Time killers in long flights, Dealing with Jet lag, Airline tips and recommendations

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#1 Apr 6th, 2004, 23:08
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  • sudheer poppa is offline
#1
On the subject, we had a discreet discussion elsewhere but some good points came up. So thought can make this a resource thread which all can share and contribute to. Please scream your thoughts on the subject here.

Some points that came up to help sleep (the best time killer)

a) You can take off your shoes and be bare foot which is supposed to help.
b) You can ask for free eye shades ( dont know the official name for it, but it is a cloth cover for your eyes that is kept with an elastic band) from the flight crew. Can help for you to relax and sleep. But some airlines do not carry them and hence you may need to buy them from a travel shop.
c) Dont sleep the night before you are travelling, but if you fail to sleep in the aircraft can result in big time trouble when you land.
d) Alchohol is a good suggestion but dont do point (g) if you choose to do this and do not succeed ( NO NO NO dont have alchohol as mentioned by freemanx can result in worser jet lag for many )
e) Request for a middle of the flight seat at the time you are checking in and also a window seat so that others will not wake you up if you are sleeping for their toilet visits. For this, you may have to go to the airport early or check in through the internet if the airline gives that option. ( Volga suggests to take the aisle seat as you dont have to disturb others when you need to move around ! quite a valid suggestion )
f) ask the hostess not to disturb you (if you sleep) for serving meal plus you can convey the messege to the person in the seat near you.
g) if every attempt to sleep fails after a few hours, try to find another soul facing the same problem and start an intellectual chat with them. Who knows you may end up a best of friends later.

More options to kill time later......
We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools - MLK
Last edited by sudheer poppa; Apr 7th, 2004 at 09:43..
#2 Apr 7th, 2004, 00:51
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  • volga_volga is offline
#2

my 2c

I have only four long-haul flights in the past few months so I am not a flying expert really... here is how I cope (normally I can't sleep)

(1) I buy lots of glossy magazines like Elle, Hello etc that I am embarrassed to read otherwise (as they always print the same stuff and not very intelligent) - can be effective for time wasting. also don't have to carry them off the plane, since I finish reading them and just leave underneath my seat or in the airplane pocket for future passengers

another reading material tip (for travellers with laptops) - nowadays you can find loads of interesting stuff, even books, on the net. i download them and have weight-free (apart from laptop) reading material!

same applies to music! I copy my CD collection on the hard drive

(2) I find something to do that I really enjoy and then I don't notice how time passes. on my last two flights BACK I was editing photos from my trips (on the laptop) and was reliving the experience. or was writing travel notes for self/friends, or letters - writing is really time consuming... and if you enjoy it you are sorted for the long-haul!

(3) I make myself as comfortable as possible. I don't wear restrictive clothing, make up, I wrap myself in shawls (for that home feeling), I take my shoes off - you need a pair of warm socks for that as the air con may be coming from down there, I ask for plenty of tea (another homely drink), I eat only food that I fancy (it is easy to eat something that you really don't want/need because of tiredness and boredom and then you may suffer indigestion etc)

(4) I take some food with me that I must have every day, like fruit (apples) - this way I don't have to rely on airline food

(5) long flights are the best for day-dreaming!! can be wonderful indulgence and here there no distractions and plenty of time.

I must admit I am not a very social passenger
#3 Apr 7th, 2004, 00:54
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  • volga_volga is offline
#3

beating the jet lag

I must admit I haven't met anyone yet who has found a solution to that. I read that melatonine helps coping with time diff adjustment, and I saw a guy on the plane taking it but I always forget to look it up when in pharmacy.

I do diligently read all I can find for frequent travelllers and melatonine was the only suggestion so far. Apart from following the hours of your destination the moment you board the plane.

Volga
#4 Apr 7th, 2004, 02:24
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  • williaam is offline
#4
Question: I know that I want to sleep on the plane, ( when I flew to Thailand I forced myself to stay awake the whole time, thinking I would miss something if I slept, haha, that was a mistake.) Anwyay, one that I learned from. However, my flight to India is a little tricky. I leave my hometown at 10:50 am with one layover before I reach New York. I dont' think that I will sleep on those flights. Anyway, I have a flight to London from New York and we arrive at 6:50 am. Leave London at noon, anyway, we then land in Delhi at 12:50 am. So I am trying to figure out a sleep schedule so that I am not too jetlagged when I land in Delhi but I want to be abel to sleep that nigh taht we arrive. Any suggestions would be great!!
#5 Apr 7th, 2004, 04:09
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  • -m2- is offline
#5
volga: melatonin is a naturally occuring hormone which is part of the bodies normal bio-rythym system -- normally it's release is triggered somewhat by darkness and and brings on a sleep response. Some use synthetic melatonin as a sleep aid, but, from personal experience (and a survey of users in Consumers Report), it isn't effective for many in the long run. However, it can be useful for 'resetting' one's biological clocks and therefore be helpful for a speedier adjustment to time zone changes (jet-lag). Unfortunately, it is no longer available in Canada (legally) and I haven't used it for a few years but when I did, I found it quite helpful for long trans-pacific flights and the subsequent major time adjustment. The idea is to take the melatonin (and use the eyeshades) at the normal sleep time for your destination, then zone out. Obviously you can't do this if you will have a stop-over in a couple of hours as, when used only occasionally, the soporific effect is quite powerful. It should be continued for a couple of days as a sleep aid at your destination, then you should be fairly well acclimatized.

I've found melatonin at a pharmacies in the US in the section with other herbal remedies - don't know about GB. It is no longer sold in Canada; not because it is thought to be dangerous, but only because it has never gone through the required tests and trials to be legal and, as it is not a patentable medicine, there is no one to put up the cash to do the necessary testing.

williaam: I think you should try to get some sleep on the NY-London leg and mostly stay awake on the Lon-Delhi trip and crash mightily when you get to your hotel in Delhi. You will likely feel like crap for a day or two anyway, but that's normal. Go easy on the booze and drink lots of juice and water. (not that I follow my own advice )
#6 Apr 7th, 2004, 06:35
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  • sachar is offline
#6
I'm doing a nightshift before flying to dehli. Which will mean I probably be able to catch some sleep.

Also working in a weird shift-pattern solves the whole jet-lag thing.
#7 Apr 7th, 2004, 08:07
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  • julieellen is offline
#7
i was really sick with jet lag when i went to mumbai. dizzy, nauseous, just sicky.

i think i messed up big time because when we landed around midnight, we went to eat. seriously stupid. should have gone right to sleep, rested part of the next day, and gone into the office mid-day. went in that same morning and that was not smart either.

learned a lot on that trip. just take it easy when you land and go to sleep. take some time the next day to rest if you can. if you can't completely rest, take it easy for sure.

as they say in india..."take rest"

also, i'm sure some would disagree with this, but i am not a great flyer (yeah, makes sense to fly 24 hours to india, i know...) so i take valium to ease my nerves and a nice side effect is that it makes me sleepy. some over the counter sleep aides might help when you desperately need sleep, but are off on your hours. that's just me though....
#8 Apr 7th, 2004, 11:39
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  • Rob_The_Pom is offline
#8
I've found that I generally only get jetlag in one direction. If I'm flying London to Osaka I'm normally a wreck once I get to Japan. If I'm flying back to London I'm fine once I get there. One of my friends is completely the opposite. I'm not sure why this happens but there you go.
Any explanations?
The solution to your troubles is at the bottom of a glass.
#9 Apr 7th, 2004, 14:59
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  • volga_volga is offline
#9
RobThePom, I also (and many of my friends) find that flying Westbound is much easier than Eastbound. Compare waking up in the mornings a few hours earlier (eastbound travel) or getting to bad a few hours later (westbound). So when you are flying westbound you just get tired earlier in the evening ('cause you are up very early) while in the eastbound travel you (often) have to get up at eastern hours meaning much ealier than your normal waking time.
#10 Apr 7th, 2004, 19:23
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#10
That's sounds pretty logical - I wonder why my friend is the exact opposite though?
#11 Apr 11th, 2004, 19:24
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  • sudheer poppa is offline
#11
Timekillers...

Another good idea is to check the airlines webpage throughly on the facilities they offer on board. Incase you find some options interesting you can sent them a mail with your PNR number in order to ensure that the same is available in the flight you are taking. Examples are cards, puzzles, chess boards, sewing kit, simple excercise kits and any sundry option.


Food matters.......

As mentioned above, if you are sensitive about food, request for a special meal while making the booking. You can have a wide variety but a simple burger or sandwich is want you want, boldly ask for it at the time of booking. Even incase you forgot about it at the time of booking you can always request them for a change of meal upto 48 hours ( or even later) before the flight time.


Excercises......

Some good stretching excercises has done a world of good to me. Mostly apt just when you enter the aircraft after the buzzle of the airport or 30 mins before landing, just to ensure that your body has enough blood moving around to face those daunting Immgration officers, luggage queue, customs, touts, taximen.......

The below information is from Singapore airlines webpage ( could not copy the link as it is linked to my ff id). One option they are not mentioning is a very useful face massage. You can do it yourself for a soothing feeling. Can explain more if demanded



Inflight Aerobics

It is easy to stiffen up during a long flight. Here are a few simple stretching exercises to help loosen muscle and joints. You can perform them in your seat, but make sure it is in the upright position. Remember to respect the airspace of other passengers. Breathe normally, and do not overstretch. Repeat the programme at intervals of two hours.

Hands

Grip the edge of your armrest with your hands, hold to a count of five, then relax. Repeat 10 times.

Legs

Starting with your feet on the floor, bring your legs slowly up towards your chest, as far as you can. Relax them slowly. Repeat three times.

Feet

Placing both feet on the floor, point your toes upwards as high as they will go. Point them downwards. Repeat this in a continuous movement five times.

Neck Exercises

Move your head slowly towards your right shoulder and hold. Then towards your left shoulder and hold. Move your chin slowly down towards your chest. Hold and relax. Repeat three times.

Arms

Starting with your arms outstretched, flex at the elbow and bring them slowly into your chest. Extend them again. Repeat five times.

Shoulders

Hunch up your shoulders, hold and slowly relax. Repeat five times.

Abdomen

Starting from a fully upright position, slide your hands down your legs as far as you can. Straighten up gradually. Repeat three times. Cross your arms across your chest and rotate as far as you can from right to left. Repeat three times.
#12 Apr 13th, 2004, 20:15
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  • ikimasho is offline
#12
i love the flight!! i think of it as mental preparation for my journey. it is a good time to reflect on whatever or wherever you have just left. also a great time to make my first entry in my journal. sometimes i write funny letters to my friends on the sick bags while i am waiting for the plane to take off.

my daggy, black slippers with sequin dragons on the toes have been around the world and i wouldnt leave home without them.

i always request a special meal. i also tell the staff that if i am asleep during meal service, they are not to disturb me. (your food will still be available if you wake up) i always pack a lunch. i try to make it full of things i know i wont be eating on my trip. this gives you the freedom to eat whenever you feel like it.

i arrive early enough to get the emergency exit row. leg room and no one has to climb over you! on short flights this isnt a big deal. on long hauls, i would rather be at the airport early than spend the whole flight sandwiched in the centre seats.

i bring a small bottle of rosewater to spray on my face during the flight. (evian makes a small spray bottle for travel) this is a great way to freshen up/wake up. it is also good for skin rehydration.

i always have a bottle of water.

i do take melatonin when i fly. i take it as soon as i get on the plane. i have fallen asleep twice before take-off. i might wake up during the flight for a trip to the ladies but i always find it really easy to fall asleep again. i have had great success with melatonin and it doesnt leave me retarded when i arrive at immigration.

oooh yeah, i always fly singapore airlines. if all else fails, i can play nintendo.

i am really surprised no one has mentioned the "mile high club"....i digress.....
"To be enlightened is to be enlightened about something." Thich Nhat Hahn
#13 Apr 13th, 2004, 20:45
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  • Bryan is offline
#13
I don't know if its allowed on any flights anymore (It wasn't on all my flights over the last 3 years but was on PIA back in 2000...Is it still?) but there was nothing better than wandering up the back of the plane and chatting to other smokers / pariahs while you had your fix.
You always met a mixed bag of people on the India flight from some well healed first class traveller to the 60 year old Indian returning to the Punjab from England for the first time in 40 years to the 18 year old year out round the world type to the seasoned India travaller returning for another visit to the soon to be be married young Indian doctor returning with his family to be married. Never a dull moment hahahaha

I would end up there most of my time on the flight just talking swapping anecodotes listening and learning.

We've really lost something unique to the health fascists. Perhpas Air India , Air lanka or PIA could put a chai wallah at the back of the plane where we could all mingle for the duration of the flight ...Wow...I even amaze myself with these flashes of genius! Does anyone have Richard Branson's phone number?

We live and dream
Bryan
Then let us pray that come it may
(As come it will for a' that),
That Sense and Worth o'er a' the earth,
Shall bear the gree an a' that.
For a' that, an a' that,
It's coming yet for a' that,
That man to man, the world, o'er
Shall brithers be for a' that.
- Burns
#14 Apr 13th, 2004, 23:12
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  • Ja~martini34 is offline
#14
do you suggest i take a cd player?or will i be sleeping on the 19.5hour flight to india!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
its so heavy this cd player and earphones and i have no room hardly with all my meds and vitamins and waterbottles!
what doi take in my carryon!
i dont want to feel like a mule when im finally arriving in india!
jamartini34
Ja~Martini
#15 Apr 14th, 2004, 09:08
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  • guerik is offline
#15
I wouldn't take the CD player - every flight these days has some form of in-flight radio station that you can listen to instead.
Plus then you have to either carry it on you or worry about it when it's thrown on top of a bus, or squashed by an Indian family's giant retro suitcase in a train
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