Nowadays when there are so many different airline companies which are competing with each other travelling by plane became much more affordable. This article is mostly about my personal first time experience of the long haul flight. Well I had to take two planes (transfer) since the destination was too far to fly the whole distance in one go. I wanted to share a little bit of my experience and give some advice for people who are planning on taking a long distance flight in the near future.
Make a use of your the Airline company website
Well it does not really matter whether you used an agency (ie. STA Travel) or you booked the flight directly, you will definitely find the website useful. Please keep in mind that every airline company is different as well as its web page will differ. However, I would still suggest to look for these things:
- Seat reservation. If you by any chance have an opportunity to choose the seat for the flight – do this. If it is only you travelling choose a seat next to the aisle but not in the middle of the plane. The aisle seat has a benefit of not needing to ask people to stand up every time you want to go to WC or stretch and do some exercise. If it is two of you travelling and the plane has seating 3-4-3 never choose the four places in the middle. It is more likely you will have an extra seat then. Also do not be afraid to choose the seats which are next to suitable for people with disability. These are rarely booked so you are also more likely to have one extra seat to stretch your legs on. However, my major advice on the seat reservation is to never sit at the back of the plane. The reason for this is that when you are being served food, the flight attendants are starting to go from the front to the back, and if there was a choice in meal, they are more likely to run out of the more popular choice before they reach the back of the plane. This has actually happened to me and I either had to have a spicy option or not have anything at all. Ridiculous but they just sometimes underestimate the numbers. If you have any allergies (like diary or nuts) or you are vegetarian there is always a choice for you, and sometimes you can pre-order your meal on the website.
- Entertainment. My only advice is not to go to the cinema at least a month before the flight, otherwise, you might have seen all the movies you wanted to see and the inflight TV will be boring and repetitive. The flight will drag in that case, believe me. Also I suggest to take your own noise isolating in-ear earphones since the ones give out usually have a lack in sound and it is difficult then to concentrate since the big planes are pretty loud.
- Model of the plane. FYI you can figure out whether it is a Boeing or an Airbus. These do differ quite a lot. I personally prefer an Airbus because the seats are wider. However, Boeings tend to be a little bit more modern. Boeing is also a longer plane (if you want to consider the seating plan) and the Airbus is usually wider. Check out SeatPlans.com to help you find the best seat for your flight.
Consider your comfort
Comfortable outfit. I have seen people entering a plane in jeans and heavy jackets for 14 hours flight! Obviously that is a stupid understanding. If you care so much how you look like I suggest you buy some designer joggers or smth, but by no means go into the plane in an uncomfortable outfit. Also it does not matter which season you are flying from/to get some warm socks since you should not be planning on keeping your feet in trainers for over 10 hours (however comfy these trainers might feel like in the beginning). Plus as you will be sitting all the time your feet will start getting cold because of the blood not flowing fast enough through your vennes so warm socks should help with that. Special long haul flight socks have been invented but I am not really sure they are worth the price unless you are doing this constantly. They cost a tenner or so. (Watch out – if cheaper – they’re probably fake)
You will be told to do some exercise during the flight by flight attendants – do that, they are not saying this only because of Health and Safety. This adds to your comfort surviving the long haul flight.
Must have checklist
- In-ear noise isolating earphones
- Toothbrush & Toothpaste (under 100ml of size)
- Clean underwear
- Clean T-Shirt
- Deodorant (under 100ml of size)
- Hand Lotion & Face Cream (under 100ml of size)
- Magazines/Books/Audio Books/Mp3 Player/Laptop/PSP (whatever you can handle during the flight)
- Bottle of water (bought in Duty Free)
- Get at least one bottle of water for the flight. Does not really matter if you are going to be served food or drinks for free you will still find one useful by your side.
- Take a small face and hand cream into your hand luggage. During the flight your skin will dry and by dry I mean will loose extremely big amount of oil and water. This is no good for your skin therefore you need cream to hydrate it. Otherwise there will be consequences for couple of days after a flight and believe me they are not very pleasant. Guys do not be embarrassed about that put the cream on your face and drink plenty of water.
If you are taking a long distance flight – you are entering a different time zone. Be sure you will have a jet lag. Especially if you travelling from West to East this gets the worst. People think of different ways for avoiding jet lag. To my experience it is important not to go to bed straight after the flight, especially if you arrive in the morning or midday. Wait until the actual night kicks in and try to set an alarm as early as possible. Should not last more than 72 hours (even though it lasted much longer for me). Also try not to drink alcohol before, during or after the flight. I know this is very tempting since you are on holiday but believe me this does not help at all.
You are now entering a different time zone but you are obviously entering a different kind of climate as well. Even though you might be going to somewhere warm and nice, it is a flight which will detrimentally affect your immune system and therefore at least two weeks before the flight you need to stock up with at least vitamin C or multivitamins.
Well that is more less it. If you have any further questions about the long distance travelling just drop me a line and will be happy to help you.