Help Me Make It Through the Flight *
Unless you’re in first class, flying just isn’t fun anymore. But there are a few things we can do to make a long flight pass a little faster and a little more comfortably.
1. Pick your seats when you book. I use seatguru.com, which has seating charts for all the flights of all the airlines. It’s not foolproof because sometimes there’s a change of equipment, but it sure beats waiting until check-in and ending up next to a lavatory.
2. Pick a seat that’s over or not too far forward of the wing. It won’t be as bumpy there compared to elsewhere in the plane, particularly in the rear.
3. The thing I hate most about flying is the lack of legroom, so I try to get a bulkhead seat. Since there’s no seat immediately in front of you, there’s usually a lot of legroom … often enough to really stretch out. On a 5- or 6-hour flight from here to the mainland, that’s a Godsend. The small downside is that you have to store your carry on stuff in the overhead for take-off and landing—a minor inconvenience for all that legroom.
4. Most airlines no longer feed you in economy class on domestic flights—Hawaiian Airlines is one exception—and the stuff they sell is pretty bad, so bring your own snacks on board for long flights. (Just nothing too pungent, please.)
5. After you board, change your clocks to the local time at your destination. It’s psychological, but I really think it make adjusting to the new time zone a lot easier.
6. Arrive at the airport early and as you’re checking in, ask if there are any empty seats in first class. Some airlines will upgrade you for much less than what it would have cost you to purchase a first class ticket when you booked. (I bought an upgrade on an Alaska Airlines flight from Maui to Sacramento for $105.)
7. Get a little exercise before you board. It doesn’t have to be a lot—walking briskly inside the terminal for 20 minutes will help keep you from getting too creaky during the flight itself.
8. Wear loose clothes on the flight if you can arrange that. Sweatpants are ideal.
9. Noise reducing earphones are helpful and so is the soft neck support.
10. Finally, have a couple of drinks when the cart comes ‘round. And I mean real drinks. It’ll relax you and maybe even let you sleep through much of the flight. (But just a couple.)
*Apologies to Kris Kristofferson.