Long-haul flights are common when travelling to foreign destinations, since these flights have to cover longer distances scheduled in their itineraries. Also, some flights in these routes are non-stop, while few travellers will find themselves lucky to have connecting flights, as it is more relaxing and pocket-friendly.
In this blog, we will give you an insight on long-haul flights that are operated by various airline carriers and many other things that you need to know when travelling.
What is a Long-Haul Flight?
In air travel, a long-haul flight basically refers to a flight’s route which covers a minimum duration of seven hours on its scheduled trip. This duration includes routes that are served by flights both for domestic and international destinations.
Some airline carriers also offer layovers (short duration) or stopovers (longer duration), between the routes of their long-haul flights, since it becomes quite convenient for a lot of passengers. These layovers or stopovers, for instance, allow passengers to continue their journey via connecting flights.
Let us take an example here. You are travelling from Vancouver in Canada to Melbourne, Australia that takes around 16 hours of your journey. The distance is about 13,183.75 km (8,192 miles). Air Canada serves non-stop flight on this route. But, you can also request for a layover (depends on availability), or book a different flight altogether, whichever fits you best.
In addition, there may be certain inter-continental routes as well, which can be of seven hours and longer. Thus, flights serving such routes can also be put in the category of long-haul flights.
Best Airlines for Long-Haul Flights
We have listed a few best airline carriers in alphabetical order that operate long-haul flights.
- Air Canada
- Air New Zealand
- ANA All Nippon Airways
- British Airways
- Etihad Airways
- Kenya Airways
These airline carriers from around the world are best for long-haul flights, considering the features, comfort and destinations they serve than other airline carriers.
Tips for Travelling on Long-Haul Flights
On long-haul flights, some passengers may feel restless, bored and frustrated as well. Therefore, it is a good idea to prepare yourself with precautionary measures and necessary supplies when travelling.
Here are a few useful tips to help you avoid difficulties and make the most of your long-duration trips.
Book Flight with Layover
Travelling for 7 hours straight and more is not easy, be it any method of transportation. Fortunately, certain long-haul flight routes include layovers or stopovers, which should give you some ease and joy.
If your flight already includes one or more layovers, you should be just fine with that. However, for travellers that need to book long journey reservations, it is a good idea to also include a layover. A layover will allow you to continue your trip from another airport and arrive to your destination airport. On the other hand, if you wish to explore a city on the way, then a stopover is what you need.
Avoid Economy Travel Class
Economy class on any given flight, is the basic and usually, “featureless” travel class and may not be ideal for long-haul flights. Unless you are tight on budget, you should instead, look for a premium travel class, like premium economy (in most airlines), business and first class. These class of cabins offer better seats (reclining seats), legroom and several other features, including in-flight complimentary services.
If you are a frequent flyer, you must be aware that you earn travel points for each trip, and which gets accumulated into your travel account with the airline carrier. You can redeem these bonus points for purchases and upgrades, so you don’t have to spend money.
Do Basic Exercise
It is true that long-haul flights can become tiring and may even cause pain in various parts of your body. The reason is you are seated throughout your trip, which affects your body muscles and joints.
So, doing some basic exercises, such as taking leisurely walks and stretching your arms and legs after every hour (except when you’re sleeping) should keep you in good shape.
Wear Breathable Clothes for Travel
Although this may not seem important to many, but what you wear, especially when travelling on long-haul flights, can determine your state of comfort. Also, given the fact that there is no changing room available on an aircraft, you will have to manage with what you are wearing throughout the trip.
Therefore, planning in advance which clothes to wear in order to experience a comfortable trip on a long-haul flight is equally essential.
Get Peaceful Sleep
Getting sufficient sleep is very crucial when flying on long-haul flights. Sitting in your seat for hours can make you feel tired and uncomfortable.
If your flight’s scheduled for an overnight trip, make sure to carry an eye mask, a small pillow and a blanket. Most airline carriers do offer pillows and blankets to passengers travelling on business and first class. Also, the seats in these travel classes are more private, comfortable and adjustable than in the lower class of cabins. If you are travelling in business or first class, you will have better comfort than flying on a long trip in economy class.
In-flight Eating and Drinking
In addition to sleeping on the plane, what you eat and drink also determines how comfortable you may feel during a long-haul flight.
Usually, airlines serve complimentary and paid-for snacks, meals and beverages to passengers on flights. Again, passengers travelling in business and first class get to enjoy complimentary meals and beverages, including alcohol as well. But, this is not so in economy class.
However, depending on the flight’s travel time, economy class passengers may be served one or two complimentary meals and beverage, while requesting for additional items are usually available as a premium service. Nevertheless, eating light while on a plane is a safe option and prevents digestive problems.
You can of course, bring along certain edible items on the plane. But, it is advised that you enquire which items are allowed and prohibited by the airline carrier you are travelling with.
Long-haul flights from one end of a continent to another continent can take several long hours before you finally touch down at your destination airport. If you are not a frequent flyer and need to travel on long journeys, then the tips shared above can be quite useful to you.