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  1. #1
    Hwy 40 Blue Hwy 40 Blue's Avatar
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    Going crazy on a very long flight

    Yesterday we flew from Fort Lauderdale to Denver. Packed plane. No elbow room. We boarded, then sat on the ground for 45 minutes while they dithered over how heavy the plane really was. I guess it was light enough to take off, because we did and stayed up. The flight, wheels up to wheels down, was four hours and twelve minutes due to strong headwinds. Counting taxiing in and waiting for the jetway to hook up, I calculated we sat in our seats for five hours and 10-15 minutes.

    I exercise every day, cycle a lot, and I was going nuts. I had the window seat. I kept doing secret stretching and trying to wiggle around, but to not much effect. My legs went to sleep. My back tightened up. Finally, I got up to go to the bathroom just to stand up. Aaaaah. But they wouldn't let people stand in the aisles for security reasons, and I don't blame them, but what's a person to do? I don't do well sitting still even at movies, much less for five-plus hours.

    When we arrived in Denver, I felt like prying the damn door open and sprinting to baggage claim. Which I almost did.

    I think this is worse for people who exercise a lot. We're not used to turning into immovable lumps. What do people do on packed flights three-plus hours and beyond?

  2. #2
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    I do a few things to ensure I am unconscious for long flights.

    1) Don't sleep the night before.

    2) Do a ton of exercise the day of or at least 3- 4 hours before. Board planes with knotted tired muscles

    3) Always ALWAYS ALWAYS get an aisle seat. I will not take a window for anything unless there is NOTHING available, and even then, I'm begging for an aisle as soon as I get to the gate. Rarely do I get a seat anywhere except in the aisle.

    4) If that doesn't happen, take an allergy medication. It will knock you out with a beer.



    Koffee

  3. #3
    Senior Member Thrifty1's Avatar
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    [3) Always ALWAYS ALWAYS get an aisle seat. I will not take a window for anything unless there is NOTHING available, and even then, I'm begging for an aisle as soon as I get to the gate. Rarely do I get a seat anywhere except in the aisle.





    I couldn't agree more.....aisle seat is your only hope to maintain any sense of tolerance.
    ENDURE......appreciate all the time you aren't packed in cramped, crowded, stifling places.
    One of my high priorties upon retirement was to burn my suitcases......I traveled a lot/way too much and it never got better!
    Glad you are safe and recovering :>)
    BCNU
    Gary

  4. #4
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    My wife and I have made a conscious decision to not take trips requiring flying, unless absolutely necessary.

    Neither of us can stand the sardine-like squeezing into the interior of that sealed container, nor do we want to split for 1st class if it is even available.

    I just read that United is starting a "buy-up" program where, once you are at the gate, you can pay extra for an extra 5 inches of leg room, if he seats are available.

    Nowadays, by the time you leave for the airport to arrive 2 hours prior to your flight, get loaded into the plane and wait, and then deplane, find your luggage, take the bus to the car rental, rent your car, and find you way out of the typically far-removed airport, you could have driven a fair amount in a car.

    And, we always take our bikes with us when we drive, and stop and bike at interesting places along the way.

    Flying used to be sort of fun.

    No more!
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  5. #5
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    earplugs help a great deal. I will not fly without them.
    they filter out all the drone
    and you can just relax, and still hear someone
    if they address you directly.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Learn to occupy your time. Join the Mile High Club.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  7. #7
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    Just give me my MP3 player, good earphones and a window seat and I'm good for a couple of hours. I understand why some people like the aisle seat, but I can't sleep sitting upright, so if I put a pillow between me and the window I find it much easier to zonk out. It seems that if I ever get the aisle seat I end up next to some one with a weak bladder who has to head to the bathroom every half hour.
    I've flown to Alaska and back from New Jersey twice on vacation and for a trip that long I use my frequent flyer miles to get upgraded to first class.

  8. #8
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    The only time I take a "sleep aid" is on long flights, and it works pretty well. I avoid all kinds of potentially habit-forming drugs because there's a pretty strong family history of problems, but I'm 6'4" and about 240 pounds, so those seats are cramped for me, and there's not much room to move for relief, plus I'm just not used to sitting for so long. Friday night I flew from Honolulu to Las Vegas, almost six hours, leaving at 10:40 p.m. I took two OTC sleeping pills when I boarded, went to sleep about 20 minutes into the flight and woke up feeling rested, not groggy, with an hour to go.
    You might want to adjust the dosage, though. The recommended dose for most of that stuff is based on an average person, about 150 pounds. Two tablets for me is actually a little less than two-thirds of a dose. I tried taking three a couple of times, and it knocked me out and left me groggy for half the next day.

  9. #9
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edzo
    earplugs help a great deal. I will not fly without them.
    they filter out all the drone
    and you can just relax, and still hear someone
    if they address you directly.
    +1 to that. Only thing I find is that I must be talking very softly when I wear 'em, because the stew...um, the flight attendant never seems to be able to hear me!
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Bobatin's Avatar
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    When we arrived in Denver, I felt like prying the damn door open and sprinting to baggage claim. Which I almost did.
    The last person who did that got shot.
    So, if you're in the car, waiting impatiently. . . get over it - you're not that special.
    "Its not what you take when you leave, Its what you leave when you go."
    Some country and western song

  11. #11
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    I always try to get an emergency row seat. I'm 6'3" and that extra several inches makes a huge difference in comfort. Besides, if something goes wrong on the ground I can be one of the first outa there!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by papedaler
    Just give me my MP3 player, good earphones and a window seat and I'm good for a couple of hours. I understand why some people like the aisle seat, but I can't sleep sitting upright, so if I put a pillow between me and the window I find it much easier to zonk out. It seems that if I ever get the aisle seat I end up next to some one with a weak bladder who has to head to the bathroom every half hour.
    I've flown to Alaska and back from New Jersey twice on vacation and for a trip that long I use my frequent flyer miles to get upgraded to first class.
    I also prefer the window seat, but I will report that those dorky-looking little pillows that wrap around your neck do function as intended, holding your head upright and allowing you to sleep even when you don't have a bulkhead beside you to lean against. Of course that's one more thing to remember and pack . . . .

  13. #13
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrifty1
    [3) Always ALWAYS ALWAYS get an aisle seat. I will not take a window for anything unless there is NOTHING available, and even then, I'm begging for an aisle as soon as I get to the gate. Rarely do I get a seat anywhere except in the aisle.
    You and I would get along famously. The window seat is the only way to go as far as I'm concerned.

    There is no seat that will be big enough, but I have seen amazing things from window seats. The best lately, was a 4 1/2 hour sunset flying from Iceland to Boston. A half hour long ribbon of huge thunderstorms at night over west Texas was impressive too. I have learned tremendous amounts about practical geography. Without the window, I would go bonkers trying to endure the encapsulation of a long flight.

  14. #14
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    The only time I wanted a window seat- a trip to Iceland. Man... suddenly, we were flying in the middle of the Northern Lights, and it was all swirly and cool. Everyone was fighting to look out the window for a look see.

    Iceland has beautiful scenery.

    Koffee

  15. #15
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    I have been a long flight traveller for years. Easily more than 25 trips to Asia from the U.S. east coast. More trips to europe than I can count. I consider anything under 8 hours a pretty simple flight.
    At 5'7" I don't have a big legroom issue.
    I agree with another that those small neck pillows work wonders. I can fall asleep within 30 minutes of a flight departure.
    The worst trips are to Asia where you fly in the perpetual afternoon for 10 - 12 hours, sleep some, watch a couple of movies, but very boring.
    If I am awake I make certain to drink alot of fluids, (water) you tend to become dehydrated at altitude. Drinking alot of fluid also keeps me getting up alot to journey to the rest room. Standing in the inevitable line, I do alot of stretching, leg bends etc.
    Overall I must say flying is one of those things I just tolerate.

  16. #16
    cycling fanatic Ken Brown's Avatar
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    I stand up somewhere. I have never been on a flight where I was not allowed to.

    My favourite Superbowl commercial showed the problems of a crowded flight. Go to http://www.ameriquestmortgage.com/ab...owl_commercial and click on Friendly Skies. The other one is pretty good too.

  17. #17
    jcm
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    Aisle seat. Grab every adult beverage that goes by. Consume. Start telling clean, stupid jokes - ones that everybody has heard a hundred times. Repeat. Begin to sing. Invite others to join in a round of "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain..."

    You'll be stretched out in the back in no time.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcm
    Aisle seat. Grab every adult beverage that goes by. Consume. Start telling clean, stupid jokes - ones that everybody has heard a hundred times. Repeat. Begin to sing. Invite others to join in a round of "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain..."

    You'll be stretched out in the back in no time.
    So that was you who sat behind me on that 12 hour flight to Korea a few years ago

  19. #19
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    On my last job I travelled about 40% of the time. I too chose the window seat and always brought lots of toys for a long flight. My computer had games, I brought a tape player with plenty of songs, work to review before I landed at the job, magazines and newpapers and an occaisional snack on economy flights. If you just look around the plane, you're bored in about 10 minutes and the restlessness starts. If you're busy with which toy to play with next combined with occaisional viewing out the window, before you know it the attendant is announcing 'We are now preparing for landing'. By the way, it is important for 50+ to get up and walk around at least once every two hours, no matter what the attendant says. Blood flows to your feet affecting circulation that can have serious end results. I always got up and took a stroll to the bathroom on long flights at least two or three times.
    Roccobike BF Official Thread Terminator

  20. #20
    Senior Member Old Hammer Boy's Avatar
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    I've flown international numerous times, and yes, that Asian business is a real killer. However, on shorter flights 3-6 hours, a good book can help an awful lot. Also, I try to start up a conversation with the person next to me. I've met many very interesting people that way, and of course there are those who prefer to not chat. Sometimes the time zips by, having a discussion with a fellow passenger. There are a lot of interesting people out there. I also take my MP3 player, and that's usually good for an hour or so. But for me nothing beats a good book or an interesting passenger. I will say, when I retire I won't miss business flights one little bit. From then on, it will only be trips with my stoker/bride of 38 years.

  21. #21
    Hwy 40 Blue Hwy 40 Blue's Avatar
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    After reading all these, I think next time I'll ride hard if possible the day of the flight, get an aisle seat, take a pill and try to chill.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Stubacca's Avatar
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    I always take a window seat. For the past 5 years I've taken typically at least 30 roundtrip flights per year (44 last year including 2 long-uns to South America, and 2 to Australia), so I've become pretty good at sleeping on planes. Whenever I get an aisle seat, I always seem to be next to someone who needs to get up and go to the toilet... I'd rather just sleep. Opinions on aisle vs. window within the consultants in our company is pretty much split. The project I'm on at the moment has 6 of us on the same flight - 3 windows, 3 aisles.

    Books are a great way to pass the time. I virtually never read at home, but get through a novel every couple of weeks on planes.

    Gadgets are good, too. 2 laptop batteries help me watch DVDs, and an iPod with some noise cancelling headphones are great. Lately, I've been downloading a lot of podcasts. The Ricky Gervais podcasts are hilarious...

  23. #23
    Senior Member Terex's Avatar
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    Window seat if something to see, otherwise aisle seat. I've got some sound reducing headphones that are really amazing. Use them with an Ipod and listen to classical music. Books are great. Flights with mostly business people are usually fine - flights with mostly tourists are terrible. Newark to Orlando (Disney World) has to be the worst flight in the world. Flights to Australia (NY to LA, LA to Sydney) are OK - I sleep from LA to Sydney. Flights back are torture. Flights back and forth to W. Coast are nothing, and flights back and forth to Europe are tolerable. The more you travel, the easier it is to deal with the time shift and the stress. Relax, stretch, hydrate, relax, sleep, read, relax, relax, relax...

  24. #24
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    My solution, after years of flying.

    Aisle seat, noise canceling headphones (with or without music), a bestseller airport paperback, no eye contact with your seatmate.

    Don't lean back your seat (be considerate of others) and be ready after take off to push back if the dork in front of you attempts to recline his.

    But the absolute best solution is: use your Platinum Elite status to get a free upgrade up front. Much nicer.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCAC
    My solution, after years of flying.


    Don't lean back your seat (be considerate of others) and be ready after take off to push back if the dork in front of you attempts to recline his.
    BCAC, can I fly with you seated in front of me??? I ALWAYS get the ones that jam the seat back into my knees. My wife hasn't figured out that all my stretching, twisting, etc is to let the Bozo in front know that someone else exists in the universe.
    I'm surprised no one has mentioned the obvious....Fly First Class!

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