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Honolulu-London - advice on best itinerary to minimize jet lag when we arrive

Honolulu-London - advice on best itinerary to minimize jet lag when we arrive

Aug 8th, 2003, 12:04 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 160
Honolulu-London - advice on best itinerary to minimize jet lag when we arrive

We are trying to finalize an American frequent flier award ticket for next year and need some advice. This part is fixed -we will be flying non-stop to Chicago - leaving Hon at 4:35PM, arriving Chicago at 5:49AM. We plan to stay at an airport hotel overnight. We would appriciate feedback about the next day taking the 9AM flight to London, arriving at 10:35PM or taking a 5PM flight, arriving in the early morning. I'm leaning toward the 5PM flight so that if we are lucky, we can sleep on the flight and save a night's hotel by arriving 8 hours earlier and having time to rest in Chicago. Another factor is that my husband travels in a wheelchair and tires a bit faster than many people. What are your thoughts?
Gynna is offline  
Aug 8th, 2003, 12:24 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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I think this would depend on if you are truly able to sleep on a airplane. Many people aren't able to. If you can sleep then taking the overnight flight would be your best bet and the jet lag would be minimized. However, if you can't sleep it's going to be trouble. With the day flight there is a less chance of getting jet lag but you would have to pay for a extra night in london.
Jack31 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2003, 01:00 AM
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If you usually don't get much sleep on airline flights such as the overnight from Honolulu to Chicago then I doubt you're going to "get lucky" on the Chicago-London segment. And if you do take the later flight out of Chicago what are you planning to do after you check out of the Chicago hotel until that flight leaves?
I'd opt for the daytime flight and take the hotel room in London that night. That takes a lot of the "guesswork" out of this and besides nsince you've theoretically "saved" the cost of the trip by using frequent flyer miles you I would think it would be worth it to get that additional night in the London hotel (if you want to know how much you probably didn't save just compare the price of the flights to the amount of money you had to spend to GET that many FF miles..on second thought don't do it because the answer will probably make you sick!).
If you take the later flight and don't get any sleep then you'll probably come away thinking the whole arrangement was a disaster. And we haven't even started to talk about your husband's inability to get much rest issue...TAKE the earlier flight..
Aug 8th, 2003, 01:19 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
I lived in Asia for many years, and have some experience with long-haul flights; but your outbound flight really looks horrific!

Generally I find flying during the day to be better than overnight flights. Flying in daylight is easier for me as I don't feel I have to rest, and as the poster above noted unless you are in first class with sleeper beds it is very difficult to get any decent sleep on a plane. The flight times themselves are only about 8 hours each, which is not bad, it is just the time difference that will make you think you should be sleeping . If you have rested for 24 hours between flights, you should easily be able to stay awake for an 8 hour flight during the day. The daylight will help set your bodyclock, as you will be going with the setting sun and getting ready to rest when you arrive. I would therefore take the 10 am flight. (I assume that if you arrive into Chicago at 6 am from Honolulu, you are going to wait 24 hours to take your next flight on to London.)

With the 10 am flight, when you arrive in London you can get to your hotel and go right to bed, rather than arriving in the early am and trying to make it through the whole day. I found that if you take a nap during that first day after an early am arrival, it takes much longer to get over your jet lag. Also, landing in Chicago at 6 am and having 36 hours to your next flight will seem like a very LONG 2 days, whereas arriving in the morning and going out the next morning will not seem so bad, IMO. Finally, two overnight flights so close together will be really tiring, IMO.

Cicerone is offline  
Aug 8th, 2003, 07:09 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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I'm assuming you live in Hon. and are visiting London. Unless you are flying First Class or Business Class, I'd suggest the day flight. Be sure to drink plenty of water/juice for 2-3 days prior and during the flights. This will help minimize the effects of dehydration. Also, whichever option you choose for the flights, it's best to try to get onto the "local" time asap--a good argument for the day flight.
Mariew is offline  
Aug 8th, 2003, 07:40 AM
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Take the 9AM flight for all the good reasons given in above posts.
Aug 8th, 2003, 07:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Day flights are MUCH preferable - but they are few from the midwest/east coast and tend to book up far in advance.

If you can still get on the 9AM flight it would be a no-brainer. And overnight transatlantic flight is REALLY hard on most people. After a day flight you can go to bed right after checking in to the hotel at approximately your normal bed time. Almost no jet lag.

After an overnight flight you have to stay awake 10 to 14 hours after landing to get anywhere near local time. It is a killer if you can't sleep at least 4 hours on the flight - and most people cant unless they are in 1st class and have full beds onboard. It takes some people 3 or 4 days to get back to any sort of normal sleep pattern.
janis is offline  
Aug 8th, 2003, 05:33 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Always nice to see another "local" on the board!

I'm on Maui, and we took a flight from Maui-San Fran (left Maui 10pm, and arrived 6am). Then we took an afternoon flight from San Fran and arrived in London the next morning.

My experience is that having a 16 hour flight from Hawaii-London is not pleasant, but you really can minimize jet lag. I really bugs me when I see people on this board complaning about a 6 hour flight . If we could only be so lucky!!

Out of the 16 hour flight, I may have only slept 4 hours, but I did take some precautions. I believe in Honolulu there is a "Down to Earth" natural store. I picked up some "No Jet Lag" pills from there, and if you follow the directions like we did, this should really minimize your jet lag.

Also, as soon as you get to London, walk around in the sun! It has been proven that sunlight can help you minimize jet lag. Also, make sure you don't go to sleep until arount 8-9 pm.

I acutally found that I had no jet lag going to Europe, but had jet lag coming home to Maui. Make sure to drink lots and lots of water! I believe someone said that jet lag isn't really due to a lack of sleep, but a lack of being hydrated enough!

Have an awesome trip!!
Anna1013 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2003, 06:57 PM
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Hi there, I am also a 'local' and in Honolulu. On my first trip to London, we flew non-stop and arrived at 7 or 8 a.m. and thought we would have the whole day to do stuff. And I do sleep well on planes! But we "just closed our eyes for a few minutes" (you know how that goes) and passed out for hours! Other than that, I have not experienced jet lag while in Europe, maybe because they are 12 hours ahead.

Looks like you got it covered by stopping in Chicago first to sleep, which is what my sister often does (she stops in New York). If your flights were mine, however, I think I would take the 5 PM flight and arrive in the early morning. I just hate arriving in a foreign city after 9 PM!....just for safety and all that, never mind the tiredness.
MelissaHI is offline  
Aug 9th, 2003, 03:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 109

All of the previous responses were good given the assumptions people have made. How about giving us some info, like 1.) do you both sleep well on airplanes?; 2.) what class of service will you be flying?; 3.) what do you perceive to be the difference in hotel costs (London vs. Chicago); and 4.) will you travel beyond London immediately, in a few days, or is this your only destination?

I ask these questions being someone who can sleep on an airplane, enjoys arriving Heathrow/Gatwick in the a.m. or mid-day rather than late at night. Transportation can be a pain at 11:00 p.m.+ when you will get out of the airport, unless you are staying nearby.

If you are flying coach and tend to not sleep well take the morning flight as recommended. Don't leave sleep to "hope". If you are flying business/first and sleep fairly well (I typically fly British 1st and sleep like a baby) then take the later flight. I'm not sure if American/British have reciprical agreements on lounges. (I doubt it) If they do you could possibly use the BA lounge at O'Hare to relax in prior to your flight to London. (just a thought)
Mthomp77 is offline  
Aug 9th, 2003, 06:16 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Don't forget that your hotel room may not be ready for you if you arrive in the morning. We arrived in London at 9:00 am, had breakfast and walked around in a daze waiting for our room (we had requested early checkin). Alas the person who had the room decided to sleep in late and it wasn't ready until almost 2:00 pm.
fergie12 is offline  
Aug 9th, 2003, 07:29 PM
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Thank you to everyone who replied and gave me feed back! A few years ago we stayed overnight in Chicago due to plane delays and a missed connection and found that the break in our trip actually helped. We took the 5PM flight from Chicago to London and yes, fergie12, we also wandered around (you should have seen me pushing the wheelchair and my husband taking "power naps" until after 2:00 when our room was ready. Jack31, Intrepid, Cicerone, Mariew, Degas, Janis, Mthomp77, neither one of us tend get much if any sleep on flights. MelissaHI and Mthomp77, lucky you to be able to sleep on a plane!Anna1013, your suggestion about hydration is an excellent point we shall be sure to remember. As Anna and Melissa will probably agree, it's wonderful to be so lucky to live Hawaii, but a bear when we travel east.

Mthomp77 and anyone else who may wish to comment before we finalize our ticket Monday night, let me answer some of your questions in case it may prompt other thoughs. We will be flying coach, there would not be an additional cost to the hotel in Chicago as we would need to check out by 12:00, our hotel in Kensington is #85 for the weekend night. We will stay in London 3-4 more nights before taking a 2 day trip to either York or Edinburgh, back to London for 2 nights and on to Denmark for 3 weeks.

Thank you everyone for your feedback in making the final decission for step one of planning our trip!
Gynna is offline  

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