Ask The Readers: Tips For 12+ Hours On a Long Haul Flight?
Editor Vincent is most likely on a transatlantic flight as we speak. But the thought of being jammed in economy like a pack of sardines does no good for his morale.
Over the years, he's learned that some tricks and tools of the trade from the world's finest, including how to avoid the unfortunately more than common scenario of spending a 15 hour flight jammed in between two burly men, rather than two gorgeous females.
Here's a few things Vincent does during his flights right now; he'd love to know of any other tips you have to make the flight more comfortable:
1. Carry a noise canceling headset, like the Bose Quiet Comfort 3s (or these alternative cheaper noise cancelling ones for £4.99 from HUKD). Remember to charge up the battery ahead of time. And bring an airplane audio converter, like this one from memorybits for £2.65. Much better than the plastic earpieces in case something good pops up on the in-flight entertainment.
2. Load a laptop up with some tasks to do. Obviously this needs to be a long life battery like the Samsung NC10 with it 7 hour battery life. The 10" screen means when the passenger in front reclines, his laptop won't die in his arms. A USB powered external HDD is also a good idea, especially in economy, with the seat in front of you reclined. So get some work done. Save the movies and porno for landing.
3. Buy the laptop at the airport. In fact, Vincent picked up his NC10 this morning from the airport directly, after putting in a special request for them to charge it overnight. While he does have to pay a slight premium of £25 over the Dixons website, he gets a 90 day BAA refund/exchange policy coverage versus the standard 14 days just in case for any reason he finds he hates it with a passion.
3. Put everything in the overhead lockers. Vincent has a tendency to shove everything in the space below the seat for the sake of convenience, but has discovered that this not only limits his space on a long haul flight to stretch, but most of the items never get used. He now finds it more convenient to put it in the overhead locker, except for a book and laptop.
4. Take off your shoes. Just make sure NEVER to stick it out in the aisle. The flight attendants don't really care if the trolley hits your foot. And should that happen, of course it's your fault.
5. Carry your own bottled water. Vincent now always gets a bottle of water before boarding. This will save a lot of time and dehydration from flight attendants that never appear with your tiny cup of plastic water. Obviously, buy it after going through security,
6. Walk around. Most of us tend to remain crammed in the economy seat. But in reality, the flight actually is so much more comfortable if you don't mind getting out and walking around. There's a reason why there's a mini bar in upper class. Move your legs to avoid deep vein thrombosis, and kick the toilet walls in to vent out before returning to your tiny economy hole. You'll be glad you did.
7. Pull a Heath Ledger. That is to say, consider taking sleeping tablets. Don't kill yourself though. Too soon? Vincent's GP nicely gave him an adequate supply of everything under the sun required to make a pleasant journey. So remember that as a last resort, you can always just knock yourself out.
If you have tips/tricks/suggestions for long haul flights, share in the comments below, and Vince will stop talking annoyingly about himself in the third person. We'll also feature some of your best tips in an upcoming post in our travel series.