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Sleeping on coach

I'm taking my first international flight, I'll probably be in coach. What is the best way to get some shut-eye on a 7 hour flight?

Posted by
359 posts

Different for all; some do, some don't; some can, some can't. I don't do great but always ask for an aisle seat and, if possible, an emergency exit/bulkhead row; on the really good days, an upgrade to business helps. Loosen shoes, my own neck pillow, an airline pillow for the small of my back, airline blanket, loosen seatbelt, blackout/sleeping 'mask', limit coffee/tea/cola/alcohol, lots of water/juice when awake. With luck the inflight movie will put you to sleep; if not, keep your eyes on the eastern sky and watch the sun come up from 30K+ feet.

Posted by
4693 posts

Robin, Don't know where you are going ... but if it is to London, take the morning flight out of Dulles. It arrives about 10pm London time. No need to sleep on the plane.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you all for your answers.

Laura, you seem to be in my neck of the woods!

I am traveling to London but I have to transfer to a cruise ship which leaves at 5 pm (with having to be there at 3 pm). All this, of course, means I'll probably be on one of the red eye flights I believe.

Posted by
258 posts

If you are travelling solo get a window seat. That way you will not be disturbed by people up and down multiple times (this happened on my way back). Also consider taking ear plugs or a light travel blanket (if the airline does not provide one).

Posted by
211 posts

Ear Plugs are key. I always bring them with me when I fly even if its a short trip and I'm not sleeping, it cuts down on a lot of engine noises and the like, and I find it makes me feel less draggy and fatigued when I land.

Posted by
808 posts

Some passengers tell me that doing passive activities such as reading or a crossword puzzle can help promote sleep.
But let's be realistic, your sleep will in fact be interupted many times throughout your 7 flight. Sorry, can't do much about that...
If you are planning to sleep during your flight...Please do not ask to be seated an an Emergency Exit. I know some people like the extra legroom but it also comes with added responsibility. Sitting at such a location requires you to be what we call an "ABP-Able Bodied Passenger". You must by law be briefed on Emergency procedures and must verbally agree to assist in an Emergency if required and or requested by the Flight Crew.
And especially don't ask to sit there if you choose to take sedative medication to help you sleep.

If you'd rather sleep you won't want the added responsibility, anyway.

Cont'd...

Posted by
808 posts

Ask for a window seat so you are less likely to be disturbed by another pax needing to get out to use the Lav or whatever else they feel they need to do countless times. Fasten your seatbelt and keep it fastened at all times. Keep your tray table in it's upright and locked position at all times when you are not awake to use it. That way when we secure our Cabin and do our safety checks we won't have to wake you. Those are the two most common disturbances pax complain about. Ask for a pillow and sealed in plastic blanket prior to takeoff. We're busiest during boarding but will bring it soon into the flight.

And if you don't want to be woken for meals/hospitality services maybe mention it to the F/A at your position. Close your window shade after take-off and not before b/c we will make you raise it for safety reasons during takeoff. Maybe even let your seatmate know that you will be trying to get some rest so they hopefully will take that into consideration.

Posted by
115 posts

I am also taking my first international flight, but i never realised that it only takes you guys aroung 7 hours to get over there..

I will be flying for around 22 hours to get there... i really hope i can sleep!! not a big fan of pulling all nighters - plus i arrive into london at 6am, so will then have to stay awake all day do avoid jet lag.

I read through the plan your trip section to get the info on jetlag/sleeping on planes :)

Posted by
3 posts

Niagra, Thank you for all the info. I'm a newbie on here. What does "pax" stand for? I wasn't aware that the window shade had to be raised on take-off. Is that new? Thanks for the info on the exit seats. I do take a quarter tab of ativan to take the edge off so I won't be in those chairs!

Leeana, 22 hours! Sheesh, I'd have to pack a bag of magazines to get through that one. I have always wanted to see Australia. I believe that's about a 20 hour trip from here.

Posted by
153 posts

"Pax" is an abbreviation for 'passengers'.

We've flown to Europe many times, and I really don't do well at sleeping on the plane. The best thing for me is to use an inflatable pillow that circles around my neck - not a Bucky, but a thing with velcro, because I am tall and my head slumps forward when I doze off, which wakes me up. The wrap-around pillow keeps my head from falling. Also, I like the sleep mask (RS Travel Store sells them) because the movie flickers and lights come on and off and all of that is distracting.

Some people are good at sleeping on the plane. I just wish I were one of them.