How to be comfortable on an overnight long haul flight in economy class

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by WaterSki, Feb 19, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. WaterSki
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    WaterSki Silver Member

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    As frequent travelers and mileage runners, sometimes a long haul overnight flight in economy class is inevitable. If you follow the advice in this thread you will be the envy of the passengers around you. But you'll hardly notice because you're asleep.

    My secret to a comfy 14 hours in Y LAX-SYD: bring lots of padding and equipment. This description is designed for the exit row with infinte legroom, and would require only subtle adjustment for use in a non-exit row seat.


    The Equipment

    2" thick memory foam pad to sit on (18"x18" -- BEST $35 I've ever spent) (picture)
    Full size bed pillow
    Fleece blanket
    Foam tube for lumbar support (actually worked better to prevent pillow from sliding between seat and window).
    Eye mask
    Earplugs (a MUST due to galley noise in row 45). Still wouldn't trade it for lav traffic in row 33.
    Rollaboard to use as footrest (subject to crew permission)


    The Setup

    The memory foam pad is the essential element. It feels like you're sitting on a cloud. Remember that feeling of your but feeling flat after a long flight? Not if you're sitting on this cushion. If you're in the exit row, put a rollaboard out in front of you (after takeoff of course) to use as a footrest. Put the folded airline blanket on the rollaboard as padding for your feet. Use the airline pillow as lumbar support. Use the foam tube (or another small pillow) to jam between the seatback and the window to prevent your real pillow from slipping through to the row behind you while you're asleep. Use your full size bed pillow as your pillow while leaning up against the wall.


    Using this setup my partner and I both got 8 hours of sleep on each flight. Being on east coast US time made it easy to sleep on the 1:45pm departure ex-SYD.


    How to pack all this in a small bag

    22" x 14" x 9" (Travelpro crew 5).

    1. Open expander-zipper
    2. Pile tons of bedding into rollaboard
    3. Close main zipper.
    4. Sit on rollaboard. Wait 2-3 seconds for it to compress
    5. Close expander zipper.
     
  2. kiwi
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    kiwi Gold Member

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    I don't like this at all.

    1) A lot of extra gear to lug around.
    2) It is a safety hazard having lots of material in an exit row foot area.
    3) On many airlines, economy seats do not have much space for extra stuff. Especially exit row (due to tray table and PTV in the armrest).

    With many longhaul economy flights under my butt (almost every flight is longhaul from here), my best trick for getting a good sleep onboard is simply to be very tired (but not so much that start waking up again).
     
  3. tassojunior
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    tassojunior Silver Member

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    My method: Lottsa booze and Sominex.

    (sometimes they wake you if you snore too much).
     
  4. Bob Smolinsky
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    Bob Smolinsky Gold Member

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    Way too much stuff.....Red Wine for me.
     
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  5. I'm with you on the booz and lots of stuff.
    I am not sure all that would fit in a rollerboard :p

    I just need noise cancelling headphones, slippers and I grab two blankets and a pillow.
     
  6. Bob Smolinsky
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    Bob Smolinsky Gold Member

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    Actually, I can pretty much sleep on any moving car, train or plane.....or bed, or floor, or sofa, or desk...
     
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  7. no-backpacker
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    no-backpacker Silver Member

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    Ouch, too much for me too. I always bring a big scarf, iPhone, a book, something to snack on (some fruit and crisps) slippers ("stolen" from a hotel so I can leave them when the flight is over) and a toothbrush. This is the same for long-haul day flights.

    Xxx.
     
  8. jneugeba
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    jneugeba Gold Member

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    Booze and a sleeping pill usually work for me!
     
  9. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    The best equipment is a pair of pj's from your last international first class flight. The best way to sleep is to change into your pj's and get comfortable. The flight attendants can laugh all they want, but you'll sleep good.
     
  10. Lalala
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    Lalala Silver Member

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    For short trips (ca. 3 days) that I manage to snag row 21 on AA 767, I wear a heavy jacket and bring a down throw (fits in a tiny stuff sack), wool socks and a pashmina for around my neck. That is one chilly seat. The throw really doesn't take up much room in my 22" rollaboard.
     
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  11. DesertRose
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    DesertRose Silver Member

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    Brilliant! Because packing something that touched an airplane lav floor into my luggage is repulsive. I actually bring a special gallon baggie for that purpose.
     
  12. Freddie Listo
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    Freddie Listo Gold Member

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    1. Cocktail/s before meal <<carried aboard by airline/catering staff
    2. Red wine with meal << carried aboard by airline/catering staff
    3. Bailey's after meal << carried aboard by airline/catering staff
    4. Ear plugs << carried aboard by self-loading cargo, no significant added weight/space, no clutter/trip hazard in an emergency
    5. Eye shade << carried aboard by self-loading cargo, no significant added weight/space, no clutter/trip hazard in an emergency
     
  13. TrueBlueFlyer
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    TrueBlueFlyer Silver Member

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    as someone who always flies coach, I always try to prepare by wearing something comfortable... try to get on a plane not wearing too much, a shirt or a t-shirt is best because it seems planes are always hot when boarding and once you start sweating from the beginning it will be one uncomfortable flight. I always try to stuff all my stuff in the overhead so I have leg room to stretch out and move around in my seat without getting up unnecessarily throughout the flight. Airline pillow and blanket come useful when you want to nod off, especially the blanket as the airplane gets cooler later in the flight. But always warms up again just before landing. Good entertainment system always makes the time fly faster without noticing it. And I always enjoy the window seat so I can look out if I am bored, and it seems to take the mind of the flying part. Flying relaxed is always more comfortable than flying worried about something, so try to relax and take it easy.
     
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  14. k2o
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    k2o Silver Member

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    P1130014 (640x469).jpg
    sounds silly but I need a neck pillow. I have a blow up that takes 3 puffs and it's ready. lol. A snapcoat (it is a joke!), eye shades and I'm zzzzzz. This seat is pretty comfy too.
     
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  15. JasonH
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    JasonH Silver Member

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    The OP has a very interesting setup. The memory foam seat cushion sounds very interesting. For me the best sleep formula is to listen to some easy jazz or classical while reading SQL manuals, design sheets for my industry's standards, or similar ridiculously boring stuff. [​IMG]
     
  16. Punki
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    Punki Silver Member

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    By the grace of God, never having flown in coach on a long haul, I have nothing to add. Yeah! :)
     
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  17. Noelene
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    Noelene Silver Member

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    AllI need is a neck pillow, and a couple of Tylenol PM. Is it only me, but I feel too exposed in exit rows and prefer a cocoon like environment, with my head covered (not the airline blankie tho) eww, I have a soft sweater that doubles as a piece of clothing and a face protector [​IMG]
     
  18. Mangy
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    Mangy Gold Member

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    I have pretty much given up being comfortable in economy. This summer I flew from regional Queensland, Australia to Winnipeg, Canada. It was 6 legs each way, all in economy. There was a family next to me with a young baby. They tried their best, but nothing was going to get that baby to stay quiet. It was so bad that people in business class complained.

    Unusually for me, I had nothing to drink on any of the legs. That helped me stay a bit refreshed, but ready for a drink at the end.

    I had my laptop, so I was able to watch video. I also had my kindle. The mother made matters worse by tapping me on the shoulder to chat while I was watching videos and then complained that the reading light was disturbing her child when I read.
     
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  19. Mangy
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    Mangy Gold Member

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    Now there's an example to follow. Unfortuantely, long haul flights in F or J out of Riyadh are too expensive. The prices for shorter flight (7-9) hours are okay,
     
  20. Mangy
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    Mangy Gold Member

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    I can rarely sleep on buses or planes, regardless of class. Trains I am fine with
     
  21. Punki
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    Punki Silver Member

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    OK, loadera, here's the deal--I almost always purchase the cheapest coach fair that I can and somehow find a way to finagle an upgrade. I offer up a lot of prayers to the upgrade Gods. Of course, now that I am an old woman who flies mostly award tickets, it is a lot easier. ;)
     
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  22. DesertRose
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    DesertRose Silver Member

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    Did you know Tylenol PM is just Tylenol + Benadryl? I was shocked when I found out.

    I like the exit rows so I can shift around and cross my legs without hitting the seat in front of me. But my legs are short, so I find propping my feet up on my carry-on gives me enough cocoon-style support.
     
  23. JetSet
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    JetSet Silver Member

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    Well, I'm with Punki, and I respectfully beg to differ. Economy class long haul is not at all inevitable. I'm glad for you that your system works for you, though. You've obviously put a lot of thought into it, which is actually pretty cool. Living as I do in the most isolated city on earth, pretty much all of my flying is long haul, and none of it is economy class. I'm ok with economy on short domestic hops, but not for long flights. Economy I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy[​IMG]
     
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  24. I am not a neck pillow person. I manage to sleep anywhere,
     
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  25. I can sleep standing up. I have done it a few times on buses out to the plane.
     
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