A Guide to Comfortable Air Travel
The secret to having a comfortable flight depends on the following:
- Getting the seat you want
- Next to the person / people you want
- Getting a nice relaxed meal and drink inside you whilst you watch a cracking film
- Being able to shut yourself off into your own comfort zone
- On long flights getting some good kip
- And on long flights getting yourself awake and refreshed at the right time
A bad flight is:
Sitting in a middle seat between a mother and a young baby and an incessant talker who happens to have a job / life / personality that is of no interest to you. Your beer is kicked over by the baby, you get the meal option that no one else wanted (all the steak went immediately), the screen was too far away to see (Three Men and a Baby was also showing - great!), sleep was not an option with the endless drivel from the most boring man in the world and the screaming wee bubs with stuff coming out of each orifice... so you exit the plane ‘schtinking’ and full of ming. Not good.
A good flight is:
Aisle or window, next to a backpacker/model, being served first, a relatively empty flight, a good film which you can watch undisturbed, the ability to snuggle yourself into the corner/model for a great kip and a quick refreshing wash down about an hour before you get off.
Sounds ideal right? So, how do you get it?
- Check in early.
- If you spot another backpacker/passenger at check-in and you hit it off, ask if it is ok to sit with them.
Be polite to the person at check-in and ask the following questions
- ‘Is the plane empty today?’ If yes, choose the empty seats at the back and see if you can get some spares around you... they fill the plane from the front. This will help with the kip, but be careful not to be too far from the screen
- ‘Are there any seats with legroom left?’ You never know
- ‘If I ask nicely I don’t suppose there is the chance of an upgrade? I am exhausted [insert something here to get pity/impress]’ You never know
- If you are unhappy with your seat it is always worth chatting to the stewards(esses). Point out that the baby might keep you awake and ask nicely if there is another seat.
- Hungry on the flight? Always ask politely if ‘there is any spare’. There always is.
- Use anything available to make your seat comfortable to chill in - the cushion, a travel cushion, the blanket, your jumper etc. - then get yourself engrossed in your book or get your CD player on. Not only does this help you chill, it also makes it very difficult for people to disturb you.
- Eye protectors and ear plugs are great for blocking everything out.
- Have your washbag with you on the plane so that you can have a quick freshening up session before you land - works wonders!
- Vegetarians - make sure the airline knows.
- Non-vegetarians - the vegetarian food is usually out first and is quite often better than the non vegetarian option... worth thinking about!
- Long flights are more comfortable without your shoes on and with a big thick comfy pair of socks on over your DVT socks
- Air conditioning can make the plane very cold, so avoid wearing just shorts and T-shirts. Take a jumper on board for extra warmth.
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