How to enjoy a long haul flight
Picture it, a randomly allocated middle seat, away from your friends and family and in front of a toddler with a particularly nasty kick can make for some of the most infuriating hours life can offer.
Save yourself from the long haul flight from hell by implementing a few of these top tips to arrive in your holiday destination, happy, refreshed and with the will to live.
#1 – Online check in and booking your seat in advance
The minute online check in is available, set your alarm and jump the queue, be sure to book that fabulous aisle or window seat, preferably in an exit row, for the most legroom and comfiest ride on the plane. You’ll be the envy of the cabin when 2b releases they paid the same price as you.
On arrival at the airport ask if there’s any discount upgrades available, if premium seats haven’t sold it’s the job of the check in staff to get someone to take them, even if that’s for a fraction of the price.
#2 – Wear your slacks
Your body may behave strangely on the flight. Not only will your ears pop, your legs and hands may swell, the salty foods on the plane will also play havoc with your fluid balance and if you have any chance of a nap on the plane, you’ll need to be wearing your comfiest gear. Throw on that hoodie and those slacks, make sure you’re wearing freshly washed fluffy socks, take off the trainers and chillax (Ryanair don’t do long haul, right?)
#3 – Take your own snacks
We all love a mini tube of Pringles, but not as the only snack on the plane. If you’re vegan, vegetarian, or suffer from any food intolerances you will not find yourself well catered for even on the very best of airlines. We recommend a trip to the supermarket before a long haul flight to fill up on Haribo, popcorn, Pret sandwiches to get your through the curse of the beige trays.
#4 Go easy on the baby bottles of booze
Pacing is your friend. That lady with the booze trolley will be around several times during the flight, you don’t have to order a double JD and coke every time she appears! Starting drinking on or before the flight and keeping it up all the way to San Francisco will, in the very best scenario, result in a dry mouth and severely fuzzy head, and in the very worst, a trip to airport prison! While we wouldn’t dream of advising you not to drink at all, we would advise splitting the journey into two halves and drinking your spirits/lager/wine in one half only giving ample time to sleep it off on plane or on the transfer!
#5 – Go Zen
You could use your long haul flight as the perfect excuse to practise mindfulness. All of us can be zen gurus when the going is good, but can you maintain your yoga pose with someone else’s screaming baby on one side and a snoring neighbour who thinks he’s entitled to his, your and the next aisles armrests on the other? Grab The Power of Now, download a few episodes of Super Soul Sunday, and bliss out in your own consciousness bubble to make that long haul flight pass in no time.
#6 – Knock yourself out
A combination of tip 4 and tip 5 is the ultimate way to bypass a long haul flight – sleep through it! There’s nothing wrong with lowering that seat back, flipping down the eye mask, screwing in the ear plugs and simply waking up fresh as a daisy at your destination. However, please do choose a window seat in advance if this is your tactic. No one wants to keep waking up the sleeper to go to the loo.
#7 – Upgrade!
The ultimate way to turn a long haul flight into a pleasure is simply to upgrade. Flying first or business class is rarely cheap but having a perfectly flat bed, champagne on tap and basically your own private butler for the duration will have you fighting to stay awake and refusing to leave your pod on the runway! Airlines like Emirates and Etihad offer some great deals and have some of the most beautiful first class pods on the market. If you’re looking for the ultimate in long haul luxury though, we don’t think you can do much better than Singapore airlines first class suite below.