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23 Hour Flight: Strategies for Survival?

23 Hour Flight: Strategies for Survival?

Old Oct 23, 12, 7:42 pm
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Question 23 Hour Flight: Strategies for Survival?

I am thinking of taking the Washington (IAD) to Singapore (SIN) UA803 flight on November 20.

What are strategies for survival?
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Old Oct 23, 12, 8:16 pm
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First class.

Or just don't overreact and realize that you will survive, even in economy.
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Old Oct 23, 12, 8:41 pm
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Oh yes, economy class is survivable.
BTW, it's not a 23 hour flight. The total travel time, including layover in Narita is 23 hours, leaving you with 20 hours and 35 minutes in two legs. The longer leg is 13 hours or so.
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Old Oct 23, 12, 8:52 pm
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Smile

Originally Posted by Yaatri View Post
Oh yes, economy class is survivable.
BTW, it's not a 23 hour flight. The total travel time, including layover in Narita is 23 hours, leaving you with 20 hours and 35 minutes in two legs. The longer leg is 13 hours or so.
Oooh. Thanks for letting me know about the Narita layover -- that makes things easier.
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Old Oct 23, 12, 9:55 pm
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Try to sleep wen its sleeping time at your destination.
Take some decent in-flight entertainment with you (good book, iPad with movies etc).
Stay hydrated - avoid too much alcohol
Don't start the journey with a hang-over, it will only get worse
Get an aisle seat so you can get up and wander around a little every few hours
Look forward with anticipation to your destination.

23 hours is a piece of cake. My worst was 44 hours door to door, all in economy and included 5 connecting sectors and 8 consecutive airline meals! I must have survived 23 hour commutes in economy at least 10 times. But business or first does make it easier.
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Old Oct 24, 12, 7:20 am
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Staying well hydrated is a must.

This might just be me, but I'd recommend taking more than one form of entertainment - e.g. take something to read/watch, and something to listen to. I usually start with a magazine, but I find that the dry air on long flights makes my eyes feel scratchy after a while, and I just want to lie back and shut them; but if I can't sleep, I go crazy with boredom if I don't have podcasts or music.

I hope you enjoy yourself when you get there.
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Old Oct 24, 12, 7:28 am
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Do everything in your power to get into a premium cabin. Sell your children as a last resort. Seriously.
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Old Oct 24, 12, 8:18 am
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Having survived a couple of BOS-LAX-BNE and BNE-SYD-SFO-BOS flights in Y, I found that ensuring that I was as tired as possible prior to boarding plus a couple of beers kept me knocked out for the majority of the flight. Considering that only a few of my dozens of TATL and TPAC flights were in premium cabins, I've managed to survive none the worse for the wear.
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Old Oct 24, 12, 8:56 am
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I've survived a couple 14-hour flights in Y, but I'd only recommend Y if you hold a good enough elite status to ensure a desirable coach seat. Fortunately in my case, simple AA Gold status was enough to select exit row seating before I confirmed the booking.

Obviously premium cabin is ideal, but I assume you wouldn't be asking the question if you were already in J or F. Seriously: if you don't have it already, get that elite status...even if it means something like buying a US Airways trial or pushing a few short trips before the long one into Aegean. Usually Star Silver or Oneworld Ruby will get the job done. But double-check: some airlines might require a mid-tier type status to assign exit row or similarly-desirable seat.
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Old Oct 24, 12, 10:35 am
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Benzodiazepines. Kills 5 of those hours, and the short term memory amnesiac effects prevent the accumulation of monotony. You cannot be bored if you hardly remember the last few hours. You get off the plane feeling pretty intact.

Failing that, a benadryl and a glass of wine. Knocks out a few hours, gets you some sleep.
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Old Oct 24, 12, 11:42 am
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Originally Posted by DoubleMiles View Post
I am thinking of taking the Washington (IAD) to Singapore (SIN) UA803 flight on November 20.

What are strategies for survival?
DM, start by accepting the harsh reality that 32% of those boarding the economy cabin on 803 *don't* survive. The odds are not good. About all you can do to improve the odds is secure an exit row seat. That one move can get you to 90%+ survivabilty, while making it to either of the premium cabins virtually assures you will survive.

I've done that flight 5 times and have it coming up in a few days. Upgrades have cleared for all segments so I'm good. Last November I did fly 803 to Singapore in an exit row for the first (hopefully last) time. All kidding aside I was kind of dreading it, but in the end it worked out. Definitley not enjoyable but entirely survivable with the exit row. So that's the critical piece for economy - get the best possible seat. Good luck.
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Old Oct 24, 12, 11:45 am
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Originally Posted by DoubleMiles View Post
I am thinking of taking the Washington (IAD) to Singapore (SIN) UA803 flight on November 20.

What are strategies for survival?
1. The best strategy for jet lag is not fancy sleep deprivation schedules or pills. It's trying the best to adapt to the destination time zone as early as possible, even a few days before you leave.

2. Bring pajamas, maybe a eye shade, slippers or socks...then relax. Bring a little food and a water bottle so you are not hostage to the flight's meal schedule.
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Old Oct 24, 12, 11:49 am
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Originally Posted by NM View Post
23 hours is a piece of cake. My worst was 44 hours door to door, all in economy and included 5 connecting sectors and 8 consecutive airline meals! I must have survived 23 hour commutes in economy at least 10 times. But business or first does make it easier.
My worse was an overnight ferry followed by waiting an entire day walking around in Africa with no hotel room to rest followed by a red eye flight followed by a transatlantic flight and a connecting flight. I did not sleep in a bed for about 3 days.
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Old Oct 24, 12, 1:40 pm
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I fly to Asia pretty often and I try to avoid sleeping for as long as possible before the flight. Typically I fly in the morning from the U.S. so it is perfect time to sleep according to the destination hours. That can knock out like half the hours in the air and the rest is much more bearable. The downside of doing this is that I am usually a zombie at the airport during departure.
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Old Oct 24, 12, 2:23 pm
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Originally Posted by aceofangel View Post
I fly to Asia pretty often and I try to avoid sleeping for as long as possible before the flight. Typically I fly in the morning from the U.S. so it is perfect time to sleep according to the destination hours. That can knock out like half the hours in the air and the rest is much more bearable. The downside of doing this is that I am usually a zombie at the airport during departure.
This works really well for me 60% of the time

the other 40% for one reason or another i can't sleep on the plane either.
then you're as good as dead upon arrival.
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