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-   -   Tips to survive a really crowded flight? (https://www.fodors.com/community/travel-tips-and-trip-ideas/tips-to-survive-a-really-crowded-flight-1672298/)

TravelRobin222 Sep 28th, 2019 08:30 AM

Tips to survive a really crowded flight?
 
Just got through a very long and loud flight and I forgot to put my earplugs in my carry on. I always bring them so I can go to sleep.

So I was wondering what's your personal must-have for uncomfortable travel?

thursdaysd Sep 28th, 2019 08:50 AM

Use miles to fly business.... I can't sleep in economy regardless of noise since I can't get flat.

aliced Sep 28th, 2019 02:59 PM

Pick window seats, less bumping and climbing; get Bose headphones for your favorite music; eyemask & earplugs mandatory; good reading material/puzzles, etc.; pack your own snacks; pillow & blanket or combo to your liking and comfort, and lastly really comfy but nice clothes w pockets so you dont have to go into overhead bin for anything you may need (travel vest or cargo pants etc.)

Melnq8 Sep 28th, 2019 03:12 PM

Preparing for a long flight on Monday. Getting ready to grin and bear it.

My usual MO - aisle seat, Bose headphones, ear plugs, eye shades, water bottle, snacks, music, Kindle, comfy clothing, fleece jacket, toothbrush, anti-bacterial wipes to wipe everything down as soon as I board...all kept in a bag at my feet so I can access everything I need...and the realization that I will be sleepless until I arrive at my destination and get checked into my accommodation.

Debating on leaving my neck pillow behind this time...hmmmmm......

walkinaround Sep 29th, 2019 03:00 PM

Assuming economy, seat choice is key and it's down to preference. I prefer the aisle and if alone, I prefer aisle in the center cluster (if the plane has one) because there are two row exit directions which reduces the chance of being awoken/disturbed if someone in the row wants to get out.

I like to stay organised. I put my one carry on under the seat and keep what i need during the flight in an outer pocket. I dislike rummaging around or having things all over the place.

I make sure my The Economist app has the latest issues downloaded. I often forget to do this before a flight but saving a set of netflix content to the ipad or phone makes things a whole lot nicer when I've had enough of The Economist.

suze Sep 30th, 2019 12:24 PM

I prefer an aisle seat. Definitely ear plugs or something to listen to. A book and a magazine to read. Plenty of water. Some snacks. A few glasses of wine. If it's a long or overnight flight maybe a pillow and blanket.

zebec Sep 30th, 2019 01:03 PM

TR, thx for this useful question.
Pay the extra fee ($150 in our upcoming case) for the economy seats that are 'wing-exits'. Great for tall couples like us, with legroom aplenty.
I am done. The crying baby.

suze Sep 30th, 2019 02:41 PM

I can't afford any extra for seat upgrades, so I've got to work with what I get. Anti-anxiety meds help some people in crowded, confined (claustrophobic) places like a plane cabin.

kja Sep 30th, 2019 06:08 PM

I'm another fan of making sure I don't need to move any more than necessary to access anything I need once in my seat. I have a super lightweight (less than 1 oz) tote that holds everything I'll need while on the flight and it has a wide strap that I can very simply link over a knee. If I want something, I just have to lift the bag, no leaning over or searching under the seat or (heaven forfend!) having to open anything in the overhead compartment. And if I leave the seat, I can just set in on the seat, to be easily retrieved and re-positioned upon my return. That same tote serves as my day bag for most travel days -- bonus!

crellston Oct 2nd, 2019 12:47 AM

"Really crowded flight" Not entirely sure what this is. A flight is either full, or it is not. Being full doesn’t make it crowded as it is designed to fly with that number of passengers. That said, I do find some the newer aircraft to be designed in such a way that it does make the flight more enjoyable (lighting, seats, air quality etc) or at least, less of a PITA.

Most important for me is seat selection. I would always go for an aisle seat even though that usually means getting bumped by other passengers walking past or, even worse, people leaning on the back of my seat for support! I hate the feeling of being hemmed in by other people, even my partner. I am not of the camp that likes to stay put in my seat for the duration a) I get fidgety (and I would be a complete nightmare for anyone sitting between me and the aisle and, b) on long haul flights, it increases the risk of DVT considerably. I frequently get out of my seat to walk around. The quality of the airline also makes a big difference. My son and family flew from Sydney to London on BA and had a horrendous time. Flying back to on Singapore they had a wonderful experience. Plenty of websites around to check out airlines (although many seem to be populated by professional moaners and perhaps should be taken with a pinch of salt!)

As to what I personally can do to make the flight more comfortable, essentials include;

-Ear plugs ( if like the I have forgotten I just ask the staff)

- eye mask - I rarely sleep on flights but find I can arrive reasonably refreshed if I use ear plugs and an eye mask and just meditate for and hour or two before landing

-Bose ear buds - amazing sound quality

-Pre loaded films and TV - permanent downloads on my iPad include The Rolling Stones, - —Havana Moon concert, Springsteen in Barcelona and Goodfellas - that’s about half of the average long haul flight taken care of (and yes, I am happy to watch those multiple times!)

- Eye drops (I get really dry eyes on long flights

- comfortable clothes - shoes I remove immediately upon boarding and put on flight socks

Agree with Thursdaysd in #2 re business class or at least premium economy. Sadly in Europe we don’t have the opportunity to accrue airmiles at anything like the rate enjoyed by North Americans, so mostly we pay cash. Last year we took a decision to fly less frequently but, when we do, for long haul, we use business class, or if we can get a good deal in sales, PE.

mms Oct 2nd, 2019 09:36 AM

Just came from from a trip. The flight there was not completely full and we lucked out and had the middle seat open. It was late in the evening, so I appreciated being able to curl up with my head resting on my husband and I actually slept a bit. The return flight was chuck full. I opted for the window seat so I could lean against that to sleep. If it is a daytime flight, I like the aisle seats so I can get up and move about without disturbing others.

We do not spring for first class, but do opt for economy comfort. Makes a difference to be able to stretch out a bit, even though I am very short, lol.

crellston Oct 2nd, 2019 10:18 AM

"Makes a difference to be able to stretch out a bit, even though I am very short, lol.” My son just came to visit us in the UK from Australia. Wasn’t happy with the 25 hour flight over in economy - I told him it serves him right for being 6’ 4” If only I had such problems ;)

mms Oct 3rd, 2019 08:13 AM

crellston--Oh my, that sounds beyond miserable! This is one of the few times that being very short is an advantage;)

kapia Oct 17th, 2019 05:51 PM

Agreed. Not a very tall person myself, so at least stretching is not a problem for me during flights.

Going back on topic though, I often just sleep it off. If I'm awake, I find something to entertain myself. A book, a movie on my phone, maybe a podcast...

Bokhara2 Oct 17th, 2019 09:59 PM

Seat Guru for row selection - aisle seat.
Comfortable ( nice -not track pants) clothes - with pockets.
Wrap - can be used for warmth or rolled up for a pillow if the airline pillow isn’t enough.
Good book.
Get up & walk around a bit.
more water than wine or coffee.
Only eat when I’m hungry - put up the “ Please don’t wake me for meals” sign.

And yes - use points to upgrade.
When you live in Australia, even domestic flights can be longer than lots of intra-European hops. Everything off shore is a longish or long flight. I think anything over 20 hours is a long flight.


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