Expert Tips for Surviving Long-Haul Flights

Should You Eat Before or During an Overnight Flight?

If you want to maximize sleep on an overnight flight, eating before boarding is key. This is especially true for shorter long-haul flights like New York to London, where every minute of sleep counts.

When to Eat on the Plane

On long-haul flights, multiple meals are often provided. However, it’s crucial to listen to your body. If you’re exhausted, prioritize sleep over eating, even if a meal is being served.

Bringing Your Own Food and Snacks

Bringing your own snacks is a smart move. Meals on flights typically aren’t served until at least an hour after takeoff, and having your own food is especially important if you have dietary restrictions or are traveling with children.

Flight Attendant Rest Areas

Rest areas for crew members vary by airline and aircraft. For flights over 13 hours, attendants need good rest areas and at least 90 minutes of sleep to function effectively.

Exercising on a Long-Haul Flight

It’s important to move around during long flights. Even small movements like wiggling your toes can help. If you have circulatory issues, consult your doctor for advice.

Bringing Your Own Entertainment

Most people now use their own devices for in-flight entertainment. While planes generally have USB charging ports, bringing a portable charger can provide peace of mind.

Tips for Traveling with Kids

Stay calm and relaxed, as children often mirror their parents’ emotions. Bringing familiar toys and blankets can help make the environment more comforting for them.

Dealing with Nervous Passengers

Flight attendants are trained to help anxious passengers by either explaining the mechanics of the aircraft or providing distraction through conversation.

Using AirTags for Luggage

Although Major hasn’t used AirTags himself, he understands their appeal, especially for those who’ve experienced lost luggage. He typically travels with carry-on only for ease and speed.

Making the Most of Layovers

If you have a long layover, consider booking a hotel room for sleep and try to stretch your legs and walk around as much as possible. Fresh air can also be beneficial if time permits.

Perspectives on Ultra Long-Haul Flights

Ultra long-haul flights, such as Qantas’ upcoming 19-hour routes, pose new challenges. Flight attendants may work over periods exceeding 24 hours, missing two nights of sleep. While it’s an evolving area, solutions are being developed to manage these extended flights.

By following these tips from Kris Major, a seasoned flight attendant, you can make your long-haul flight more comfortable and less stressful.

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