The Anatomy of a Long Haul Flight

The clothing has been rolled and the socks have been shoved inside shoes…making the most of each inch of space in the suitcase. Has everything been marked off your list? Have you forgotten anything?


You’ll remember the dampened toothbrush the second you arrive at the airport and spend a little extra in one of the shops to avoid spending your holiday feeling fuzzy. After hoping you’ve remembered the rest of your necessities you’ll wonder if you’ve brought enough reading material for a 7+ hour flight. You are after all determined to read this time around instead of staring at the small screen in front of you.

After shuffling through check-in and security, you’ll mill around the duty free and other airport shops considering the odd splurge…telling yourself you’ll save money and purchase something better while away instead.

You begin heading to your gate with a plastic bag full of supplies such as water, hard candy, and a best seller you’ve heard wonderful things about…all in hope that the in-flight meal will satisfy you and that upon arrival at your destination you won’t have to go on a search for a rushed meal.

There’s a lot of waiting around and by the time boarding begins you have either finished flipping through an ad filled magazine or made some headway with your first novel. Then it’s time to queue…getting up before your section is called to board because everyone else does the exact same thing in order to push in at the last moment.

Have you ever noticed that they always seem to board from the back when you’re at the front…and vice versa? Maybe you’re lucky though, maybe you fit into one of the priority boarding categories.

Then, you’re on and your seat is in sight.

You made sure to do your business before boarding and had booked a window seat in advance. Unless of course you’re someone who needs to stretch your legs and feels claustrophobic without an aisle seat. You settle in….and begin hoping the seat next to you will be empty.

An announcement is made. The flight is nice and full, and you’re sure that last person heading towards you is your new neighbor. Sure enough they nod, smile, and buckle up.

As the plane pulls away from the gate and begins to wait its turn to take-off, you flip through the in-flight entertainment magazine or take a tour on-screen.

You definitely haven’t seen that…or that…or that.

The only thing to leave your bag during the flight? Hard candy to alleviate some discomfort as your ears get to poppin’. There’s some regret present as you’re told your meal options and delve into some dry chicken once you’ve made your decision.

Once the rubbish has been tidied up you begin to get more comfortable as your film choice carries on in front of you…until regret sets in once again and you realize you should have passed on that last plastic cup of water. By now, your new travel buddy has fallen into a gentle slumber and you are left to play the waiting game.

You decide to nap. But when you begin to drift off...everything begins to go horribly wrong.

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Eventually, you nod off to sleep. Before you know it, you're getting a tap on the shoulder from an attendant doing their duties in preparation for landing. The relief you feel is astounding as you're nearly at your destination.

It's a miracle, the crowd of passengers departs the plane quickly and you sail past the crew muttering your thank you's. Solid ground! A good stretch! A spacious bathroom stall! You continue to follow the crowd towards the baggage claim. What's this?! Your baggage is awaiting you because you took your little pit stop on the way? Fantastic! The stress of the past several hours has just melted away.

If you're like us, you don't mind the journey...but you most certainly prefer arriving at the destination.


Always keep in mind that things could have actually been worse.