight tips can transform any pre-flight dread into a breeze.
Most airlines provide long distance travelers with a specified weight of hold baggage. Utilize this to the fullest (or purchase additional weight/bags), as we would highly advise against a large carry on bag. By following this tip, you avoid the inevitable struggle for overhead luggage space. The weight being hauled around the departures lounge and between gates is also greatly reduced.
Whilst some form of amenity kit can be expected on most long haul airlines, these vary greatly between seat class and airline. Consider your booking, and what is likely to be provided to you onboard, and then review the below suggestions.
Sure, a disposable toothbrush and a 10ml tube of toothpaste is likely to be provided in any coach, but consider some further amenities of your own to not only help you to feel fresh throughout the journey, but to avoid drying out of the skin with the highly regulated conditions of the air onboard. At Your Travel we would suggest deodorant, lip balm, face wipes, hand cream and a good moisturizer. It goes without saying, these should all be travel size.
If you are not already walking on to the plane in your comfiest clothes, we highly recommend some comfy bottoms, even pyjama bottoms, to change into if you want to feel at-home comfort and if you want to sleep on the flight. Did you know? Feet commonly swell in high altitudes for long periods. With that in mind, try to get out of your shoes soon after boarding and into a comfy pair of slippers (perhaps some you may have previously picked up from a hotel or spa). Flight socks are generally provided to help keep feet warm.
Most seat classes and airlines provide charging ports, so bring along your phone or tablet and its charging cord. Beware over packing with electricals, as screens and entertainment systems are already provided.
Extra snacks, and water to keep hydrated are always a good idea. If you like to read then perhaps a book, magazine or your kindle will break up hours watching the screen. A blanket, pillow, earplugs and eyemask are often provided. However, if you feel that you would sleep better with your own pillow for example, or some top-quality noise cancelling earplugs – bring those!
With so much TV, film and music at your fingertips, catering to all age groups and varying tastes, you need not clock watch; time flies when you are having fun after all!
On an 8 hour flight you could watch all six episodes of the first series of Luther and still have two and a half hours for some shut eye, or to listen to approximately 4 albums on the charts.
On a 12 hour flight you could watch all three movies in the Lord of the Rings trilogy (extended versions!).
Before you get stuck in to something, the next is probably the most important of our flight tips.
This tip isn’t just to help you stay comfortable! Symptoms of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) are more common after a long haul flight. Low oxygen, low humidity and low cabin pressures all have a dehydrating effect that concentrate the blood, making it sluggish and prone to clotting. Cramped legroom, and bent knees compressing the popliteal vein heighten your chances of DVT if these circumstances result in long periods of inactivity. So, make sure you drink plenty of water and get up regularly to use the lavatory. Extend your time away from your seat by doing a couple of laps of your coach, or a few leg stretches if you have to queue. This tip is crucial for anyone in economy, but even in business class you should be cautious of rehydrating and stretching.
Do some research before you book. If seat width is important to you compare this between airlines. Alternatively, if your on-flight meals matter most, make sure you will be picking an airline that offers you more than just a bag of nuts. In some cases it may not be the airline, but the class of seat that matters most to you. If your long haul flight departs in the evening, and your busy landing itinerary means it is imperative you sleep on the flight, the levels of comfort in even premium economy might not cut it for you. Perhaps you will have your laptop in tow and will require extra space around you to carry out some work on the flight, then once again, upgrading your flight will make for the best experience for your requirements.
Put our flight tips into action! To compare the airlines we work with, and their seat classes click here