A flight attendant has revealed their surprising top tips for surviving a long-haul flight – including not eating in-flight meals and making sure to pack a travel pillow.
For many, the prospect of a long-haul flight is an exciting one – marking the start of a trip to a long-awaited holiday somewhere hot and sunny.
But, for others, the idea of spending multiple hours cooped up with strangers, screaming children and getting a disturbed sleep can be a daunting one.
Kris Major has been a flight attendant for 24 years. After spending many hours in the sky, he shared his best advice for a peaceful flight with CNN.
Kris’s first handy piece of advice is to avoid eating in-flight meals.
A flight attendant has revealed their surprising top tips for surviving a long-haul flight (file image)
Instead, he recommends using the time you would usually spend eating to get some needed rest so you’re as full of energy as possible when you reach your destination.
If you brush your teeth once you’ve left the plane, it can also help you to feel refreshed after a long and groggy flight.
Top tips for a long-haul flight
- Eat before you board but bring snacks
- Bring your own travel pillow, eye mask and blanket
- Get as much rest as possible but don’t worry if you can’t sleep
- Clean your teeth afterwards to feel refreshed
- Move around to keep the blood flowing
- Feel free to take shoes off if it’s more comfortable
- But take them off elsewhere if you’re worried about the smell!
- The best seats to cope with turbulence are near the front
- A window seat is best for a decent sleep
- Bring your own entertainment in case the screens aren’t working – as well as a portable charger
- Bring familiar toys and blankets to keep children calm
- Try to leave an airport for fresh air or book a hotel during a layover
Kris advises eating before you board but to pack snacks in case you start to feel peckish.
Most planes nowadays should provide you with a comfortable seat and pillow for your flight.
But it’s always better to be prepared in case you find yourself facing a 12-hour trip without a pillow.
Kris says it’s a good idea to bring an eye mask, travel pillow and blanket to make sure you’re as cosy as possible for your journey.
He told CNN: ‘I would say cater for your own comfort and your own needs as much as you possibly can.’
The flight expert believes comfort onboard the plane is paramount to customer satisfaction.
He therefore advises people not to worry if they can’t sleep, to take off their shoes if they’re uncomfortable and to move around regularly to keep the blood flowing.
Choosing a seat is important too – but where to go depends on the requirements of the individual passenger.
For those who experience travel sickness or dislike turbulence, the best place to sit is at the front to reduce movement.
But if getting a full eight hours of sleep is your main priority, it could be worth thinking about booking a window seat.
And if you’re tall and usually find that your legs get cramped in the small seats, you can book the emergency seat to get extra leg room.
Previously flight attendant and vlogger Jamila Hardwick also shared her top tips for flights.
Like Kris, she also recommends bringing your own blanket and pillow.
For travellers worried about hygiene onboard, she says you can put your mind at rest by cleaning trays with wet wipes and not ordering tea or coffee as she claimed the pipes are rarely cleaned.