I used to fly NZAA
), New Zealand">AKL-LAX
return at least 6 times a year - sometimes QF
/BA or AA
and sometimes NZ
. Used to do mostly UA
. 50-50 coach/business. Nowadays I go via Asia to avoid The appallingly unpleasant experience of the US security.
Yes, business makes a difference, but not a lot (for reasons see below). Yes the airlines are different, but once you have learnt the survival strategies not a lot. QF
, nothing special because I don't like their IFE. But I have always found cabin service good.
Here are my survival strategies for ultra long haul:
Refuse all meals on board
No alcohol or caffeine on board or within 6 hours of departure
Drink lots of water - Take your own to be independent of cabin service.
Window seat and controlled bowels - if there is any disturbing of others to be done I want to be the one doing it. Despite averaging 16-20 10hr+ trips a year I haven't used an aircraft toilet since 1996. Drinking water on board doesn't wnat to be excreted because of the dry air, but caffeine and alcohol want to get out fast.
Begin to adjust your sleep pattern for four days before the trip.
Don't force sleep. If awake movies or a book. If feeling sleepy the lift music or classical channels on the sound system.
Hand luggage is my laptop only on ultra long haul. Then
I can relax about locker space and be the last to board.
Smile happily at every airline employee regardless of how you feel. On QF
that alone sometimes gets you an upgrade.
Following these rules not only makes the journey seem OK
, but I am also able to work in NZ
until I go to the airport in the evening, and go straight to work from the airport when I get to London or Amsterdam.