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Long Flights

How do you guys handle it? I'm good for maybe 7-8 hours.

Even at home or work I can only sit for less than an hour at a time before needing to move, but I can sit at a movie for two hours or a bus for awhile, although I'm happy to get off and walk.

I don't want to be "that guy" who is walking the airplane aisle every hour, but it's tough.

I'd like to visit Asia and Australia but whoa Nelly that's too far I'd go nuts. (No offense to anyone named Nelly.) Now I realize there's a joke somewhere regarding "nuts" but it's on me.

Boone County Mike!

Posted by
941 posts

I'm a nervous Nancy with restless body syndrome. I've found that wearing light compression socks helps tremendously with the nervous feet and legs but I still need get up to move around and stretch. Maybe I need a compression body suit. Most other people are asleep and usually I am the only one walking. Circle, circle, circle I go. No one seems to mind.

As or Australia or Asia, I'd fly to Europe, spend a day or three, and then continue my journey onward. Same thing returning.

Posted by
6775 posts

I'm good for maybe 7-8 hours.

And then what happens? If you have to walk every hour, go for it. Do whatever makes you comfortable. If you have to build in a stop-over, nothing wrong with that either.

To me, the relatively minor inconvenience of the flight is nothing compared to the total joy of the trip. I don't even think about it or draw particular attention to it.

Posted by
5101 posts

I have six magic words that will change your life forever: Business class with lay flat bed.

I know, I know, but...honestly, 18 hours to Bali or Sydney is actually very pleasant.

When my flight started to descend for landing in Sydney, I actually was thinking... Aw, so soon? I could use a few more hours of this...

Posted by
6880 posts

The planes are large and you can go for a walk as needed. Circle around the cabins. My husband walks a lot on planes when the seat belt sign is off. I have no problem with long haul (12, 16 hours), and a sleeping pill takes away 5-6 hours. You would not go nuts on a flight to Asia or Australia; you have a different mind set when you board. And I highly recommend business class for those flights. Lie flat bed/seats, lots of meals, comfortable, good service. The prices are less to go to Asia than Europe, Business Class. Asia is now my favorite travel destination.

Posted by
3176 posts

I don't want to be "that guy" who is walking the airplane aisle every
hour, but it's tough.

Nothing wrong with that. If you need or just want to walk around, do it assuming the green light is on. I will have to do it when I travel to AMS in late October/early November. I have two collapsed discs at the bottom of my spine as the MRI revealed last month. If I don't need surgery, I'm going. I've finished 3 rounds of epidural steroid injections and I'm praying they will take and give me the chance to walk around and get back to normal. I have 10 weeks to do that prior to my trip. My physiatrist is now optimistic after being pessimistic just a few weeks ago. I'm using miles on Delta so I'll be in the back.

So, Mike, walk about all you like. Just don't get into the FA's way. :-)

Posted by
1260 posts

The easiest option for Australia would be to move from wherever "almost heaven" is to "actual heaven" (aka New Zealand), then it is only a few hours flight.

If that isn't an option, then I'd agree business class is the sensible way for longer flights or add a week or so to your holiday and break the trip there and back with a few days stop along the way. Generally there are a lot of flights from major cities to other major cities, so it is easy to create a route with a stop.

Posted by
5042 posts

Make sure you book an isle seat so you can walk whenever you want without disturbing others in your row. Nobody notices when people walk around a plane. Keeping joints moving is encouraged.

A bigger issue for me is not being able to sleep on planes, so arriving tired and suffering jet lag.

Posted by
1683 posts

Agnes, I mean a 7-8 hour flight is about all I can handle in a cabin absent an emergency flight to Australia to visit an as-of-yet unknown relative who passed away, leaving me millions but I'd have to be present to collect it.

Well, yeah I can't afford business class, but we are looking at premium economy next time, which is still about twice the $$ of basic economy.

Perhaps it's my fault being self-conscious walking the aisle. Often I go to the bathroom when I don't really need to go just to have somewhere to go. You know, wash hands I guess. Nance (and I like that name), good advice.

Maybe the as-of-yet unknown Aussie relative will pass and I can go First Class! If only I could be so fortunate.

Posted by
2342 posts

There's nothing remotely shameful about being "that guy" who walks the aisle every hour. But, I personally think it is "shameful" to force the flight attendants to back up the food/drink service cart so that guy can get back to his seat. That guy needs to think ahead.

Posted by
1683 posts

Cont hope all goes well, and yes you certainly should move as often as practicable.

Nick, my escape fantasy is to move to New Zealand, which seems to be a another level of beautiful.

Posted by
1683 posts

traylaparks, curious about your username. Hey, I don't mind FAs in the aisle as that gives me an excuse to stand near the bathroom and ... not sit for awhile.

I envy you folks that can sleep on flights. Other than a restless nap or two I'm screwed. Now put me on a tour bus and I'm out, which I suppose is due to more comfortable seats?

Posted by
12400 posts

No problem dealing with a long, non-stop flight of 11 hours in Economy, that sardine can seat, which is usually the case when flying from SFO/OAK to Europe. I sleep most of the flight, 6-7 hrs is sufficient, land in the morning between 10 to 11am, no jet lag, good to go in Paris or Frankfurt.

I walk a little on the flight, mostly I try to sleep or am sleeping. Keep hydrated. Going over I don't look at the movies, focusing only on sleeping, prior to the meal and after.

With an 18 hr flight to Japan, China, etc I have not done that as yet.

Posted by
661 posts

I travel to Asia and Australia a lot on business and I am fortunate enough to get business class most of the time and it does make a difference. However, I have had to fly economy plus before t o Asia and while it is not ideal, it is worth the extra $. If you have an option, shop for the airline, Singapore Air for example has a decadent economy plus seating configuration and service.

I agree that you should get the aisle seat, even when I fly business class, I am not a good sleeper and the ability to get up and move is critical for me. No one cares if you get up if you are in an aisle and don’t block meal service or bother the FA.

You can make a long flight more comfortable: lightweight compression socks, comfortable clothes you can rest in, and a good travel pillow does make a difference to me when I have to do a long flight.

Lastly, keep checking your flights, get the SMS flight notifications, as they can and do change planes. When I traveled to Italy this past June I had six people that I booked for in Economy Plus (on miles). They changed my plane 24 hours prior. I lost all the Economy Plus seats and all my 6 aisle seats, they stuck us in regular economy and in some middle seat.. Luckily, I got notifications and called the airline and got us all back in Economy Plus and in aisles in time. So even if you book a seat, then can change it at the last minute.

Sandy

Posted by
1683 posts

Good advice, SandyO. I'm curious about the "decadent" economy plus seating. Do they serve free booze and show dirty movies?

Posted by
5101 posts

With an 18 hr flight to Japan, China, etc I have not done that as yet.

Fred, I live in Seattle. From here, a nonstop flight to Tokyo is actually shorter than a nonstop flight to London (and it's easier to get a nonstop to Japan than it is to London). From SFO it's probably similar, so you might want to check your flight times to Asia and rejigger your expectations.

For a long time, I considered any trip to Asia as a complex, epic voyage, starting with two full days on a plane - mentally it was daunting. Then I flew to Tokyo and realized that it was no more difficult than any other foreign trip, and in fact, a lot shorter flight than getting to Europe was (from here, it's 9 hours to Japan versus 9.5 hours to the UK).

Now, admittedly, Southeast Asia and Australia and beyond...yeah, those are longer flights. But trust me, once you've flown to some tiny flyspeck island in Indonesia that nobody you know has ever heard of (start with 20 hours just getting to Indonesia, then add 3 more domestic flights on smaller and smaller aircraft...taking about two full days to reach that last airport)...after you've done that a couple times, going from the US west coast to anywhere in Europe seems like a hop, skip and a jump that goes by in the blink of an eye!

Posted by
415 posts

Now with the good selection of in flight movies and the ability to watch what I want when I want I’m fine. When I was pregnant per doctor’s orders I had to walk every hour or two on the plane. Last trip a man had to walk his 2 year old up and down the aisle. The kid was quiet and happy. That made a better flight for everyone (well maybe not dad).

Posted by
166 posts

We're presently doing research for a trip to Australia and New Zealand. I'm (Donna) looking at flights. We would leave from Orlando. I'm thinking Orlando to Las Vegas on travel day one. Overnight in LV and take the morning flight on Hawaiian Airlines, for which we have a mileage credit card, to Honolulu. Stay a few days on Oahu and then take the Hawaiian flight to Auckland. Hawaiian also has service to both Brisbane and Sydney from Honolulu. Yes it will take a few days, but that's okay.

This sort of reminds me of a poster who described how difficult it is to get from Maui to Europe, and says he always breaks up his trip.

Now, for those in Australia and New Zealand, if I may, how do you get to Europe please?

Posted by
2788 posts

Do as "D & D" suggested. I fly to Europe from SEA, a 9 1/2 hour flight and get up often to walk around. I fly to Hawaii from SEA, a 5 1/2 hour flight, and get up some to walk around. At 72 99/100 years old, I have been told by my doctor to be sure to get up and walk around on these flights.

Posted by
80 posts

Good morning from the future! To get to Europe from NZ is long haul x 2. I always fly in one long day, as I find that breaking up the flights doesn't help jet lag - it's just increases the amount of checking in, checking out, weird times zones and generally not enough time to see anything in your stopover destination. I'd rather have more time in the final destination.

I have so far flown directly from NZ to Europe via the USA, via Japan, via Thailand, and via Dubai. Dubai being my current preferred, because you have so many options into Europe from there. USA least favourite because of going through LAX. Time wise they are all pretty similar at around 24 hours of flying. For example, on Emirates i'd leave my home town and fly to Sydney on a Monday at 6pm-ish and travel west 3ish hours to Sydney and then back on to the exactly the same plane for 14-ish hours to Dubai, then connect in Dubai for another 7ish hours to somewhere in Europe arriving around 1pm the Tuesday. I find doing this that the jet lag is normally very manageable.

Another thing about flying from NZ. The planes are a good size, modern and decent airlines. Full service included. Eg. Emirates fly from my home town on an A380.

I just tend to zone out, enjoy the food, movies and sleep as much as I am able. It is normal to check your bags and not see them again till your final destination, it is also very normal to recline your seats after the meals to snooze.

And the cost...it's interesting but I notice the cost from NZ to EU return is often cheaper than NZ to USA return. At the moment I'd pay around $1800 NZD to EU return on Emirates economy - which is around $1200 USD. You do see cheaper, but usually with terrible connections.

Posted by
12400 posts

I flew once out of Seattle to London after a layover of 5 hrs from SFO. That was in Oct 2017. What surprised me was the Br Air captain's announcement that the flight duration would be shorter than what I had counted on based on non-stop flights from SFO and OAK to London. Fine, even though that meant less sleep time, still I slept and ended up having a very nice flight sitting in Economy.

Would I fly out of SEA again to London, Paris or Frankfurt? Depends on the carrier, the dep time, the duration of the layover (I want at least 3 hrs), and the price. Flying from SFO to Tokyo or Shanghai non-stop would be the long haul...that's in the bucket list.

Posted by
5697 posts

How do I do it ? I'm one of those lucky people who can fall asleep anywhere. I get on the plane, put on my noise-cancelling headphones, wrap up in a blanket, watch a movie or TV show until the meal is served and cleaned up, then plug into the classical music channel and sleep for many hours.

Posted by
7979 posts

Why I choose those multi-stop flights instead of non-stop. Would rather have my trip take a few hours more with 2-3 flights than sit on a plane for more than 8-9 hours. Iceland Air works for me to get to the West Coast from Europe. My friends in Australia fly with Korean Air and have an overnight stop in Korea before heading to Europe. Korea like Iceland lets you layover on your ticket. That is the only way I will ever make it down under. Business class is so far out of my price range, can't even think about it.