Flight Advice

The Holy-Grail of Surviving a Long-Haul Flight

Every article about long haul flights include an abundance of tips and tricks to help make your flight a more enjoyable one. Stay hydrated, use an eye mask, pack a survival kit – the list goes on. But the good news is there are some other things you can consider, even before you buy your ticket. To help you keep long-haul flying from becoming long-suffering, here are some tips to consider before booking your next flight.

Avoid peak-time flights

More space, more air, a better personal service – what could be better? With a flight that isn’t full, you are guaranteed a nicer experience all round. Get advice on the quietest times to travel for individual routes.Hopper is a great site that provides insightful, data-driven research to help people make the right decisions about where to go, and when to fly and buy. Obviously good times to avoid if possible are school holidays and weekends, which tend to be the busiest flying days. At Beachcomber we offer some great deals for those looking to avoid peak times. Keep an eye out for our special offers.

Consider a two centre holiday

Sometimes you simply can’t get from one point to another in a single lengthy flight. For any flight of more than 12 hours, there is a good chance you will to have to change planes during the journey or disembark while the aircraft refuels. Frequently it can involve going through customs again, waiting for your luggage again, moving to a different terminal, rechecking bags again, clearing security again – and this can sometimes take hours. So why not use this to your advantage and consider a two centre holiday? With such a variety of things to see and do in the world it’s hard to settle on just one destination so why not enjoy the best of both worlds? Beachcomber offer a number of exciting and diverse two-centre holidays, with superb connections between Dubai, Mauritius and the Seychelles. We have so many combinations to choose from and a variety of accommodations in each destination. With Emirates flights going to Mauritius and the Seychelles via Dubai, there’s a great opportunity for two holidays in one. Two birds, one stone and all that?

Choose your airline wisely

There is no doubt that the top airlines have significantly improved things for long haul passengers over the last few years. Key developments include seats with more space in front of your knees, headrests to support your head better and on-demand seat-back entertainment. But not all airlines offer equal standards of service and since there is nearly always a choice of carriers to choose from on all routes, it’s worth researching who to fly with. AirlineRatings.com has recently announced its top ten airlines for 2015. All of these airlines have achieved a seven star safety rating and show leadership in innovation for passenger comfort. Among them were British Airways, who made the top ten for the first time this year, as well as Emirates and Etihad, who were awarded best first class and best long-haul new carrier.

Pick your seat wisely

The “window or aisle seat” question is often one of the greatest debates of the whole holiday. For long haul flights, the aisle seat always wins. You won’t be able to avoid using the bathroom on a long haul flight so selecting the aisle seat saves you the awful task of having to climb over a stranger’s lap every time you want to exit your seat. SeatGuru is great for finding the best available seat for your flight, especially when flying economy. The website lists colour coded seating charts for hundreds of aircrafts. It tells you which seats to avoid because they don’t recline, or are too near the toilets and it even lets you know which have limited legroom because the equipment box for the entertainment system is mounted under the seat in front.

If all else fails, upgrade

Upgrading your flight is your ticket to better comfort, better food and a better service. So whether you are on your honeymoon, it’s your anniversary, or you just want to get your holiday off to a flying start, consider upgrading your flight. It might be a good idea to think about joining a loyalty scheme, which often means you’ll get complimentary upgrades. Emirates Skyward scheme is free to join. All you need to do is complete a form and you can start enjoying the benefits and memberships straight away. Membership gives you the chance to earn and spend miles with Emirates and a wide selection of partners, and also enhances your travel experience with benefits and services that make every trip more rewarding. It offers points at a basic level and these rise in tiers depending on how many flights you take. British Airways’ Executive Club uses the same kind of concept but provides you with Avios points, which you can often use to upgrade to the next cabin depending on the flight and availability. Avios is one of the world’s biggest airmile programmes and is used by 6.4 million travellers. Read here to find out how to master airline loyalty programs so that you get the best experience with your miles.