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Long haul trip tips please!

(11 Posts)
Aggy21 Fri 16-Jun-23 20:01:44

Hi, I’m going to Australia soon, solo. Looking for any tips on how to survive the 7 hour, followed by 14 hour flights.. has anyone ever successfully got themselves a free upgrade?! Or asked at check in and got one at a good price?

NotAGran55 Fri 16-Jun-23 20:12:15

My top tip for travelling to Australia is to get a flight that arrives in the evening. Go to bed and get up fresh in the morning ready to go.

I break the journey into segments. Watch a film for a couple of hours. Freshen up. Have something to eat and drink. Read a novel or listen to an audiobook for an hour or so. Have a nap, I take a neck pillow . Research and plan what you will do on your trip. Watch stuff that you wouldn’t normally do. I watched a fascinating documentary about the land trains crossing the outback . Repeat!

GrannyGravy13 Fri 16-Jun-23 20:26:04

As soon as you take off on the first leg of your journey put your watch onto the time zone of your destination.

Then try and relax

Gymstagran Fri 16-Jun-23 20:34:38

I prefer an aisle seat, as I don't sleep well on long haul and can then get up without disturbing anyone. I also find it useful to have bottled water with me . I take suduko as I can do that better than reading a book. I book a stop over for a few days on the way back to break the journey. The excitement helps me on the way out.

grannyactivist Fri 16-Jun-23 21:03:02

I have three sisters who were BA Cabin crew, so picked their brains before my first solo long haul trip to NZ.

I take a sturdy shoebox (size 6 Clark’s ladies 😉) in my hand luggage and use it to rest my feet on during the journey. I pack lightweight slip-on flat shoes one size larger than usual to wear on board as my feet always swell. I do repetitions of a few simple exercises throughout the journey (Google is your friend - ask it about in-flight exercise). I limit alcohol, but accept drinks frequently - this keeps me hydrated and forces me to get up to go to the loo. DON’T go to the loo in just socks as you’re almost guaranteed to step in a puddle! I like an aisle seat and choose one quite close to the loo - babies and young children are usually seated forward so I like to choose a seat towards the rear of the cabin. And finally, I pick a flight that has a decent stop in Singapore and book a room in the airport hotel for 8 hours. I love Changi airport and on arrival I take a long walk around the different gardens, the butterfly house etc. before eating and then packing myself off to sleep for 7 hours or so. It’s still a tiring journey, but all of the above has been helpful to me.

Enjoy your trip! 🧳✈️

MissChateline Fri 16-Jun-23 21:43:04

Sleeping tablets and plenty of red wine always passed long haul flights for me !

Grammaretto Fri 16-Jun-23 21:55:36

Very wise!
I have also booked for a solo flight to NZ. I have decided to go the fastest route, not stopping over in Singapore.
Possibly I'll regret it. The other tips I am following. Thanks

I was upgraded once, not sure why. It was the final short haul from Melbourne to Auckland. Having spent the night in Melbourne we had to check in again.
There was no queue at the first and business class check in so we were summoned over and issued with Business class tickets. It was lovely for those final few hours.

My DD, was upgraded after becoming sick on the flight. She was moved to leave her fellow passengers in peace. I asked her how it was. Awful because she could eat nothing and was sick the entire journey. Not recommended.

Chardy Fri 16-Jun-23 22:23:35

Best advice I was given before NZ flight
1. Have a clean pair of knickers to change into halfway through
2. Take a pair of old-fashioned headphones as the tiny ear bud kind hurt after a few hours
Have a brilliant time

JackyB Sun 18-Jun-23 12:14:57

Treat it as part of the holiday and have fun. Even though you will be sitting on the plane for ages, do leave yourself loads of time at the airport. I love browsing the shops and having a drink or meal, and people watching. A flight to the West coast of the US (8-9 hours) was never long enough for me as there is not quite enough time to fit in three films, so I either had to stop one in the middle or fill in with shorter films and TV programmes.

There are lots of people giving advice for long haul flights on YouTube - often contradictory. Neck pillows are controversial. All are unanimous that the trays and seats need a good rub down with a disinfectant wipe as cleaning between flights is not as thorough as you would wish, as time is at a premium between flights.

Also advice on YouTube from flight attendants is unanimous in that you should be nice to the staff - on the ground and in the air. If you are pleasant and well mannered and not pushy and demanding they will be more likely to grant you perks. I don't think (but I'm not sure) that asking for an upgrade on check-in is the done thing but it's worth a try, especially if you don't make a fuss. But that is obvious really.

We have twice been upgraded, but this was not of our own doing. The first time our flight was overbooked and we were offered an upgrade and a substantial compensation if we took another route. (We accepted but they lost our luggage in the changeover.) For this to happen it might be best to check in at the desk quite late, but that is of course also risky.

The other time I was flying from San Francisco back to Frankfurt. I was on my own, like you, and economy was full but there was a single spare seat in business class which I was allocated for no extra charge. Luck of the draw really.

The YouTubers also recommend lots of gadgets which make things easier - a cradle to hang on the seat in front to rest your feet in, various holders for phone and tablet to watch your own downloaded films, and things to hook on the seat to keep things handy. Also various tips such as: keep the most urgent things in a smaller pouch on top of your bag in case you can (or are even asked to) put the carry on bag in the overhead locker . You can then take it out and have it with you. (Hand cream, glasses, medication, your documents, disposable flannels, toothbrush and a comb, and the spare knickers mentioned above should also be handy for the freshen up half way, whether you do this on the plane or at the stopover airport.)

WiFi is in my experience not reliable on planes, but you should download the airline's app at home before you leave anyway. You can familiarise yourself with it, plan your menu and see what meals are on offer, see what entertainment is available and how to watch it. These days there is a USB port by your seat to charge your gadgets.

If you are bothered by light and sound and would like to sleep, by all means take earplugs and an eye mask.

On YouTube I have also seen warnings that the pillow and the blanket (if provided) are not necessarily clean but that doesn't really bother me. I would just cover the pillow with a scarf (another indispensable accessory) and the blanket isn't really touching your face anyway.

Remember to pack your passport and cards in an RFID protected pouch or wallet and be aware of data theft, and to print out your boarding ticket just in case (I've always used the one on my phone but have the paper one as back up)

Most important is to check the airline's baggage restrictions thoroughly and any other advice they give regarding checking in, upgrading , flight information etc, as this will reduce stress at the airport. You can check in online at home before you leave.

Sorry if I've covered too much obvious stuff if you are an experienced flyer. I haven't flown myself since the pandemic and I know a few things have changed since. However I do recommend looking out the advice on YouTube; you can certainly pick up some tips there. Many of them are American and concentrate on the American security system TSA but you can ignore or apply as necessary. I formation regarding the security check is nothing to do with the airline, you can gen up on that on the airport's website.

PamelaJ1 Sun 18-Jun-23 13:18:37

If you have booked but not paid in full for your flight then pay ASAP. You can’t book a seat until you do. Go on a site such as Sear Guru and look at the seating on the plane you will be going on.
IMO it’s worth paying for a seat with lots of leg room, decide if you want to disturb people when you go to the loo or if you prefer to be disturbed.
We traveled with Malaysia last time and got the bulkhead seats, lots of leg room so much that two ladies who seemed to like wandering about kept walking in front of us! (We were in the centre aisle)

PamelaJ1 Sun 18-Jun-23 13:19:05

Seat- not Sear!!