So, I’ve just arrived in Bangkok after one of those bloody awful long haul flights. I tend to did a stopover in the Middle East to break it up a bit – so this time I did Doha, flying with Qatar Airways from Manchester to Bangkok. 15 hours in total including the layover. The first flight was perfect as I had a row to myself, but the second flight was packed and I was jammed in by the window like a sardine in a can. But on the bright side I’m finally here, I’m so happy!
Yes, being stuck in a tin can for a ridiculous amount of time is awful, but here are my tips for improving your experience on that long haul flight!
Book a decent airline (if your budget allows)
I had the choice of China Airlines or Qatar airways. I checked out some of the reviews of China Airlines and they were horrendous, so Qatar airways it was! I managed to get 2 seats to myself at the back of the Dreamliner (all the other rows were three seats). I liked how Qatar airways give you a little pack with some flight socks and earplugs to drown out the noise of crying children, and the dimmer switch on the window rather than the usual window blind was a nice little touch. The food was actually really good and they served plenty of drinks, which obviously made me very happy indeed. Doha airport is very small and easy to navigate, and the staff were awesome! I would definitely fly with Qatar Airways again.
Book a stop over if possible
Most of the time it doesn’t cost any extra on the flight ticket to book a stopover – so make the most! I’m actually gutted that I didn’t book a stopover on this occasion, as Doha looked so beautiful from the sky! Next time I do a long haul flight I will definitely break it up. Sometimes the airlines – especially the middle eastern ones such as Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar will offer you you a free hotel on layovers, but check with each airline or your Travel Agent before booking – sometimes you will need to have a certain class of ticket to qualify for this.
DO NOT do what I did and take full advantage of the free booze. I arrived with a hangover and felt like absolute death. The air in the cabin is conditioned and very drying – If you ask any of the cabin crew they will tell you that drinking lots of water is the best way to deal with the jet lag.
Wear comfortable clothes
No word of a lie, I packed pyjamas in my hand luggage, and changed once I started to feel uncomfortable in my skinny jeans. I didn’t even care that I looked like a baby. Being comfortable is the BEST way to cope on a long haul flight. You might wanna get dressed up for flying, but its not a fashion show, comfort wins every time for me.
Yes, they give you food on the flight, but when your meal is finished they give you the tiniest square of chocolate I have ever seen in my life, it didn’t even touch the sides. I’m one of these people that can’t watch any form of film without putting unhealthy food in my mouth. Thank god for the multipack crisps and chocolate I packed in my hand luggage – it made watching absolutely fabulous the movie whilst crammed into an aluminium can that little bit better.
Bring something to read
I brought Take A Break magazine. For anybody that doesn’t know what this is, its like a paper version of the Jerry Springer Show. (I sniff my boyfriends private parts when he gets home to see if he’s been cheating on me kind of thing.) Completely ridiculous but passes the time.
Take it easy
Do one thing at a time, for example, I tend to watch take off, then read a book or magazine until the meal arrives, then enjoy the meal, then watch a movie or listen to some music, then maybe have a nap before watching landing. Don’t do everything at the same time, take it easy – otherwise you’ll end up frustrated tapping your foot repeatedly waiting for it to be over – i’ve done this many times.
Make sure your batteries are full
Because a long haul flight with a dead iPod is not fun. If you forget to charge them, keep the charger cables in your hand luggage as most planes nowadays have charging ports.
Bring a toothbrush
And also something to clean your face with. This helps me to feel comfortable as I hate the icky feeling your skin gets after being sat on a plane for god knows how many hours. I also bring a toothbrush to make my teeth feel clean after the meal. Being comfortable is key.
Choose a good seat
Check out Seat Guru for the best seats on the plane. You can find the type of aircraft on your e-ticket.
Anything I’ve missed? Leave a comment below.