Long Haul Flights

Different airlines have different definitions on what they consider to be a long haul flight, although generally it is any flight which lasts over 6 hours. This length of time on an aeroplane can become uncomfortable, tiring, and even stressful for travellers.

The first thing you should think about when travelling a long distance is your health. Before travelling try to consume a diet which strengthens your immune system as it is easy to pick up illnesses on an aeroplane due to it being completely enclosed and having dry, re-circulated air. When we are busy thinking about travel documents, airport security, making it to the gate on time, we can very easily forget to take care of our essential needs like eating and drinking.

It is especially important to drink lots of water when we fly because the altitude can cause us to become dehydrated. As the flight will be long, make sure you either have plenty water available or that you can acquire water from the on board drink service. Also remember to try to eat a meal when you have the opportunity to do so as you need to keep up your energy levels. Sitting on an aeroplane for any amount of time has the potential to cause health conditions such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or leg clots because the immobility of our bodies greatly slows down our blood circulation.

For this reason it is very important to walk about the cabin as much as possible, and if it isn’t possible, to move our legs a lot whilst seated. Long haul flights can severely interfere with our sleep patterns they require us to travel for long periods of time possibly through our usual sleep times. For some people this is not a problem as they find it easy to sleep on a plane or any other mode of transport, but for other people it is almost impossible to sleep whilst travelling no matter how tired they are. This can be because of anything such as noise from other people or the aeroplane engine, the movement of the aircraft, anxiousness about flying, feeling travel sick, being uncomfortable, or simply just because they need a proper bed to sleep in.

There are ways to make sleeping easier on whilst flying, for example, ear plugs to block out noise, an eye mask to block the light, a neck or travel pillow to give you something comfortable to rest your head and support your neck, and a blanket so you aren’t affected by the chill of the air conditioning. It is a good idea to take plenty of entertainment with you as you are literally ‘in for the long haul’. Many long haul flights have seat-back entertainment systems which means every passenger has their own screen which they can control and switch between movies, TV programs, radio, and games.


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