How to enjoy a long haul flight

Flying need not strike fear and loathing into your heart and mind.

How to enjoy a long haul flight

While jetting off overseas is an exciting time, journey itself is often less than enjoyable. In fact, most of us dread long haul flights and the subsequent jet lag. But flying need not strike fear and loathing into your heart and mind. Once upon a time, flying was actually a romantic experience that people treated as an ‘occasion’. So how can you bring back the joy of flying when it comes to long haul flights?

Change your thinking
Mind over matter really is the case in this situation. Rather than thinking of a long-haul flight as endless hours trapped in a confined space, look at it as some much-deserved ‘me time’. With today’s tendency to be always online, long flights can act as a forced technology detox. No-one is able to bother you for the duration of your flight, so it’s a great time to get in some rest and relaxation.

Decide how you want to spend your time
Think about how you want to make the most of your hours onboard. If you never find the time to read, you may want to get stuck into some books. If you’ve been wanting to learn a new skill, why not start looking into it? Long-haul flights also provide the perfect opportunity to watch any any movies or documentaries you may have missed on the big screen – you never know what you might learn! 

Do your research
Preparation is key. A few minutes on the internet will uncover which movies and snacks are likely to be on offer. Details like this can help you to get excited for your journey rather than dreading it. If you want to go a step further, why not research the airports you will be passing through – many terminals now have amazing amenities, such as restaurants, beauty salons, showers and shopping.

Comfort is king
Being stuck on a plane for a prolonged period can be very uncomfortable. Planning ahead will help you to make your flight as comfortable as possible. If you experience ear pain during take-off and landing, buy earplugs. If you find it hard to get comfortable enough to sleep, take a neck pillow. You may also want to pack a change of clothes, face wipes and a toothbrush.

If all else fails, a long flight is the perfect chance to catch up on some Zs. It may not be the most comfortable sleep you’ve ever had, but at least you won’t be woken by an alarm for the start of another work day!



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    15th Jul 2016
    Get an aisle seat, near the toilets, saves asking others to move every few hours, even though you move for them it's better to be on the aisle seat, and you can also stretch your leg in the aisle without tripping others. Easy to get up and go walking too. And have a good sleep on long haul to the UK and other places.
    16th Jul 2016
    Near the toilets? Absolutely not as the ladies tend to run back and forth to same the entire trip. The absolute worst place to be.
    Sleep is really the only way to go in between meals, of which there are plenty. That way you reach your destination raring to go rather than looking to find somewhere to sleep.
    Tom Tank
    16th Jul 2016
    Agree Mick not near the toilets but definitely an aisle seat as getting up to move around is important.
    17th Jul 2016
    Aisle seats are great if you can score one. I recently flew from LA to BNE 13 hours in a middle seat and the guy beside me in an aisle seat never moved -for 13 hours- sleeping, I thought he'd died, he must have been on dialysis??
    16th Jul 2016
    How will ear plugs help if you have ear pain during takeoff and landing?
    16th Jul 2016
    Easiest way to burst the ear drums! Lets just block the ears that need a pressure release. Agreed Jackie.
    16th Jul 2016
    Before take off and as the plane begins descent use some nasal spray. This will help those with ear problems. This was suggested to me by an ENT Specialist and it does work.
    Tom Tank
    16th Jul 2016
    What works for me is to have something to chew on as it releases the pressure in the ear.
    Way back in time airlines used to supply a lolly or two prior to take off to help with this problem.
    16th Jul 2016
    Who are you? I noticed you haven't put your name to the article. I have been a life time traveler from being the unaccompanied minion in the back row that the air hostesses found abhorrent as we needed lots of sick bags, to the first class pregnant mum who was actually envious of the economy travelers who could put all the arms up and lie across three chairs in an empty plane in economy.
    What has improved - the price, the safety of the aircraft, no smoking, and movies. What hasn't improved, check in and customs and security, car parking, distance from the check in to the departure gate, the seats in economy, the pillows and blankets, the food, the gift packs, the on time schedule, people taking their entire life in the overhead locker, the friendliness of the cabin crew(they are probably tired of passenger antics and have turned into bossy people) ...shall I continue.
    Its a flying bus to a destination and the magic flew out the window when air travel became the cheapest way to get from A - Z and skip BCD..
    There was a rare moment in time when Qantas flew from Wollongong to Melbourne. It was so good. A small terminal, just 36 passengers we were in, on and at our destination in 3 hours instead of 6. The cabin crew served cheese and biscuits and a drink to suit. We almost always knew someone else on the light and it was just a positive friendly experience. Everyone was happy!
    16th Jul 2016
    A real traveller. Nice to read your post and agree with your sentiments although never been in first class, but get to walk past on the way to cattle class.
    It is wonderful on the rare occasion one can grab 3 seats and have a makeshift bed for long flights. Unfortunately this tends not to be the case with Qantas, but Virgin routinely is only two thirds full if you like hard seats on their Boeing-777s.
    16th Jul 2016
    Go Business class and catch up on movies!!
    16th Jul 2016
    What a waste of money and time. People who watch movies on the awful small screens end up jet lagged and tired at the other end.
    Tom Tank
    16th Jul 2016
    I'm afraid that at 4 times the cost business class is out of the reach of most of us.
    If only Mr Tatts would smile kindly!
    16th Jul 2016
    Search for cheaper business class seats. They are out there. Also screens are bigger in BC. Get a bed too. If flying Qantas and part is overnight they give you PJs as well.
    16th Jul 2016
    I remember the days of warm, moist towels, Cologne etc in the toilets ( admittedly it was a French airline! ), sweets to chew for landing and take off. Flying Air New Zealand in the 70's, I even received an impressive document stating I had crossed the Equator. During a stop in Tahiti at 3am, we were treated to a grass skirt dance on the Tarmac near the plane towering above us. Ah those were the days!
    16th Jul 2016
    Had the warm moist towels on a Lufthansa flight back in '95, plus 24 hour service from the kitchen, ( Qantas closed down at 10 pm.)and the sweets, and the cologne and aftershave in the toilets.I remember the steward asking if you wanted water, "with gas or without gas "! Our equator document was from Pan Am, way back in 1974, stopping over for a fuel stop or food stop, or picking up passengers also en-route to NZ, serving a great tropical breakfast which included fresh pineapple, mm ! yeah those were the days. If you travel BC on Emirates, you are given a Louis Vuitton toilet bag with Hugo Boss toiletries, (after shave, cologne, etc.)
    16th Jul 2016
    On a trip to the UK or Europe there are reasonable business class fares with Garuda and Royal Brunei which are both very good airlines.
    I fly a lot and for years suffered with painfull ears. Then I bought a set of Ear Planes for around $12 at the chemist. That was years ago and I have never had the problem since. If nothing else they always come with me.
    16th Jul 2016
    STOP putting your seat back on top of others. We had a woman on Cathay who just had to put it back even when she was eating dinner lunch breakfast etc and all during the movies. It makes my blood boil especially when we are paying for premium economy and there is plenty of room for passengers. To make matters worse she was in an exit row with oodles of leg room.
    17th Jul 2016
    Request politely if she can stop doing it. Good luck.
    However on a flight a few years ago I was in dreadful pain and had to have the seat back (all the way from France). We tried to upgrade me - we were willing to pay, but Qantas said no. I even had letters from doctors requesting it. However, they did manage to find another seat for the lady behind me. Thank goodness. I felt really bad about the situation but could not do anything about it. (BTW I was diagnosed with something extremely serious on returning home)

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