Poll: What's the best way to survive an ultra-long flight?

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Thread: Poll of the Week: Long-Haul Flights

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Default Poll of the Week: Long-Haul Flights

    What's the best way to get yourself through a 15-, 16- or 17-hour flight? Vote in our poll!

    Related Story
    10 Ways to Survive a Long-Haul Flight
    Last edited by SarahS; 02-14-2011 at 04:54 PM. Reason: Add link
    Sarah Schlichter
    Senior Editor
    Independent Traveler
    www.independenttraveler.com


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Long-Haul Flights

    To survive a long-haul flight, don't take it. Take the time to break up the trip on the west coast, or hawaii, or fiji, or somewhere else in the pacific. It's much safer and easier on your body. Not all of us can afford an upgrade. Some of us have health issues. The threat of DVT is real and can kill.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Long-Haul Flights

    I agree with Maryann....I don't do long flights these days. Many of my friends/relatives who have to go to Australia/NZ to see family, break their journey in Singapore, Hong Kong etc, and travel again the next day. A few pay the enormous cost for a bed on a flight. Some even fly, stay with relatives and cruise back!!!
    Jo.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Long-Haul Flights

    A recent trip took us from Toronto to Shanghai (14+ hours) 5 hour layover, then 5+ hours to Singapore, then a short hop to Malaysia, with return much the same in reverse.

    Four tips -

    1. In Shanghai, (where you cannot tag your baggage straight through) we deposited one bag with the colder weather gear in storage to be collected on our return. when we were staying in China for 10 days. We certainly didn't need such clothes in the tropics and it saved lots of unnecessary lugging for $20.
    2. We had an overnight in Singapore and used the transit hotel right inside the airport. 7 hours in a nice clean room with excellent bathroom, made a world of difference and helped us avoid much of the jet-lag. Well worth the $120, but book ahead.
    3. Wherever possible, fly Singapore Airlines. Trust me.
    4. Aeroplan allows almost any route in Pacific Rim for 20,000 points round trip. That's the best points per mile deal going.

    Happy travels.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Long-Haul Flights

    This is a pretty good article in that as a frequent long haul flyer I have observed or experienced most of these tips.
    I do not sleep on planes....never have so a 18 hour flight feels like 180 hours...except one time. I sister gave me a Ambien which I took 45 minutes out of SFO not believing it would do anything different from the other sleep aids I tried in the past. I felt sleepy in 30 minutes and woke up relatively refreshed 8 hours later and enjoyed the remaining 5 hours with a book. I do not take medications, even aspirin, not due to philosophy or health reason, it is just not something I have or think of, can't remember the last time I needed anything. So taking a strong sleep aid is out of character for me. But that was great. I was lucky, it fit my body. It, or any medication does not, so the doctor's quoted advice in the article about testing several days before the flight is important.
    I only upgrade when it is offered but the good seating in 1st Class will certainly change you mood and rest. Airlines know how miserable we are in economy and know that if the difference in comfort, just by having wider seats that recline further, and more leg room many people are forced, by health considerations or lack of tolerance to pain, to spend an extra $5000 for 10 hours of less misery. For some it is worth it. It is not for me if I have to pay it out of pocket.

    My last flight was on a plane that had personal entertainment centers for each passenger with a wide selection of programming. The KLM flight from St Petersburg Russia to SFO was, as usual, without sleep but by watching every BBC documentary in their catalog, the time melted and combined with 2 inches more leg room, was the most comfortable economy class flight in decades. I am going again on the same route, with the same flight numbers in 3 weeks so I hope they undated the programs.

    I select isle seats so I can get up often and walk but those who sleep and want to avoid being disturbed every hour by row mates wanting to get up, window seats offer a lot of advantages such as a solid surface to lean against, lack of disturbances by row mates, and slightly quieter due to the sound absorbing overhead bin directly over your seat.
    As the first poster suggested, the best long haul flight is the one not taken. When traveling around Europe and Russia, I take the train as often as possible. It is more comfortable, relaxing and interesting than airplane travel, even if it takes a lot longer. Up to 2.5 days on the train is less tiring than 18 hours on a plane, plus train stations are usually in the heart of your intended destination, not 1-2 hours away through terrible traffic as with airports.

  6. #6
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    Thumbs down Re: Poll of the Week: Long-Haul Flights

    As a Senior and a world traveler for the past 30 plus years, I find it harder to travel each year since the airlines have added more seats and done away with the 747 on most routes. At 6 feet tall, (mostly legs), I find it even dangerous. We are constantly told to get up and walk around, but the truth is, there is very little space or time to do so any more. There is always a cart in the narrow aisle, lights out during movies or to sleep or turbulance meaning you have to sit down. So much for exercise!! I can remember when I used to do actual stretching exercises and even saw a man standing on his head in the back of a 747.

    As to upgrades.....I guess that's why I feel so cramped. I used to fly first or business on business trips but now that I'm retired, we buy non-refundable coach tickets. Even though I still have tons of frequent flyer miles, they don't apply to those tickets. I swore I wouldn't fly coach to Australia but after trying for a full year to cash in my FF miles, I ended up doing just that. AA has no trouble saying, "sorry, not available" on any routing or partner airlines. United seems to be much more willing to let you use your miles. The upgrade for my husband and myself was $10,000. That's another trip as far as I'm concerned.

    Still flying the long hauls and begging at the gate, but not liking it.
    Kayzebelle

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Long-Haul Flights

    I detest long haul flights and upgrading is out of the question on a pension. However, I love to travel: so rule 1. never get stressed - when they tell you your fight is delayed again and they couldn't get the meal cart in the plane because of what ever..... stay calm. The kid kicking the seat behind and screaming, don't worry - stay calm.
    Sitting in a worn out seat, where a thousand well proportioned arses have sat before does cause me much distress. My legs go to sleep and they become agitated, I try to stay calm, but my legs wont. I do wish that the people who fly these things would try the seats every now and then. I appear to have an innate ability to find worn out seats. Possibly some airlines should pay me, for detecting these items of discomfort.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Long-Haul Flights

    I sleep through most of long-haul flights. As an assist, I ask for red wine with the dinner (or whatever meal is being served). White wine doesn't do the same thing but red wine makes me very drowsy. I also wear TravelSox (available just about anywhere that sells travel supplies and clothes) for the circulation and then I sleep. In the 10% of times that I have trouble getting to sleep, I bring along something good to read. Eventually, that will also lull me to sleep.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Long-Haul Flights

    I'm with you Granny. I didn't suggest it because every article you read tells you not to drink alcohol when flying. I'm not a believer.....a glass or two of wine, (any kind) or a glass of gin for that matter, and I'm good for the next 8 hours. It's when I wake up and realize that I still have 10 hours to go that I look for a movie or grab a book.
    Kayzebelle

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