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Insider Tips from a Flight Attendant for Long-Haul Flight Survival

Introduction

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Facing long-haul flights can be a daunting experience, especially during the holiday season. Kris Major, a British flight attendant with 24 years of experience, shares his insights on how to survive these lengthy journeys.

Eating Before or During Flights

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Major suggests eating before boarding, especially for overnight flights, to maximize sleep. This is crucial for shorter long-haul flights, like New York to London, where maximizing sleep is essential.

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Seasoned Travelers’ Habits

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Observing business travellers, Major notes that they often sleep immediately after takeoff. This approach helps in making the most of the limited rest time available during the flight.

Challenges of Eating Before Flights

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Eating before flying can be difficult due to long security lines and busy terminals. This can sometimes lead travellers to settle for less-than-ideal meals.

Inflight Meals and Sleep

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Major advises passengers to align their eating habits with their travel schedule. Sleeping may take precedence over eating, especially if the mealtime falls at an odd hour in the passenger’s original time zone.

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Bringing Personal Comfort Items

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Major recommends bringing personal items like travel pillows, blankets, and eye masks. This is to enhance comfort, as airline provisions may not always meet individual preferences or needs.

Difficulty Sleeping on Flights

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For those who find it hard to sleep on flights, Major suggests not forcing sleep. Instead, consider watching a movie or engaging in another relaxing activity.

Crew Rest Areas

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Major describes the crew rest areas as essential for maintaining alertness, especially on flights over 13 hours. These areas allow crew members to complete necessary sleep cycles.

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Staying Fresh After Sleeping

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To feel refreshed after sleeping, Major emphasizes the importance of simple activities like cleaning teeth. This can significantly improve one’s feeling of freshness.

Exercise and Movement

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Major stresses the importance of movement during flights. This can be as simple as wiggling toes, aiming to maintain circulation and comfort.

Taking Off Shoes on Flights

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Removing shoes on long-haul flights is recommended for comfort and circulation. However, passengers should be considerate of potential foot odor.

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Choosing the Best Seat

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concerns like turbulence or legroom, Major suggests selecting seats near the front or emergency exits. Personal preferences, like window seats for sleeping, should also be considered.

Inflight Entertainment

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Bringing personal entertainment devices is advisable, as inflight systems may not always function perfectly. Major notes that flight attendants typically don’t judge passengers’ movie choices.

Bringing Your Own Food

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Major recommends bringing personal snacks and meals. This is especially important for those with dietary restrictions or when traveling with children.

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Managing Kids on Flights

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For parents travelling with children, Major advises remaining calm and bringing familiar items for the child. Flight attendants can assist in calming both parents and children.

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