How To Survive a Long Transatlantic Airplane Flight

Gone are those days when a long transatlantic flight meant comfortable seating, welcoming flight attendants and complimentary cocktails. All these things are now reserved for first and business class that most ordinary travellers cannot afford. Today, be prepared for narrow seats, inconsiderate seatmates, bad movies and cramped bathrooms. If you are looking to survive a long transatlantic airplane flight, you definitely need some tips to make your flight bearable, if not enjoyable.

So, here are some tips that will teach you how to survive a long transatlantic airplane flight and come away unscathed.

Comfort is the Key

Forget those sexy, tight jeans, as they will not do you any good if you are going to be sitting for hours together. Instead, opt for some comfortable, loose and wrinkle-free clothing. You will thank yourself for it when your flight gets all stuffy and warm. Carry a jacket, so that you can cover up if the flight gets chilly midway. You also want to bring along a large, lightweight scarf with you. Not only does it make you look elegant, it also can double up as a blanket if you start feeling cold during the flight and the attendants tell you there are no spare blankets to offer you.

Slip on those Shoes

Forget tight and high-heeled shoes. Or, the ones that come with buckles and laces. Coach flights hardly have space for you to bend down and do up your shoes. Also, due to sitting for long hours, your feet can get swollen. So don a pair of comfy, slip-on shoes that are easy to put on and take off during the long flight.

Cut Out the Noise Around

ear plugs

No matter what you do, there will be cranky kids and loud fellow passengers around you. If you want to get a shut eye during the flight, carry noise canceling headphones or earplugs. You also may want to carry your iPod, so that you can turn up the music and drown all ambient noises.

Keep those Grey Cells Busy

Reading book

If you are the traveller who cannot sleep on long haul flights, carry Audiobooks or other interesting books to keep you busy. Some people like reading travel books to get to know their destination better, but you can carry anything that you enjoy reading. It will help you pass time and also ensure you are not disturbed by noises around you. In fact, audiobooks are great for drowning out sounds and also are easy to carry.

Food and Water will Help You Survive


Carry snacks and bottled water will prove to be just the panacea you need. You will have long gaps between meals in a long transatlantic flight and if you have hunger pangs gnawing your insides, you are bound to get cranky and irritable. So carry dry snacks, such as nuts, protein bars and chocolates to keep yourself satiated between meals. While airlines do not charge for water, it is prudent to carry your own. You can drink it when eating your snack and this will prevent you from getting dehydrated during the dry, arid flight.

Neck Pillow for Lumbar Support

neck pillow

Sometimes you may feel airlines deliberately make uncomfortable seats in coach and that is why the seats have curves in all the wrong places. You can make yourself more comfortable during your long transatlantic flight more comfortable, by carrying a small inflatable neck pillow. Do not worry about looking silly, as you will be grateful for it when your plane lands and you disembark. You will not have a stiff neck or back pain.

While these tips will help you, you may want to bring along a lot of patience and a fantastic sense of humour to help you survive a long transatlantic airplane flight. Patience and humour are the key to surviving this flight, even if you forget everything else on this list!