How to Survive Long-Haul Flights

Until airline passengers can be beamed from A to B like Star Trek, or knocked out in coffin-like capsules as in The Fifth Element, you can be assured that somewhere along your airborne journey you will experience at least one of the following flight annoyances.

1. The older woman swaying in the air conditioning breeze due to imbibing too much alcohol prior to take-off will sit in the row behind you. The cocktail of her strong perfume infused with the alcoholic fumes from her mouth will create a nauseating stench that wafts straight to your seat.

2. The two bogan couples with whom you avoided eye contact as they pushed past you on the check-in will beyond any doubt occupy the row in front of you and continue their boganesque behaviour through the entire flight from Sydney to Dubai.

3. The quiet person next to you will fall asleep while listening to their favourite tunes. You will get some sleep, but you will be jolted out of your slumber to the beat of doof-doof music emanating from their headphones.

Long-Haul Flights

4. You will hear people laughing out loud on the other side of the cabin when you fly the whisper-quiet A380. Just when you’re about to nod off to sleep.

5. You can never be prepared for the instant claustrophobia when the person in front of you suddenly reclines their seat.

6. No matter who they are, the person behind you will grab your seat and pull it forward to steady themselves as they get up to go to the bathroom.

7. You will severely regret not wearing your shoes when nature calls at 30,000 feet. Bad aim is rampant in airplane toilets. While you understand the effects of turbulence don’t forget that 99% of the male population can’t aim on terra firma.

Long-Haul Flights Long-Haul Flights

8. The smell of pre-cooked bacon, eggs and spicy sausages heating in the ‘kitchen’ will tickle your nose and trigger your gag reflex particularly when it is served at a time zone when you should be in deep sleep.

9. The couple struggling with folding their stroller in the boarding queue will invariable sit within two rows of you, their toddler screaming all the way from Milano to Palermo.

10. The kid who nearly tackled you to take up the window seat right behind you will kick your seat and play with the tray for the entire trip from Palermo to Venice. Naturally, his mother will sit idly by him and say nothing. It is your duty to give him the evil eye as you alight from the plane and shake your head at her when she catches you.

11. The girl behind you will relentlessly use the touch screen entertainment system attached to the back of your seat as dartboard practice with her false nails. After careful consideration, you will be at liberty to jam your seat back and forth a few times particularly when her dinner is served.

12. Last but foremost, the screaming baby with Olympic lungs will keep you and the entire cabin awake through the 7 hour night flight from Paris to Dubai. Furthermore, as you alight for a brief stopover, your fears will be realised when they board the same non-stop 14 hour flight from Dubai to Sydney and sit three rows in front of you. The blaring crescendo of that crying baby will null the effects of any alcohol or sleeping tablets you may have taken.

Here’s What to Do to Survive Long-Haul Flights

1. Recline your cattle class seat as far back as you can and forget about counting sheep to fall asleep.
2. Switch on the in-flight entertainment system.
3. Select Star Trek XI as the movie of choice.
4. In between deciding if you like the new Spock or Kirk best, repeat the words “Beam me up Scotty” until your plane touches down on the tarmac.
5. Remember to smile back at the flight attendants as they thank you for flying with them.


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How to Survive Long-Haul Flights was last modified: December 20th, 2015 by Corinne Mossati

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Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.


  1. I’m really disappoint transporter technology isn’t where it should be…

    • Anil: I doubt it’ll be in our lifetime. Just think how much time we would save getting beamed to our destinations.

  2. Hahaha!  So true!  Australia is so darned far from EVERYWHERE that I have spent a lifetime taking long long flights and I unfortunately concur with everything you wrote.  Bring on the teleporters!

    • Mardi: It’s so unfair for us here in Oz. Having to factor in jetlag eats up holiday time. Beam me around the world, with my luggage, and I’d be happy!

  3. And I thought I was the unlucky one who scored the screaming baby every time! What about obese people taking half of your seat and elbow space?
    Bring on Star Trek technology. Not keen on getting zapped into a capsule!

    • Chris: Don’t start me on those… I can’t tolerate that on the bus let alone on a long haul flight.
      Yes, those capsules aren’t for the claustrophobic!

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