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Never flown long haul(13 Posts)
I've never flown long haul but we are going to be flying to Australia next month in economy (airline don't do premium economy) on an airbus a380. Any hints and tips would be much appreciated!
Where are you changing planes? How tight is your swapover?
My advice is to wear cotton clothing and make sure your waistband isn't tight!
Have a change of clothes or two in your hand luggage. If you can, take a sleeping tablet when it's time to sleep.
Prepare to watch a LOT of tv.
Drink a lot of water and DO get up to walk around often. A little trot up the aisle every hour will do it.
I've made this journey a lot and it is challenging but ok. I always order vegetarian meals in advance as they're nicer and veggies get served first.
Get really good ear plugs. I like the Bio Ears soft silicone ones.
Invest in a really good neck cushion. Mine is so comfy that I don’t take it off for the entire flight!
Unlike the ones you may be provided with free on a long-haul flight, you can get luxury eye masks which are almost like a pillow for you face. They mould to the shape of your head so that no light can enter, but remain breathable and comfortable so they don’t dry out your eyes.
I use Nitol tablets.
The quietest seats on an airplane are in front of the wings because the engines are under the wings. Aim to sit in a window seat and in a row away from the noise of the toilets and galley.
Don’t use the in flight entertainment screens just before you want to sleep. Music is ok. I take my little MP3 player with lots of calming music and some Desert Island Discs podcasts.
The flight attendants are likely to serve you drinks before your meal, then they do down the aisle with tea and coffee after the meal. Don’t drink anything with caffeine if you want to sleep! I take a chamomile teabag or a sachet or Horlicks and ask them to just give me some hot water for it.
You may want to look into wearing compression socks.
Buy absolutely LOADS of water and drinks to take on board airside before you board as you'll get very little on the flight. Go easy on the alcohol!
We've got two hours in Dubai. I've booked seats in front of he wings so thanks for that tip and all the others.
Oh I won't be drinking any alcohol because I'll have to do a 90 minute drive when we get there.
Don't bother with a window seat on the A380 if it's a view you're interested in - the windows are quite recessed so you can't really see much out of them. This aircraft is huge and seems to make a banging sound on every landing (in my experience at least) so don't be alarmed, that's normal. Just got for a normal seat on Emirates - I tried to be clever and book what looked like an emergency exit but wasn't, in fact it was much worse than their standard seat, which is comfortable by modern standards. Sprinkle talc in your shoes so you don't have to worry about your feet smelling when you take them off. Unless you're about to fall asleep anyway, avoid alcohol as it makes you feel like absolute crap at altitude. Take lots of water, and get an aisle seat so you can use the loo a lot. Between watching films or whatever, spend 10-15 mins focussing on something far away, so you don't get all cross-eyed. I take Nytol on overnight flights, if you're nervous two of Boots' Valerien pills work wonders, you can even take them in the daytime, they are similar to valium in my experience.
Talk about a baptism of fire - from no long haul ever to economy to Australia!
As my DH said after we flew separately to Sydney once and I went to meet him at the airport 'That was a long frickin' flight!', but he had the leg from LA to Sydney, which is hideous.
I don't do window seats on very long flights, because I get claustrophobic, I don't sleep and I like to walk up and down. If you suspect that that might be you too I'd advise to you get an aisle, because if the people between you and the aisle fall asleep for hours you'll be stuck. If you're like my DH though and can sleep anywhere, but all means take the window and slumber!
I buy a 1.5 litre bottle of water in the airport to take with me on board, or two of the largest small ones I can find. The crew will bring around water and orange juice quite regularly, but you need to drink more than they bring to stay hydrated IME. Drink more than you think you need to.
Take clean pants and a clean t-shirt in your carry-on, plus a full change of clothes in case you lose your luggage. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen. Also take anti-bac wipes for the tray table and armrests - they're always filthy and the airlines never clean them with antibac. Also take toothbrush and paste, facial wipes for freshening up and a small bottle of moisturiser for your face. Take reading material, an iPod or similar, and some noise-cancelling headphones if you have them. A good eye mask and neck pillow are a good idea too, as is a warm pashmina or something snuggly to put around your top half. The blankets on planes aren't washed after every use, so don't put them near your face.
Aisle seat for whoever has the weakest bladder! it’s a long flight and having to ask people to move a number of times on a flight when you need the loo is a pain. There’s also a little more leg room for when you sleep. Agree a big scarf is a good idea & nicer than airline blankets. Ask your DH not to wake you up if he’s awake and you’re not and food comes round. The blow up neck thingies don’t do much for me but DH and DD love them! If it’s not a full plane and there are spare seats after take off, move! You don’t say if DC are coming with you? If so, make sure they’ve plenty to occupy them and pack lots of snacks. Also expect to get slept on! When the windows are shut, reading a book with the overhead light on is a pain in the butt for others so load up your tablet/kindle. My DD likes to take and wear her slippers. Book your meals in advance and have a good probe of the breakfast meal before sticking the contents in your mouth (don’t know what airline you’re flying but breakfast does vary very much by continent and sticking a mouthful of omelette with hidden chilli’s in your mouth at 3.50am is just vile!).
Take loads of water, moisturiser, lip balm, a neck pillow, headphones, comfy socks so you can take your shoes off. Wear a bra with no underwire, and comfy loose clothing. A big shawl/scarf is great to double up as a blanket. If you can take a change of underwear and a fresh T-shirt it can make all the difference to change just before landing plus a quick app of deodorant, splash face, brush teeth.
Change your watch to oz time as soon as you board and try to start being asleep or resting/awake at the local time straight away. It won’t stop the jet lag but it does help.
I've got my head in the sand now, it's just me plus a 15 year old into Melbourne. Dh can't come because of work we can't go any other time for various reasons. I've booked one window seat and one aisle seat so we will have somebody else in the middle but dd will be watching films all the way or reading and so will i, having split seats will work for us as dd is very sensible and I need the legroom, we aren't the sort to be rude and talk over the other person or lean across them. I'm half hoping that nobody will want to book that seat and I'm told by the airline that it's not a popular time to go so fingers crossed. They said they try to avoid putting one person in between two who are together. We've got twin seats for the other part of the flight as I've paid extra for them.
I had three seats to myself last month from Dubai to Adelaide. It was GREAT! You never know...maybe that middle seat will be empty. It really, really improves a flight if it is.
I had all my stuff spread out so I could get to it and it was just so nice. The other flight I'd had...from Manchester to Dubai was awful. I was next to two large men...both of which took off their shoes.
The shoulders of the man next to me were really broad so I just got used to them being on me...he couldn't help it, he was over 6 foot...and built like a bloody door. So I had to think that he was probably a lot more uncomfortable than me and he was really polite too...apart from the shoes thing!
Bring an eye mask for when you want to sleep and also maybe download some sleep meditations onto your phone that you can listen to, I find these really help. Also, pack a cool bag of things to munch on such as crisps, biccies, chocolate, sandwiches as if you're not into the plane food, you'll be starving.
I tend to get very bloated on long flights. Have found De-Gas tablets or similar taken throughout the flight to be super helpful. Otherwise I feel really uncomfortable at the end and for the first day or so.
Also a keen fan of the aisle seat
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