How to survive an ultra-long flight (SkyRoll Luggage Blog)

Singapore Airlines and Qantas, among others, are researching how to keep fliers happy, and healthy on ultra-long flights lasting 20 hours or more. These ultra-long flights are getting more common thanks to new planes with advanced technology that can fly farther, namely the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350. The issues are the same as with all flights, only magnified. The list includes jet lag, dry air causing food to lose its taste, dehydration, sitting for long hours leading to life threatening blood clots (deep vein thrombosis or DVT), how and when to sleep, etc… What’s new is how these airlines are trying to address some of these issues. They are changing the color of cabin lighting and lowering cabin temperatures to encourage sleeping, showing videos that encourage stretching in your seat with reminders to get up and walk around, changing menus to make food taste better, etc… We think all of these changes are welcome.

On a personal note, I’ve been on several 17 hour flights and can make a few suggestions to make a long flight more enjoyable:
1) Get some good noise cancelling headphones and wear them for the whole flight. Until I started doing this I never noticed how the cabin noise drained my energy. Make sure they are comfortable because they will be on your head a long time.
2) Get up and walk around as often as possible.
3) Stay hydrated, drink lots of water and stay away from alcohol.
4) Plan a schedule on when you will sleep and take sleeping pills to help you stick to it.
5) And bring a good old fashioned paper book or magazines because technology will fail you. It happened to me on a 17 hour United flight to Hong Kong, the “entertainment” system on my seat was broken, no video, no audio, nothing for the entire flight. Lesson learned the hard way.

(SkyRoll Luggage Blog)