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First Long Haul Flight

Southampton, United...
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113 posts
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First Long Haul Flight

Hello everyone,

Me and my husband will be embarking on our first long haul flight (Heathrow to JFK) in 13 days time -mega excited.

We have never flown anything over 3 hours, what advice can you give us about flying long haul, ways to keep occupied, food, drinks etc.

We are flying with BA on a 747. flight takes off at 0955. Will we get breakfast or at this time is it just a snack and lunch later on? Is it easy to move around on the plane to keep legs going?

I believe we will be at heathrow for 7am, we are staying in a hotel the night before. Is this enough time?

Any advice would be appreciated

Thank you x

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1. Re: First Long Haul Flight

This post tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g1-i10702-k4171… has around 300 responses, hopefully some of them might be helpful.

Also have a look at tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g1-i10702-k7307… and tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g1-i10702-k5580…

Being at the airport 3 hours prior is generally plenty of time, but I'm sure others more familiar with LHR could confirm. Also others more familiar with BA will be able to give you info on food etc. but I imagine you might get a snack and then lunch for a 10am departure.

Yes, it's easy to move around the plane, just not while meals are being served or trays collected (assuming you're flying economy).

Happy flying.

London, United...
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2. Re: First Long Haul Flight

How exciting for you, I still get mega excited to fly and I have done loads of long haul trips

The meal is normally dependant on the time of the flight, id say you might even get lunch as the meal is served about 1.5 - 2 hrs after take off and normally a smaller meal/snack before landing

I recommend getting up and walking around. I use to sit in my seat the whole time as I didn't think you were allowed to but you are and its recommended. as for keeping entertained, they have so much inflight entertainment these days but take a book, ipad, kindle whatever you like to keep you busy

and sit back and relax its a great experience (for most) :)

Colchester, United...
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3. Re: First Long Haul Flight

Hello, hope you have a great trip.

First, I am assuming you are flying economy.

If you not payed to choose your seat, then make sure you are ready to check in at T-24, and don't take your time, if you select the seats and then don't finish check-in someone else make take them.

Be at the airport for 7:00 as you say and don't panic about anything, go to bag drop and then straight to security.

have a look round the shops have a drink, maybe something to eat. You will get food and drink on board, but I always go to Boot's and get a meal deal, sandwich, snack, water for about £4 just so I have something I want to eat in case the food is not to my liking. Also, if they have any specials on sweets, get a couple of bags, just to snack on.

On the plane, have with you what you need, glasses, iPad etc, but don't worry about having everything as you can get up and go to your bag in the overhead if you need anything. I see people with the pocket in front stuffed, never know why!

During the flight just relax, your going on holiday, why stress. Even when you land, if you don't rush you make take longer to get through immigration, so what, maybe it is an hour, yes a pain, but not worth worrying about in the grand scheme of things. i see people literally running to get to immigration, they are near the front, they open a new line and you get there at the same time.

Just enjoy it and relax.

Reading, United...
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4. Re: First Long Haul Flight

How exciting ! I will always remember my first long-haul to China, a very long time ago !

Things have changed a lot over the years but a few points for you.

1. In terms of food, you won't be served the first meal until a good 90-120 minutes in the flight. This should be lunch. You should get a choice of beef or chicken and sometimes something veggie.

Around 90 minutes before landing, you will be served a snack, which most times would be a sandwich with tea or coffee

2. In terms of entertainment, BA's got a pretty decent On-Demand offering. It's the most fancy or elaborate one, we are miles away from Emirates for example, but you will surely find something to keep you busy for a few hours

3. In terms of seating, it's a pretty tight 31 inches legroom in Economy but all in all it's not too bad.

4. If you are subject to move sickness, I would suggest that you get as in front as possible as the back of the plane will move more than the front.

5.Just relax and enjoy !

Stoney Creek
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137 posts
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5. Re: First Long Haul Flight

Hello Carly S

For your long haul flight, this might seem like a silly idea but I think it's very smart. On long trips most people take their shoes off. But, any time you need to get up to stretch or use the facilities, you struggle to put the shoes back on , if you can find them after they've been kick under the seat(after a few hours in the air, the floors if the washrooms can get pretty nasty).

My suggestion is to buy a pair of disposable slippers from the $ (£) store and just throw them away after your flight.

Safe journey

Hanoi, Vietnam
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6. Re: First Long Haul Flight

Use the size of the 747 to your advantage - in other words, get up and about several times, do a little stretching (you can stretch your bum right in your seat), walk back to the galley and ask for extra juice or other snack - worst thing you can do is to sit there in the same seat for 8 hrs. I like to take the Airtrain/Long Island RR connection into Manhattan - cheaper and just as fast as a limo. NYC is sweltering hot this time of year!

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7. Re: First Long Haul Flight

On our recent BA flights they've offered either a chicken or pasta dish in Economy.

Edited: 08 August 2014, 21:00
New Forest, United...
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8. Re: First Long Haul Flight

Hi Carly

Hope you have a great trip. Just check which terminal you are going from. Most BA flights do go from Terminal 5 but some that are linked with American Airlines can go from T 3. Hope it's T 5 for you - it's fab.

I agree with other reviewers- walk around as much as you can on board and if you think your feet will swell up wear some mules or other type of forgiving footwear.

If you can remove your make up and smother you face with moisturiser during the flight and re apply make up just before landing. My skin dehydrates and I look like a museum offering on landing!

BA are quite generous with their booze but try not to over do it as this de hydrates you and make you feel ghastly. Drink plenty of water - remember tea and coffee are diuretics and are not very good for you on these type of flights. I am not preaching - I love a few drinks and my mugs tea - but experience tells me that limiting the booze and loads of water will do the trick.

Hope you have a great trip!

Berkshire, England
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9. Re: First Long Haul Flight

I would recommend taking some snacks on board as airline food is generally pretty awful.

Vancouver, Canada
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10. Re: First Long Haul Flight

How cool for you, to be heading to USA. Due to family in both UK and Aus., we've had our fair share of 9+hr flights.

Watch a movie, catch up on TV, read, nap, eat; listen to music, watch a documentary. If you have favourite ear-buds or headphones, try to fit into your carry-on bag. Generally better than the (free?) inflight headsets.

I always pack a few snacks, especially protein, such as nuts or cheese, and dried fruit. Also, if you're at all fussy about your food, take a look at the BA special meals, britishairways.com/en-us/…special-meals

These need to be ordered 24-48 hrs ahead. One of my traveling companions always orders the Asian Vegetarian meal, to avoid "mystery meat". Sometimes I order Fruit Plate, rather than risk that the "rice" is actually orzo pasta (as has happened on 3 flights in 3 years). You should be able to pick up a snack of cheese, fruit, cold meats, etc., after security. (if you plan to do this, then also bring a container, or at least a zip-close bag to make things a bit neater.

Ditto to the recommendations to get up and move around during the flight. Perhaps pack or purchase thongs/flip-flops to use in-flight.

And drink water. (although I've been known to take several glasses of wine on a 14 hr flight. Generally, with the time change, I try to be ready for the time period where I'm arriving, and am less concerned about where I've left.

Have a great flight!

p.s., I prefer aisle seats, but some folk prefer the window for "leaning"