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How to Survive the new Super Long-haul Flights

That 17-hour flight option you see when searching for airfares to international destinations such as London, Dubai, and Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas in the United States isn’t a typo or a misprint – it is real. These types of long-haul flights are great as they eliminate lengthy layovers and having to switch planes, but they aren’t for everyone.

The initial take-up and excitement over the Qantas Perth-London direct flight have apparently cooled, with falling seat sales and mumblings from passengers that maybe seventeen hours is a little too long to be confined in a flying tube! Before you book a ticket for one of these super long-haul flights, take a moment and see how other passengers have survived being in confined space thousands of miles in the sky for 17+ hours.

Photo by Yousef Alfuhigi on Unsplash
Photo by Yousef Alfuhigi on Unsplash

Pack a Flight Survival Kit

All travelers are at risk of experiencing various health problems, such as dehydration, dry cracked lips, and DVTs when flying, but your chances of experiencing these types of problems increase when you are on a long-haul flight. In an effort to avoid such problems, consider packing a flight survival kit and putting it in your carry-on.

A flight survival kit for long-haul flights will include the following items:

  • Lip moisturizer or lip balm – this will help prevent dry, cracked lips
  • Eye drops – helps keeps eyes moisturized and prevents dry, itchy eyes
  • Tissues
  • Earplugs
  • Bottled water
  • Sleep mask
  • Hand cream or lotion

Learn Easy-to-Perform In-Seat Exercises

Sitting for so long on a long-haul flight can put you at risk of experiencing a serious medical problem known as deep vein thrombosis. In order to avoid this problem, it is recommended that you keep moving. Unfortunately, this is difficult to do when you are in a confined area for seventeen hours. That is why you need to learn various in-seat exercises.

Performing simple in-seat exercises, such as ankle rolls, leg stretches, and toe raises, will help keep the blood flowing. If the blood is kept flowing, it reduces your chances of experiencing a blood clot decrease dramatically.

In addition to performing in-seat exercises, you will also want to make sure you get up and walk up and down the aisle every hour or so. This combined with your in-seat exercises will help reduce your risk of DVT.

Carefully Plan Your Flight Time with Activities

Before getting on your long-haul flight, you will want to take some time to plan out how you will keep yourself entertained. Seventeen hours is a long time to sit and watch movies or read or sleep.

Carefully planning out how you will spend the time on your flight will help you avoid potentially sleeping too much, which might cause jetlag, or running out of things to do. A good method is to create a planned schedule, one that breaks up the flight into blocks of watching TV, napping, and reading, interspersed with the airline’s meal timings. While there is no “one size fits all” solution, a plan such as this will help maintain your body’s natural rhythm to alleviate jetlag. 

Currently, there are a limited number of super long-haul flights offered. However, that will change over the years as more airlines jump on this trend with an advance in airline technology for more fuel-efficient engines with ever-increasing range capabilities. All of the suggestions offered here will help you survive any long-haul flight whether you are flying to London, New York, or anywhere else.

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