Xavier Jared

TwoShay

Two brothers on personal development, philosophy, and being awesome

Long Haul Flying

Xavier,

I have flown across the big oceans a number of times now, and I am starting to get the hang of it. Here are some pointers for making really long flights bearable.

Order the fruit meal. Aeroplane dinners are not actually that bad, but when you have been on that plane for over ten hours, slimy mushrooms for breakfast is not ideal. Instead, you can request a really nice fruit platter. It varies, but is usually some combination of melon, pineapple, strawberries, orange, grapefruit, dates, prunes and banana. Refreshing! Not particularly filling though—I take a bag of nuts to complement. Bonus tip: roasted nuts are allowed through Australian customs, raw nuts are not.

Only your passport is needed for check-in. Do not bother printing pages of flight confirmations and bookings, it is all electronic. I write down a condensed version in my notebook only because I have a terrible memory.

Aisle seats are the best. Extra leg room in the aisle, and you can get in and out easily. (I am not the type of person who can sit in one spot for hours on end.)

Board on the final call. I do not understand why people are so keen to enter a cramped space that they will be confined to for the next fourteen hours. Wait until the queue subsides and get some extra reading done. There is no fine if they have to announce your name over the PA.

Go in tired. Some people are able to sleep easily sitting up, but I’m not one of them. Have a late one the night prior, then switch on to the new time zone the moment you get on the plane. With any luck you will be arriving in the morning (such as on all Australia to the United States flights), so by the time you have read your book and watched a movie you won’t have much trouble dozing off and waking up at breakfast time.

Don’t bother working. I find using a laptop in economy plain awkward so I don’t even bother trying. Not worth it, especially if you are tired from the point above. Take the time to relax.

No checked luggage. It slows you down, gets lost, and you don’t need it anyway.

Free alcohol isn’t really free. Unless you go in with full commitment, an epic drinking session is not recommended. You’d think it would make the flight tolerable, but it is a dangerous tactic. Especially if you are going from Australia to Europe, you are in the air long enough to get well hammered, pass out in your chair, wake up with a monster hangover, and still have over four hours to go. It is just not worth it. Bonus tip: if you have a stop-over at Changi airport, avoid the free shots.

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