The Forty Hour Wednesday

(Frequent Flyer, part 4 of 6. In the air)

While some airlines are gradually refining onboard lighting, temperature, food & drink on long-haul flights to accommodate pax biorhythms, your comfort is best achieved by your own initiative.

On-board

75 .. You may be travelling on a range of aircraft. No matter if you have already made two immediately preceding flights, read the safety card. An air crash survivor has stated that reading the card and having the instructions clear in his head, helped him survive .. when others did not

76 .. I always feel below / beside my seat, to find the tab pull for the life jacket, to give my body muscle memory as to where I will reach, should the need arise. A flight attendant recently told me that sometimes on occasion a life jacket may have been removed. I would prefer to make a check .. than make an assumption

77 .. Select flight mode on handheld devices, before turning off

78 .. Before takeoff, ask a flight attendant for a second blanket (airlines are always weight sensitive and one blanket may not be just quite warm enough at 40,000’)

79 .. Since cabin crew refer to the passenger manifest and often call me by name, I like to return the courtesy. As cabin crew on most airlines wear name tags, it is easy to read and address the person by name when asking for assistance or thanking them

80 .. Stow your luggage, but ensure that you have your waist-pack on

81 .. If in a window seat, and wanting to sleep, you may lower the window shade after takeoff

82 .. For lumbar support use a pillow, blanket or rolled clothing

83 .. Rest your arms on armrests and try to avoid crossing your legs. This aids relaxation

Health

84 .. Before takeoff, ask a flight attendant not to be disturbed if you are asleep during the flight

85 .. Once the aircraft takes off, remove your shoes and put on a pair of compression socks

86 .. If you plan to sleep immediately (and don’t want ‘dinner’ at 2 am), put in your earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones, eyeshades and peaked cap pulled low

87 .. Change wristwatches / time devices to your destination timezone immediately after takeoff. (I never do this before, as there is always the chance of a delay or return to the gate!)

88 .. Warmth, hydration, a multivitamin and vitamin C can fortify your natural immune mechanisms as preventative measures against catching cold in high altitude and low humidity

89 .. Scientists report that viruses which cause colds and flu can survive for hours on armrests, TV remote control handsets, tray tables and other surfaces. Keeping your hands clean with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, is a formidable defence against the transfer of harmful microorganisms. Wash or sanitise your hands before in-flight meals. Keep clean = stay healthy!

90 .. Using a germ-killing mouthwash in-flight, adds protection while simultaneously helping to keep your throat moist. Mints also offer moisture for the throat and can help you to equalise your inner-ear pressure on descent

91 .. Cabin air is dry. Keep your face hydrated with a pure water spray or a moisturiser from your waist pack or the aircraft bathroom. A lip balm will minimise cracked skin

92 .. Prior to and during the flight, remain hydrated with loads of water and juices. Airline tank water may not be ideal, so drink bottled water or orange, apple or tomato juice. If you do not have your own bottled water, ask a flight attendant

93 .. After takeoff, cabin air pressure decreases, so cabin air expands by approximately 30%. Swallowed air and intestinal gases can expand, leading to bloating and discomfort. Carbonated beverages contribute to bloating and cramping

94 .. Digestion of foods loaded with sodium and saturated fats, takes time and even more so at altitude

95 .. To avoid cramping and deep vein thrombosis (DVT), do preventative exercises throughout the flight. Isometric exercises like toe raises and shoulder rolls can be done in your seat. Every few hours, walk up and down the cabin aisles and/or stand up and do foot and leg stretches in an exit row

96 .. Melatonin is a natural hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain. This chemical helps regulate sleep cycles. As a good source of melatonin, some travellers consider dried cherries to be a natural remedy for combating jet lag

97 .. At least an hour before you sleep, avoid looking at bright screens, like your laptop or a television screen. The bright light from these screens stimulates melatonin production and can linger even when you close your eyes, making it difficult to drift off to sleep

98 .. Alcohol causes dehydration, exacerbated by salty snacks and dry recycled aircraft air. Caffeinated and carbonated beverages contribute to bloating and cramping. A glass of red may help you sleep, but its better for your body if you accept orange juice rather than champagne

99 .. Excessive alcohol consumption may prevent you being permitted on the flight and keep you from your holiday. Get to your destination before starting your holiday drinking!

100 .. Utilise some of your waking hours to practice courtesies in relevant local language/s
(“Thank you”, “Good Morning”, “How Are You?”)

101 .. About 90 minutes before you are due to land, refresh in the bathroom (to avoid the rush after the pilot’s ‘on approach’ announcement)

102 .. Suck a mint as the aircraft descends. This will help you to swallow regularly and aid in the ‘equalisation’ of your ear canals

103 .. Check around your seat and ALL seat pockets to ensure that you not left anything behind: book, glasses, laptop, phone!

The title of this article refers to a recent transcontinental trip, in which the author departed late at night; travelled east across the international date line; and arrived at his destination in the late afternoon on the same date!

 

 

.. continue to part 5

 

The Itinerant Itinerary
(Frequent Flyer, part 1 of 6. Logistics)

The Vacuum Pack
(Frequent Flyer, part 2 of 6. In preparation)

The Nearly Terminal
(Frequent Flyer, part 3 of 6. Before departure)

The Forty Hour Wednesday
(Frequent Flyer, part 4 of 6. In the air)

A Degree in Airports
(Frequent Flyer, part 5 of 6. Upon arrival)

The Dust of Two Deserts
(Frequent Flyer, part 6 of 6. In transit)

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