long haul

Usually when you see an itinerary for a flight longer than 10 hours, you groan to yourself as you try to figure out how you can survive comfortably. I find myself on these long haul flights frequently going back and forth from the United States to pretty much any other continent. On my recent flight from Salt Lake City to Paris, I decided to put my new Netbook to good use and compiled a list of all the good things about long flights. Here they are (in no particular order):

1. Long flights = bigger planes. More room to walk around to stretch your legs. And if you are on a Boeing 747, you’ll even have stairs!

2. Get a seat with a power supply and work on that novel you have always said you wanted to write. If you’re lucky to get a plane with Internet for the long-haul, think of all the productivity time you can have. Find a seat with power by finding your plane’s diagram at SeatGuru.com.

3. Catch-up on new release movies and, when you get home, you clear a few out of your Netflix queue.

4. Studying for a big exam? I am. Armed with my study guide and a notebook, I had hours of uninterrupted study time where I feel I actually absorbed some information since I wasn’t distracted by the Internet, TV, the cat and pretty much everything else in my house.

5. Got a cute boy sitting next to you? He’s going to be sitting next to you for a while. Get to know him a little better if you’re interested.

6. It’s a long enough flight that you can justify slipping into comfy pants and slippers.

7. Undivided attention on that Sudoku or crossword puzzle you want to master.

8. Coming home from a trip and have your computer? Don’t forget your USB cable and you can upload your photos en route. And, with all your spare time, you can even label them while the info is fresh in your head.

9. You can actually get some quality shut-eye. To support the cause, bring a sleep mask, ear plugs and a neck pillow. Supplement it with the airline provided blanket and pillow and you can create a little oasis.

10. On long flights, the airlines are required to feed you something, usually a hot meal. As much as people complain, they really aren’t that bad. And sometimes, you are in for a special treat—I have had ice cream bars and fresh chocolate chip cookies (so fresh, the entire plan smelled like a bakery) on Continental.

Can you think of other perks to long flights? Post them here or on Facebook?

Written by Kristina, DIWYY co-founder. Email her at kristina@diwyy.com.