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Any tips for surviving a 14.5 hour flight?

Any tips for surviving a 14.5 hour flight?

Old Aug 21st, 2001, 12:39 PM
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Any tips for surviving a 14.5 hour flight?

I will be going to Tokyo in October, and I'm concerned I will get a little stir crazy sitting in a coach seat for over 14 hours. Does anyone have any tips on how to make it more pleasant? I've done 7 to 9 hour flights to Europe, but the thought of doubling that time makes me nervous.

My flight leaves Atlanta at 10:05am on a Thursday and arrives in Tokyo at 1:20pm on Friday.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
Old Aug 21st, 2001, 01:01 PM
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We made virtually the same flight two years ago, and you will need to bring along material to read, some bottled water and perhaps a sleeping tablet or two. Comfortable clotes, of course. I hope you have an aisle seat ... you must plan to stand up and walk a bit every hour or so. I would also suggest you bring along something healthy to nibble on periodically ... and go very easy on alcohol and airline food. The best approach is to just accept it will be a few hours longer than most long european flights. I think it's at least 50% mental handling the effects. And when you get to your hotel, arrange for a long massage and then a sleep. And all day, be sure you drink lots of water. I would also suggest nose spray and some gum. Ciao
Old Aug 21st, 2001, 03:22 PM
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Joe -

Here's what I make sure I have on hand for those long Asia flights;

Blowup Pillows
Pair of socks
Eye drops
Cough Drops
Reading materials

And most important, Zolpidem. The trade name is Ambien. You'll sleep like a baby with NO SIDE EFFECTS. We take a half a dose right before we start the first meal they serve and then take another half if we wake up and can't go back to sleep. You'll never have a flight go faster or better.

Make sure you drink enough water and whenever you wake up, take a little walk down the isle and stand around the exit door for about 5-10 minutes so your legs don't forget how to walk.

Truly, all the other things I listed help; but the best thing to do is sleep right through it!

Old Aug 21st, 2001, 04:23 PM
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Thank you both for the tips!
Old Aug 21st, 2001, 05:44 PM
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if you're going to take ambien (zolpidem), be sure to avoid any alcoholic beverage.
Old Aug 21st, 2001, 08:27 PM
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Why does everyone recommend not eating the airline food and eating sparingly on those long flights? I took a flight of the same length and eating the food that was pushed at us all the time made the time go faster. Also...who can sleep once they reach a destination so far away?! Im so excited I get out of the room as fast as I can after washing up and hit the streets. I remember one woman next to me slept the whole way. I dont know what pill she took but it worked. But she missed getting to know the other passengers..the different personalities of the flight attendants..the movies!
Old Aug 21st, 2001, 08:49 PM
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The above tips are spot on, but if you start feeling sory for yourself in anticipation of this 14+ trip, give a thought to us poor Aussies who have to do a 21 hour trip to get to London. Just try not to think about. Concentrate on the destination not the journey (thats what I keep telling myself ha!) thank goodness Asia is much closer to home.
Old Aug 22nd, 2001, 06:44 AM
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Joe: it's only 12 hours from Europe, but you get used to it after the 10th time, so here's my two cents
You've already received good advice, I'd add bring really comfy shoes (ones you can slip you swollen feet in at the end of the flight). Try to sleep as much as you can and to wake up about 2 hours before landing, walk in the aisle, use the bathroom to refresh yourself, enjoy the breakfast/lunch (planes from Europe are usually full of Japanese and we get a choice between Japanese and Continental breakfast), start marvelling at the view of Japan from the sky (those blue tiles on the roofs always come as a surprise to me).

Zolpidem or any suchlike benzodiazepine will make you sleep beautifully for a few hours, without too many side-effects, but don't take it unless youv'e made shure it is compatible with your health status or any other medication you currently take.

Once in Narita, walk, in the airport towards immigration, avoid escalators, since those legs really need the movement. Once out, go to the TIC (in the basement next to the train station, get as much litterature, and maps as you can grab, and read them during the trip to downtown Tokyo.

Once in your hotel, have a relaxing bath/shower, then go outside in the light and walk until it gets dark (around 6:30 pm if my memory serves me right), have a light meal and try to stay awake until 9:30 10:30. DON'T SLEEP DURING THE FIRST AFTERNOON, since it is the best way to make sure you won't sleep at night, you'll be a zombie the next day, and you'll suffer from jet-lag for 2 days more.
Old Aug 22nd, 2001, 09:43 AM
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Thanks for the additional comments. I never sleep well on planes, so I'm hoping I'll be able to find a good book or some crossword puzzles to pass the time. I definitely will need to get up and stroll around once in awhile, I'm 6'1" and those puny seats are torture.

Does aspirin help circulation? I heard that somewhere, but I don't know if it's true.

Thanks again!
Old Aug 22nd, 2001, 11:38 AM
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I have heard that aspirin thins the blood, and is a good precautionary measure to avoid blood clots on airplanes.

I'm leaving on my 23 hour flight later this week! Sheesh.
Old Aug 23rd, 2001, 01:11 AM
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Yes, aspirin thins the blood and might help circulation. However, it can also lead to stomach bleeding if taken in excess or in combination with some other drugs. Be careful and check with your MD if this is a good solution for you.
Old Aug 23rd, 2001, 11:24 AM
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All really good advice. I went to China in September and I hated the thought of the 14hr trip. Starting talking to people in the airport before I ever left and sat with some of them and had such a pleasant time that I didn't even take the Ambien I had brought. So, I think the worst part is conjuring up how awful it will be and it really wasn't.
Old Aug 23rd, 2001, 07:57 PM
Michael From New York
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I will be flying from New York to Hong Kong (4th time) in October. It is 14 1/2 hours from Vancouver to Hong Kong so that flight follows the New York to vancouver leg which takes about 5 to 5 1/2 hours depending on wind.

The flight is supposed to leave JFK at 1030 PM. Last year it left at 1215 AM. I try not to sleep at all during this flight. We touch in Vancouver, and most of the passengers disembark. On Cathay Pacific's flight you do not have to get off the plane..but if you do, you must take all your carry-on luggage with you, then you have to queue up with the HK bound travelers to reboard.

So after the plane takes off - you are now looking at 14 1/2 hrs. I'm quite tall, so I try for exit row seat for leg room. I walk around plenty. I drink water to avoid the gas from soda. I avoid alcohol to avoid dehydration. But no matter what I don't sleep much.

So when you arrive expect to be tired.
If you arrive early in the morning you can take a nap for an hour if you like -just ask for a wakeup call.

My first trip to Asia was in 98. In fact I departed HK after a two hour layover and went on to bangkok. So I was super tired, but forced myself to stay awake until about 900 o clock at night before retiring. That was rough.

Last year I went straight thru Hong Kong to Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. Left On Wednesday night in New York, arrived at my Bali Hotel after 400 PM Friday. This time I was so tired, I had a room service dinner, and retired early.

I am used to the distance - this year I am staying in HK for a few days before going on to Phuket.

I accept that I will be tired. I do my best to avoid problems of gas and dehydration, I take my shoes off - and my best advice is - to use the toilet often. A long trip, eating a few meals and snacks - could lead to bloating and constipation. So be prepared.

Nothing to be nervous about - it is a long tiring trip - getting there isn't easy. But Coming home - The 14 1/2 hrs from Hong Kong to Vancouver is only 10 1/2 hrs die to prevailing winds. And the Vancouver to New York leg is reduced to 4 hours plus.

Michael From New York
Old Aug 24th, 2001, 01:47 PM
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I fly to Tokyo a couple of times a year. I think it's better for resting than going to Europe from Boston because there's something going on in the cabin a good portion of the time going to Europe then making it harder to rest for a number of hours. My strategy is to ignore the distractions of the flight and rest as much as I can. This means not getting into the meals or movies. It means using the earplugs, mask, neck pillow loose clothing and other things that were listed in previous replies.

I said rest because when that's my attitude. I doze off and I end up sleeping a good portion of the time without taking any pills. Get up if you wake up, drink water, stretch out going to the lavatory and then head back to sleep.

If you have frequent flier miles, consider upgrading to business class. The seats there recline most of the ways now. As important, most of the passengers there are not all excited about being on a flight so they're all resting and being quiet.

Take something to read if you need to kill time. Tokyo is really fascinating especially on the first visit. Walk around a little when you get there and eat dinner on their time.

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