Thursday, February 1, 2018

(My) Tips on Surviving a Long-Haul Flight

Now that I’m fresh from the time spent abroad, I reckon that it’ll be best for me to kickstart 2018 with a proper post. And what better topic to write than tips on surviving a long haul flight. Trust me, travelling on a plane for almost eight hours is never fun, not when you’re in the economy class where your comfort is restricted. So restricted to the point that you have to make do with your sleeping position.

And off we go!

Tip #1: I know that the in-flight entertainment (IFE) is not something that passengers would like because of the close proximity to the face and the blinding brightness in the dimly lit cabin. But do take it for me. It is your saviour. My first trip abroad involved me sitting in economy class for 10 straight hours, which leaves me wondering how I’d survive if it hadn’t been for the IFE. This is one of the many reasons why I avoid flying on a budget airline, unless the flight’s short: say two or three hours the maximum.

Tip #2: You might also want to consider bringing an e-book or physical book, but remember that the latter will be handy during the take-off and landing. As for me, I don’t bring a physical copy of the book that I want to read. I find that it’s troublesome, especially if I’m already having the tablet and laptop with me. I prefer to save the weight for something too fragile for my checked luggage, i.e. glass.

Reading the electronic version of 'After You' by Jojo Moyes on the plane. It killed at least an hour off the plane ride. 
Kobo eReader is the one that I'm using, partly because it has the electronic versions of the books that I want to read.  As you can see from the picture, this is my dashboard on Kobo. It's a relatively new account, but I don't think I'll be purchasing any more e-books until my next flight adventure. (The beauty about Kobo is that you earn points, which can be then used for rewards redemption.)

Since I’ve just mentioned that I sometimes carry my laptop on-board with me, I’ll continue elaborating on this. There are two reasons why I do this: firstly, I don’t want to gamble with my chances by leaving it in the checked luggage. A wide array of consequences could occur. It might be stolen or damaged to the point where I’ve to change a new laptop instead. Secondly, I’m able to draft my emails and send off later when I land. On top of that, I can watch the videos and movies that my iPad cannot store.

Tip #3: I understand that it is a hassle when you pass through Customs because you have to declare it separately from your carry on. And if you’re flying internationally, you might have to do it twice. But having the laptop with you is convenient, especially when you want to kill time on something useful rather than watching the movies on the IFE. Just don’t forget to bring the AC power adapter with you onboard. There is a plug with enough current to maintain your laptop’s power life. If you’re taking the seats on either side of the plane and peek below you, you’ll notice that the plug is installed in between the aisle and window seats.

It is only when I’m going somewhere remote or on a long, long flight that I don’t bring the laptop with me. Unlike my Mom’s MacBook Air, my Sony Vaio doesn’t allow me to do much although I have the removable battery pack with me.

Tip #4: When I’m not travelling with a laptop, I’ve usually have one A5 notebook and my iPad. My iPad has the e-books and videos for at least ⅔ of the flight and is lighter. The A5 is just for me to scribble my notes or draw doodles out of boredom. I’ve drafted blog posts this way a couple of times before. Don’t forget to bring an extra pen or two. Not only are you able to use for your notebook, you’re able to fill in the incoming passenger card without needing to borrow one from the cabin crew.

Tip #5: While I’m on the subject of technology, bringing your USB cable that fits into your phone’s charging port is also good. It enables you to also kill time on your phone and charge it hours before your arrival so that you don’t arrive with a flat battery.

Tip #6: And sleep. God knows how important this is, especially when you’re on an overnight flight. As I’ve inferred earlier in the post, this is difficult when you want to recline your chair to the maximum but don’t want to make the person behind you exasperated at the lack of space. Trust me, most of my flights depart at night and I’m not one who easily sleeps during the flight- unless the seat is spacious enough.

If you read my previous post, you'll know that although the turbulence worsened the flight experience, it was the symptoms of jet lag that left me on a zombie mode.

Additional Tip: This one was recommended by Monica of The Yum List. If you are bringing electronic devices to keep yourself entertained, please don't forget a pair of headphones. I don't think your fellow passengers would want to disturbed by the music/sound from your device.

The same applies to children as well.


  1. long-haul flights are one of my least favourite things ... i get quite claustrophobic and uncomfortable too! teleportation can't arrive soon enough! :D

    1. Exactly, Sean! It's also made worse when there is turbulence. I really wish that someone can create a device/technology that allows us to teleport between places too. It might force the airlines out of business, but at least it provides an alternative.

      My recent flight scarred me a little - the minute the place reached Western Australia, there was turbulence (which is normal, seeing that Perth and Albany are windy). When we were about to land in Adelaide, the plane felt like it was sinking. I'm okay with long haul flights, but only if I'm in business or first class. I just need my comfort, lol.

  2. I'd like to add one more: If you are travelling with children and are using a device to keep them entertained, bring headphones! The other passengers do NOT want to hear your child's entertainment (or adults' for that matter). Clearly speaking from personal annoyance ;-)

    1. Thank you so much for the recommendation, Yum List! =)

      I feel you; there were children on the return flight to Adelaide, but a particular one got on my nerve because he was playing a game without headphones and refused to stop even though the pilot asked to switched off all of the electronic devices because we were about to descend and land. I kept shooting glances at the mother and she pretended she didn't even notice me. *facepalm*

    2. I have empathy for parents trying to keep their kids quiet on long haul flights but really, some better planning needs to go on if they want understanding from surrounding passengers.

    3. That's exactly the point. The aircraft is such a narrow space that the noise will seem louder than it usually is in open places.

  3. Thank you very much for your suggestions. I will try to remember when I am on a long flight.
    I am lucky because I have short flights to go back home, so I had never to think about this.
    Have a good start of the year and good luck with your studies!

    1. You're most welcome, Laura! Wow, you are definitely lucky! Most of my flights are long ones and it stretches up to 10 hours, depending on which country I'm heading to.

      Thanks for the well-wishes! =)

  4. Great advice, I will keep them for my next flight. Thank you!


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