Thursday, January 19, 2012

ridiculously long flights.

Well, I have officially landed on my home turf and am enjoying a nice 5 hour layover in LA at the moment (sarcasm about it being "nice"). After going through the circus that is customs (forms, lines, questioning, baggage, more lines, more questioning, rechecking baggage, going through security.... Whew! That is a lot to ask of a poor girl who just stepped off a 16 hour flight!) I grabbed a bagel and finally got a chance to brush my teeth. Which brings me to my main point- the flight.

I know the thought of sitting on an airplane, squashed in a tiny, economy sized seat for 16 straight hours can sound intimidating to most people. What do you do in that tiny space for over half a day?? The good news is I have some tips that might just ease your fears. My ridiculously-long-flight card has been filling up rather quickly since moving overseas and over time I have really perfected my "in flight schedule" if you will.

[flying over Fiji]

The first and most important thing to do is make sure you pick a quality airline. When you are stuck somewhere for 16 hours it is worth the extra $100 to fly with a good company (Max and I have learned this the hard way!). My top picks for this particular flight would have to be Qantas or Air New Zealand.

If you are anything like me, once you find your seat you sit there for the next 20 minutes hoping that empty seat next to you stays empty or is at least occupied by someone who actually fits in only their seat and not half of yours as well. After the whole seating fiasco is finished and you have resigned to the fact that no matter how often you fly you will never get to be the lucky person who ends up with an entire row of seats to yourself (okay, maybe that is just me) you begin your in-flight schedule.

1. Quickly scan through the list of movies available for the flight. Make a mental list of the ones you really want to see and another list of the ones you kind of want to see (you'll see why later).

2. Start your first pick movie right away... Even before takeoff if you can.

3. About half way through the movie they will serve a meal. Make sure you use the bathroom BEFORE the meal. Even though it will only take you 3 minutes to eat your food, the trays will sit in front of you for at least 45 minutes, making it impossible to move or get up from your seat. Plus, no one else knows this trick so the bathroom lines are always crazy long right after everyone eats.

4. About half way through your meal take 1-2 sleeping pills. This step is vital and well worth it if you want to avoid jet lag when you get to your destination.

5. Right as your food tray is taken away, your first movie will end and the sleeping pills will kick in. With a full tummy and heavy eye lids, make your self as comfortable as you can and put on a movie that is on your "I kind of want to see that" movie list. Why you ask? Because if you pick a movie you really want to see, you will force yourself to stay awake for the whole thing which will really disrupt your entire schedule (trust me one this one).

6. 7 minutes in to the movie you will fall asleep for a few hours; waking up every now and then to readjust because your butt will go numb or you will have to use the bathroom.

7. If you happen to wake up before the next meal time (on these long flights they are usually served 3 hours before landing) then throw on a few episodes of Modern Family or something. No movies at this time because again it will distract your mind from sleeping. Short 30 minutes shows allow for entertainment until you pass out again.

8. The cabin lights will be turned on again just before they serve the next meal. USE THE BATHROOM then.

9. Start a new movie from your must see movie list and eat your meal.

10. Your last movie will end 30 minutes before landing, giving you enough time to fill out your customs paperwork and listen to a few songs on the iPod before coming to a landing at your destination happy and rested!

[Sunrise landing in LA]

If you follow this plan exactly I can guarantee a relaxed and peaceful 16 hour flight :) Of course this plan does require your own in-flight entertainment unit (little tv in the head rest in front of you) which brings me back to my original point of picking a good airline to start.

Well there you have it friends. See- a really long flight is not so scary after all!

Now I am off again for a 6 hour flight to Boston to see my very favorite nephew :)

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