Long-haul flights: how do you survive?

I recently spent 17 hours in economy class on a long-haul flight from Auckland, New Zealand to Dubai. It was not the most pleasant experience; more of an endurance test than anything else. Being seated in a confined space was not what the human body was created for.

Long-haul flights - cabin interior
It might look inviting but after 17 hours it is less so [Source – Emirates]

Long haul flights - night time shot of Qantas Dreamliner departing LHR
Qantas flight departing on the non-stop London-Perth route. [Source – Qantas]
QANTAS recently introduced the first non-stop flight from the UK to Australia. The flight leaves London’s Heathrow Airport and, without any stopover in Dubai or Singapore, lands in Perth, Western Australia 17-hours later. That might seem like an ideal way to travel to Australia and is a far cry from a journey of seven hops over four days that gave the Kangaroo Route its name. However, being cooped up in an aeroplane for 17 hours without a break can be an ordeal at best and dangerous to your health at worst.

Qantas dreamliner will be used on the London-Perth non-stop route. [Source – Qantas]
So, what can be done about it given that most of us cannot afford the extra costs of flying business or first? What can we do to alleviate the discomfort and the danger to health? What are, or can, the airlines do to make ultra long-haul flights less of an endurance test?

Long-haul - Qantas dreamliner ready for departure
Could you survive a 17 hour flight? What tips can you offer? [Source – Qantas]
I am planning on writing a post that will answer those questions. However, before applying fingertips to keyboard (we used to say “putting pen to paper” but that no longer applies) I want to find out from my readers and social media followers what their tips are for surviving ultra long-haul flights.

It’s over to you now. You can leave your tips in the comments below or click on the contact tab above and send an email. I will then gather all the tips together along with my own research and comment from airlines to include in a future post.


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Travel Unpacked is all about travel; from luxury to adventure travel and all related topics. There are reviews of accommodation, eateries, airlines,  ferries, books and much more. You will find stories, lists, hints and tips as well as experiences you might want replicate on your travels. It’s about travel as you want it