On the plane

If only all flights had this much room to spread out!

This part of Wikivoyage's guide to flying focuses upon perhaps the most critical part of your journey - sitting in a chair for a number of hours. Whilst this may seem to be a comparatively tame exploit, the fact that said chair is hurtling through the air at hundreds of miles an hour adds a welcome frisson to proceedings. So, with that in mind, this article seeks to make your chair-bound experience as safe and comfortable as possible. This begins as you enter your airplane.

Help the cabin crew

Flight attendants on a Germanwings flight

While you'll receive especially attentive service in first- and business-class, flight attendants are not waiters. Their duties require many tasks as they try to make you and all others safe and comfortable while boarding. They ensure that all food and supplies are properly delivered and stowed. But they also scan and help passengers who may be distressed, ill, unable to find seats, find their seats already occupied, are inebriated or misbehaving, or perhaps on the wrong flight. They do all this as they appear to be just standing around. You can and should help at least in these ways...

Flying with children

Children can get restless and irritable while flying and in airports. There are strategies you can follow to ensure your children enjoy the trip.

Consider safety. If you are traveling with a child who is less than three, have them sit on an approved child carrier, not on your lap. (Approved or airline carriers may have special seat belts that improve their protection.) In the unlikely event of an emergency, a lap child may impede your ability to brace. Be aware of whether there is an oxygen mask for infants on the aircraft/row.

And generally, anticipate delays. Even the shortest flights can be delayed, involving additional time both in the terminal and on the aircraft. Ensure you have sufficient food, clothes, nappies, entertainment to avoid turning a couple of hours delay into a nightmare. This will free them to do truly essential flight tasks.

Before take-off

During flight

Some airlines now offer seatback entertainment consoles, offering movies, music, tv shows, and information on the current location of the airplane.(seen here in a Delta Airlines Boeing 767 between Atlanta and Paris)

Meals onboard

Scheduled meals (if any) will often be timed and typed to complement the time zone of the flight's destination. As a result, first or early servings may not match your departure time. For flights that promise no food during meal hours, consider buying something at the airport (in the secure area); most lines will allow you to carry it on-board. The selection at some airports may be poor.

On-board meals for some airlines may be brought in from one of its base or hub airports rather than from a local source. This takes considerable time. Meals kept too long for any reason may have to be discarded due to safety. Scheduled meals may then be limited to packaged snacks/cookies and drinks...not the fault of the crew or airline.

Health

Deep vein thrombosis

NOTE: The following discussion should not be taken as medical advice. Consult a doctor if you think you might have or be at risk for DVT during planned travel.

Passengers on long flights may be prone to deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is essentially blood clots forming in the veins, most often in the legs. It actually affects anyone who remains seated for long periods, e.g., train or car passengers. The elderly tend to have greater risk than the young. You can take precautions to avoid it:

Be aware of the early symptoms (e.g., pain or swelling in the legs) which you may notice during flight or later. If suspected, seek medical treatment promptly. If neglected, the condition can become serious, even fatal.

See a more comprehensive article at Deep vein thrombosis.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, January 17, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.