In 2018, Singapore Airlines won the world’s ‘longest direct service’ crown for their flight between Singapore and New York. The Airbus A350-900ULR took off from Changi Airport and covered 14,484.1km to land in Newark Liberty International Airport in just under 17.5 hours. An aviation feat, and national pride.
This got me thinking - 17.5 hours is 3 times longer than the maximum of 6 hours I can endure on flights. If I were to fly this route, how should I prepare for it? With long-haul flight times ranging from 12 to 18 hours, here are some of my tips to help the time pass less painfully, and more comfortably.
1. Comfortable clothing
Source: Masaaki Komori
Dressing for airports can be tricky if you are all about the ‘airport fashion’, but you also want to be comfortable at the same time. Nothing screams chic and smart more than basic outfits – think sweats, t-shirts, and a hoodie. Be sure to carry an extra layer to protect you from the cool air, and bring cozy slipper socks to keep your feet warm and comfy. Most airlines provide blankets and a basic amenities kit with socks included, but better be safe than cold.
2. Choose the perfect seat
Source: Eva Darron
There’s a whole science involved in getting the perfect seat to suit your needs. When choosing your seat, plan and consider the following factors: Want more leg room? Opt for exit rows. Want to avoid crying children? Avoid the front of the plane as this is where special provisions for infants and children are placed. Like to move about the plane (or have quick access to the loos)? Get an aisle seat.
3. Sleep is crucial
Forget the other passengers and put on your eye mask and a pair of earplugs for good measure. If you did not opt for comfy clothing from the get-go, then carry a set of sleeping clothes that you can easily slip into. Nestle your neck within a good neck pillow to prevent neck aches, and get ready to sleep. This can help with jet lag if you plan your timing properly.
4. Beat the hunger (a.k.a boredom)
Travelling through time zones means you will not get fed during your usual times. When you do get food, you might end up with breakfast for dinner. I’m not complaining since I love breakfast food, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll want something to munch on as you watch 3 horror movies in a row. Always. Pack. Snacks.
5. Stay hydrated
Aircraft cabins are very dry places. With recirculated air and low humidity, drink plenty of water, avoid caffeine, and don’t over-indulge in too much alcohol to reduce your chances of becoming dehydrated.
Hydration doesn’t stop at just drinking water. It’s time to bring in the big guns. The perfect form of skincare you can bring along is a face mask. Not limited by any liquid restriction, your skin can concentrate on staying healthy, moisturised, and supple.
Long haul flights can seem daunting, but with a little preparation and a change in mindset, it’s in fact, a blessing. Without wi-fi, you have a real excuse to not finish up any pending work, check your emails or reply to the ever-piling messages. Take this time to relax and re-energise without any guilt. Take a book you’ve been meaning to read and hours will just fly by. You’ll soon be wishing you were up in the sky again to someplace new.