Opinions on extra long flights?

Travel Forums General Talk Opinions on extra long flights?

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1. Posted by interiors (First Time Poster 1 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

You can fly quite long direct flights these days. Dubai-Auckland, Singapore-LA, London-Perth. Do you have experience with spending 16h+ on a plane? Would you recommend it to two seperate flights? Looking for insights.

2. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1848 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

We did the Auckland Dubai route (return) over Christmas and we're doing the outward leg to Dubai again next month. It is 16 hours but you can work it so that you get dinner, have a good eight hours sleep and then get breakfast and land in Dubai quite refreshed. In my opinion, it definitely beats a two-legged journey via Singapore or KL with a two or three hour layover there.

3. Posted by Piecar (Inactive 1218 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

I don't know how anyone can get a good 8 hours of sleep on an airplane. Borisborough must be a trained Witcher. The only upside of a 16 hour flight is that it's over. Once you step off the plane, you'll forget about it and move on. I've had a number of very long flights, and I hate them. I always break things up when i can. I like to travel. If I land in a place that is different, I'm travelling. It's worth it to me to spend a night somewhere just for kicks.
But, full disclosure, here: I'm very broad-shouldered. This forces me to set on the aisle always, and then forces me to get chugged in the shoulder non stop by the thrice damned cart the cabin crew feels they should push up and down the aisles the whole trip. The tiny waifish women who can curl up and tuck their legs under themselves and still have room for a Great Dane to sit beside them on their seat probably do okay.

4. Posted by Kathrin_E (Travel Guru 680 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

On those (few) long flights I took, whch means 12 hours + 6 or 8 hours with a change and 3 hours interval in between, I found out that after 6 or so hours, nothing matters any more*. It sort of becomes timeless. So whether it's 12 or 16 hours on that plane, that won't make much difference in the end.

  • apart from grabbing any drink that they offer (ah that chilled papaya juice, loved it!), occasional in-seat gymnastics, and occasional visits to the toilet.

I envy everyone who is able to sleep on the plane. I cannot sleep in a seat. Perhaps a few short naps, but that's it.

5. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1848 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Piecar

I don't know how anyone can get a good 8 hours of sleep on an airplane. Borisborough must be a trained Witcher.

Haha - sorry no. I do have a little help - one (prescribed) zopiclone is just enough for me on a plane.

6. Posted by Kathrin_E (Travel Guru 680 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Lucky you. I can't even take sleeping pills, I get paradox reactions and become totally hysteric instead of sleepy.

Once a doctor gave me diazepam. That was helpful. I could not sleep any better, but I did not mind any more...

7. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 2425 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

I can sleep if I have a place to lay my head and can move in the seat a little, but my ankles swell if I am on a plane for a long time and it takes days for me to get rid of the fat feet. This current trip starting 30 May, I've done two 10 hour flights and my ankles and feet are still swollen.

My grandchildren (especially the girls) do not seem to have much trouble sleeping but they are smaller than I am (the one I took to Australia was taller than I am but not as wide).

8. Posted by Kathrin_E (Travel Guru 680 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Compression stockings, Rosalie. They work miracles. I use simple ones bought from a department store. But then, I am a few months your junior;) Perhaps have a word with your doctor about perfectly fitted prescription ones?

[ Edit: Edited on 11-Jun-2018, at 01:38 by Kathrin_E ]

9. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 1037 posts) 5y 1 Star this if you like it!

I quite enjoy a day or two stop-over on route in some places.

As for sleep, I think the most I've ever managed was 3 hours restless sleep on a 14 hour flight.
I'm 6 foot and quite broad shouldered, so the seats really don't allow me to get into a comfortable sleep position.

I did get a full row of seats to myself on one run to Singapore.
I thought this would be great for a serious sleep, but the new baby a few rows ahead decided differently...

10. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 4951 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Over the past couple decades I have had a quite a few long distance flights. Usually from Boston to Asia with at least one intermediate connection in the US depending on the airline. (Detroit, Dallas, Chicago, Minneapolis, etc.) With next layover Tokyo, Taipei, Hong Kong or Seoul.

For a few years I had a job that required flying a lot from the US to Asia and return. Got to keep all the miles and they paid for some of hotel rooms. But it was not steady work.

I read a lot on planes. I don't drink alcohol on flights. I don't take any sleeping pills or meds to relax. I prefer to be alert than groggy. (Besides a beer for me would go through me pretty fast.) For the long flights between last US connecting airport and first airport in Asia I grab a little snooze every now and then. When I find myself fighting to continue reading on goes the sleep mask, put the earplugs in and adjust my blow up pillow and I snooze a bit. Repeat as necessary!

For long flights get up and move around, stretch a bit. You have to do this to prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). I have had some circulation problems with an old leg injury. I do use special stockings under my regular socks. I usually have an aisle seat so I disturb the people next to me less often when I get up. And I can stick my long legs out in the aisle every now and then.

One thing I do at the final stop is to put my body on the local time as soon as possible. I don't sleep in late first morning. If I arrive during the day hours I try to stay up until late at night. I find that I more quickly adjust to local time this way.