News that United Airlines is set to introduce a record-breaking 18-hour non-stop flight between Los Angeles and Singapore is both impressive and cringeworthy.
Because though convenient for travelers making the round-the-world journey, eliminating the need for multiple connections and stopovers, the idea of 18 hours aboard a flying, metal tube, breathing in the same recycled air, can be daunting (the approximate flying time westbound is 17 hours, 55 minutes).
Beginning October 27, United’s nonstop flight from Los Angeles to Singapore will set a United States record for longest flight by distance, at 8,700 miles (14,000 kilometers).
For flights departing LA, that means travelers arrive in Singapore a full two days later, by local times.
The record-holder for the world’s longest flight overall goes to Qantas, which operates a Doha, Qatar to Auckland, New Zealand route that clocks in at 14,539 kilometers. The flying time, however, is slightly shorter at 17 hours, 30 minutes.
Even if you’re not about to embark on an 18-hour flight, here are a few tips on ideas on how to survive a long-haul flight:
- Board the plane early to make sure you get onboard stowage space for your cabin baggage.
- Stock your mobile phone or tablet with meditation apps, podcasts, e-reads, movies and music to keep yourself entertained.
- Don’t forget your portable charger to power up your devices.
- Use the downtime to create a mini-spa, with face masks and pampering treatments.
- Pack wisely: eye mask, noise-canceling headphones or earplugs and travel pillow.
- Avoid lace-up shoes or boots, and opt for slip-on shoes instead for those trips to the lavatory.
- Bring wet wipes and plenty of travel tissues.
- Contact lens wearers may want to consider wearing glasses to avoid hassles.
- Stock a toiletry bag with pre-emptive supplies: eye drops, toothbrush, toothpaste, lip balm, facial mist and moisturizer
- Pack a blanket shawl or a thin sweater to ward off cool cabin air.
- Consider investing in compression socks to avert possible deep vein thrombosis, but also to avoid swelling and fatigue.
- Bring extra snacks and an extra bottle (or two) of water to stay hydrated.
- Avoid sitting in the back of the plane which is noisier and bumpier.