travel advice

Long-haul flights can be daunting, but with the right strategies, you can make your journey more comfortable. Kris Major, a British flight attendant with 25 years of experience, shares his insights on how to handle long flights effectively.

Should You Eat Before or During an Overnight Flight?

For overnight flights, it’s best to eat before boarding if you want to maximize sleep. This is crucial for shorter long-haul flights, like New York to London, where sleep time is limited.

Eating on the Plane

During long-haul flights, meals are served at scheduled times, which may not align with your usual eating habits due to time zone changes. It’s essential to listen to your body and eat only if you’re hungry. Sleeping instead of eating during odd hours can be more beneficial.

Bringing Your Own Snacks

Bringing your own food and snacks is a smart move. Meal service on flights can be delayed, and having your own snacks ensures you won’t go hungry. This is particularly important if you have dietary needs or are traveling with children.

Flight Attendant Rest Areas

Flight attendants have designated rest areas on planes, which vary depending on the airline and flight length. On longer flights, they get breaks for 90-minute sleep cycles to maintain alertness and safety.

Exercising During the Flight

Movement is essential on long flights. Even simple actions like wiggling your toes or stretching in your seat can help. Consult your doctor if you have circulatory issues.

Entertainment and Comfort

Bringing your own devices for entertainment is advisable. In-flight entertainment systems can sometimes malfunction, and having your own ensures you’re never without something to watch or listen to.

Traveling with Kids

If you’re traveling with children, staying calm is key. Flight attendants are trained to assist and can help ease your child’s anxiety. Bringing familiar toys and blankets can also make the flight more comfortable for them.

Handling Nervous Passengers

For those afraid of flying, understanding the mechanics of the plane can help. Flight attendants are experienced in calming nervous passengers by explaining noises or simply providing distraction through conversation.

Luggage and AirTags

Using AirTags for tracking luggage is popular among travelers. Major prefers traveling with carry-on luggage only for convenience and speed, but he understands the appeal of tracking devices for those who check bags.

Maximizing Layover Time

During long layovers, consider booking a hotel room for rest and make sure to stretch and walk around. If possible, leaving the airport for fresh air can be refreshing.

Ultra Long-Haul Flights

With ultra long-haul flights becoming a reality, Major highlights the importance of planning for the extended periods flight attendants will work. The impact of missing two nights of sleep is still being studied, but advancements in aircraft technology are making these flights possible.

Long-haul flights require preparation and smart strategies to ensure comfort and well-being. Following these expert tips from Kris Major can help make your journey more manageable.

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