How to survive a long-haul flight

28 June 2018

Essential tips to make hours of non-stop flight more bearable.


Ten hours in an enclosed space, with abnormal air pressure, at a height of 10,000m - this might sound like a nightmare, but being in a long-haul flight high and away from the rest of the world can also be a silver lining to rid yourself of distractions and strategise for your business.


Here are six tips to help you make the most of your long-haul flight:


Pick your seat

In preparation for a long-haul flight, the few dollars charged for choosing your seat is a very worthwhile investment. Consider checking in early and selecting your seat online, which also helps in case you can’t get to the airport well ahead of time.

If you want more leg room, go for exit rows. If you want to avoid crying children, avoid the front of the plane where special provision for infants are often found. If you need to get up and move about - whether to loosen your legs or for a trip to the washroom - an aisle seat is what you want.

Request for a special meal

If you plan on sleeping soon after the plane takes off, opt for a special meal beforehand, such as vegetarian options. Special meals get served first before the others do, so you can finish your meal and get to rest earlier without interruption.


Make yourself at home

Don’t dress sharply to look good or put on a suit so you don’t have to worry about it being crumpled in your checked luggage. Even if you are rushing to a business meeting upon touching down, change into your formal wear only at the airport. The key is to dress comfortably for the hours you’ll spend in an airplane seat.

One word of advice: wear layers. Your body temperature will fluctuate as you fly, so you’d want the option of putting on outerwear when it gets chilly. Also, pack comfort items like neck pillows, eye masks and noise-cancelling headphones to make yourself feel more at home.

Get to work


Without phones ringing or emails coming in, a long-haul flight provides a conducive environment for uninterrupted work. Since it’s usually difficult to devote extended time to work in one sitting, use this opportunity to work on big ideas rather than run-of-the-mill tasks.

With today’s network capabilities, it is possible to obtain connectivity on certain aircrafts. StarHub’s Inflight Connectivity allows you to keep up-to-date with what’s happening in the office, even when you’re flying among the clouds.

With Inflight Connectivity, you have the option - but not the urgency of responding to messages, so you can still find extra productivity that you wouldn’t have on the ground.


Mind your body

The air quality and air flow in cabins are not ideal, to put it mildly. Recycled, pressurised air dehydrates your body, so bring a bottle with you to fill up with water. This also helps to alleviate the symptoms of jet lag.

While you might be inclined to drink less to avoid frequent trips to the loo, it’s important to make sure you’re fresh when you step off the flight.

Besides, trips to the loo can actually be good for you, as moving around not only benefits your mental health but helps prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is the formation of blood clots in deep veins.

Finally, being a business owner, chances are that you are running on very little sleep. Use this ‘dead time’ to get some rest for your mind and body.



Reduce your jetlag

Opt for carb-rich foods like spaghetti and oatmeal that induce insulin secretion, which helps to minimise the effects of jet lag once you land. Instead of alcohol which dehydrates the body, choose green tea or matcha, which is also proven to help with jetlag, so you’re up and ready for the day’s challenges once you land.



Prepare for landing

Your state of mind will probably go through some changes, given that you have all the time for your thoughts to run wild - boredom, tranquillity, restlessness and anxiety are some of them. Make sure you maintain a calm and positive disposition throughout the flight, so you don’t get off the plane feeling like a mess.

One of the ways you can establish a sense of calm is by going through your plans and charting out what you’re going to do after you land. For most, getting mobile and data connectivity to link up with the world again easily ranks as a top priority. Skip the worry about where or how you can get a local SIM card - StarHub’s DataTravel allows you to enjoy 1GB of data for as low as $5 over three days while keeping your mobile number; so you’re already connected the moment you land.


What’s more, DataTravel has you covered with multi-city roaming across more than 50 destinations, so you’ll be automatically connected to one of StarHub’s local operator partners if you’re travelling to multiple countries.

Besides making the necessary plans and preparations, taking the time to slow down and appreciate the world around you – the sun rays piercing through the clouds, the smile of a passing stranger or even the fact that you’re going to experience life in a foreign land - can also help to keep your spirits up.

With these tips, you’re well-positioned to find a long-haul flight more constructive than destructive. What’s more, you get professional service, a conducive environment and a beautiful view of the clouds to behold.


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