How to Survive a Long-Haul Economy Flight?

Traveling the world either for work or pleasure (or both!) is something we look forward too.  New sights to see. Different people to meet. The experiences you gain are priceless. What’s not to love? Well, I tell you what. It’s the flight!


I mean, I can’t afford business class going there. And I am only willing to spend on the cheapest flights possible. There are certainly tradeoffs.


For example, a flight from Manila to Sydney is roughly 8 hours long. With the cramped seats and the long-haul flight, how can you survive it in Economy class? There are multiple tips for surviving long-haul flights.


For the fellow budgeted like me, you have the power to make your long-haul economy flight a delightful experience. And this is how.


Check-in Early and Choose the Back Seats


Check-in Early and Choose the Back Seats


I am the type who arrives hours early before the flight. It might be because of my overestimation of Manila’s notorious traffic or I’m just plainly excited.


Rejoice! Your excited self is rewarded. If you want to take relatively better seats, better check-in early. The chances of you getting the aisle seats or the window seats are higher when you arrive sooner than most people.


You can request for seats at the back. Based on my experiences, most back seats are empty because people are cramming to get the front ones. Maybe because they want to alight faster or they just want to get seats with more legroom.


So with lesser people, you might have a more harmonious ride to your destination. If you are lucky, you may even have all three seats for yourself. Now you can lie down peacefully.


Get Rested Before Flight

Get Rested Before Flight

Image Credit: Getty Images


Contrary to popular belief, tiring yourself before your flight is bad for you. I was like this. I arrive at the airport with no sleep so that I can sleep for the whole flight. Thinking that I will rest the whole flight. With this, I wouldn’t feel the long-haul drudgery.


Does this pan out well? Not at all. You might think that your tired self will just snooze at the moment you get seated. For some reason, I feel tired but it’s really hard to sleep especially if you are in economy.


I don’t know if this is a curse. But you can try out for yourself. You feel groggy and sleepy without getting to sleep at all. So my advice, get well rested before the flight. Just do it.


Sleep as Much as Possible


Now, that you arrive well rested, and you got the aisle or, better yet, the window seats. It’s time to get as much sleep as possible. How can you sleep when you are well rested, you ask?


I don’t know either. You can make your environment conducive to sleep or just try. No guarantees. But if you do fell asleep nonetheless, at least you will have a shorter flight ahead of you.


Arm yourself with the Sleeping Essentials: Sleeping Mask, Pillow & Ear Plugs

Arm yourself with the Sleeping Essentials- Sleeping Mask, Pillow & Ear Plugs

Image Credit: iStock


Getting that restful sleep might not be as easy as it might seem. For better sleep, you need to have the right amount of light for your circadian rhythm and the quietness that will induce slumber. At the best case, you would want to enter the REM state for better quality of sleep.


But there might be this group of friends noisily chattering beside you (which might be us, sorry). Or that ambient light slightly glaring your eyes.


To solve this, arm yourself with the right gear. You may want to bring your own sleeping mask to block the blinding light. Coupled with a trusty neck pillow (or leaning on the window seat) and earplugs (or noise-canceling headphones), you are ready for the best sleep you can have.


If You Can’t Sleep, This is The Time to Entertain Yourself

If You Can't Sleep, This is The Time to Entertain Yourself

Image Credit: twelve south


But not everyone gets to be visited by the sleep sandman. If you’re not sleepy anytime soon, might as well entertain yourself.


Do not rely on in-flight entertainment. You want something that you actually like. Be prepared with Netflix downloads or e-books in your Kindle. You can also bring card games and play with your friends or make new friends with your soon-to-be buddy seatmates.


Whatever you may choose, either being sociable or watching that well deserved season marathon, you wouldn’t even feel the burden of the whole flight anymore.


Don’t be Hangry: Bring Your Own Snacks


Don't be Hangry: Bring Your Own Snacks


You are finally halfway your favorite series. But suddenly you hear an ominous crumble from your stomach. You are hungry. You don’t want this state to affect your being. After all, Hangry is real!


Better bring some snacks on your long-haul flight. Carry something that small that will fill you like protein and granola bars. You can even purchase some luxurious chocolates from the duty-free shops. Whatever it is, protect yourself from “hangriness”.


Watch out from Deep Vein Thrombosis

  Watch out from Deep Vein Thrombosis  

You might be enjoying your comfortable seats as of the moment. But like in your every day below ground, too much immobility might cause you health complications. In this case, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).


DVT is a blood clot occurring in a deep vein leg. The complication can go up the heart and the lungs, which can lead to pulmonary embolism. A deadly condition when not treated immediately.


To avoid this, just stand up and walk after a couple of hours. Walking can provide good circulation to prevent the blockage. A few minutes away from your k-drama should be bearable.


Think Zen


We have control over what we think. If we don’t let relatively small inconveniences bother us, we will have a peaceful flight. It’s all about the patience and acceptance of what your current state is.


If you forgot everything listed above and just remember this one, you might go through this seemingly hellish state unscathed. It will not only help you endure pain, this practice might even upgrade your outlook in life.


With that, I hope you survive that long-haul flight. Have fun!

Leandro Eclipse

Leandro Eclipse is an entrepreneur who loves to travel. He believes in building multiple Location-Independent Sources of Income. Because if you are going to work anyway, might as well do it while exploring the world. Self-proclaimed foodie and tech geek. Follow him on IG @mikoeclipse.


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