Simple Long Haul Flight Tips To Consider

What Is A Long Haul Flight

To be honest, there are many different definitions of what is classed as a ‘long haul’ flight and even the airlines differ in what they regard as a ‘long haul’. Most airlines categorise their flights as ‘Short Haul’, Medium Haul’ and ‘Long Haul’. However, heir are some airlines that now categorise some flights ‘Ultra Long Haul’.

Short Haul: Under 3 hours

Medium Haul: Between 3 – 6 hours

Long Haul: Over 6 hours or 6 hours – 12 hours (with some airlines who use ‘Ultra Long Haul’)

Ultra Long Haul: Over 12 hours

Long Haul Flight TipsMany people dread the thought of a long haul flight because they think that the time will go so slow and they will be bored. Yes, this will certainly be the case if you have nothing to do but if you do a little forward planning prior to your flight, then you will be amazed at just how quickly your fly passes.

However, the first thing you should really think about before anything else when planning for a long haul flight is your health. It is far better to be bored but healthy on a flight than the other way around!!


Health Risks On A Long Haul Flight

The first thing you should take into consideration is your health and it is advisable for you to visit your Doctor to ensure that you are safe to fly, if you have any medical conditions that you think may be at risk, especially on a long haul flight. Making sure that yours and your families’ health is protected, is paramount and far more important than being bored for a few hours!

Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

There are several potential medical risks associated with long haul flights such as Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT). DVT can occur on long haul flight, in fact it can occur on short haul flights too but on long haul flights, it is very important that you keep your legs and blood circulation moving. Sitting for long periods of time can cause DVT, so it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with all the ‘Anti DVT exercises’ you can do whilst you are on a flight to prevent DVT. Certain people may be more prone to DVT, especially if they have ongoing medical issues and once again, it is advisable to seek professional medical advice if you have any concern about your own health.

NHS – Preventing DVT

Flight Socks

It is certainly advisable to wear a pair of Flight Socks if you are travelling on a long haul flight regardless. Even if you believe you are fit and well and do not think you are at high risk from DVT, prevention is certainly better than the cure!

Flight Socks or Compression Stockings are really good to help reduce the risk of DVT during your long haul flight as they apply gentle pressure to your ankles which helps blood flow. They are not expensive and a very small price to pay for your own peace of mind and safety. However, Flight Socks do come in a variety of different sizes and it is essential that you have the correct size and that they are worn correctly. In correct fitting socks may cause further risk and once again, if you are in doubt, seek advice from a medical professional.


Due to the low humidity inside the aircraft, it is much easier for your body to become dehydrated. Becoming dehydrated can cause a number of different problems ranging from mild discomfort to life threatening problems for some people. Dehydration also makes your body more susceptible to catching other viruses such as colds.

There are several different ways you can keep your body hydrated during a flight and below are just a few of the more common ways to prevent dehydration during your flight.

Drink Plenty Of Water: As you can imagine, one of the best ways to keep your body hydrated during a flight is to simply drink plenty of water. It is a good idea to buy a large bottle of water before you board your flight from one of the shops inside the Departure lounge (remember, you cannot take more than 100ml of liquid through Security, so you will have to purchase it from a shop ‘Airside’ in the Departures Lounge past Security). It is recommended that you sip the water at regular intervals throughout your flight, many experts recommend 8oz (ounces) of water every hour of your flight.

However, all though you should ensure you drink plenty of fluids, some are not beneficial such as alcohol and drinks with caffeine in them, which can dehydrate you.

Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation or Jet lag, is a very common occurrence on long haul flights and there are ways you can help combat or prevent jet lag. Long haul flights generally mean travelling through different time zones, so it is essential to understand what jet lag is and how you can reduce the risk of getting it.  You can read more about jet lag on the following page: How To Prevent Jet Lag

Price And Booking Your Long Haul Flight

There is one thing you need to get used when looking for a long haul flight and that is there will not be any ‘Low Cost’ airlines offering long haul flights. The reality is that if you are wishing to fly to a faraway destination that requires a long haul flight, the cost of your flight is going to be much higher than a short haul flight. Yes, there are many different airlines offering flights to the same destinations and routes and the flight prices will vary so it is always a good idea to shop around to find the best price. However, do not just purchase a flight on the cheapest price alone. Remember, you will be on the aircraft for a long time and before you book your flight, do a little research to see which airlines offer the best services and value for your money. The low cost, no thrills airlines are great when you only need to be sat on them for a couple of hours but when you are on an aircraft for over 10 hours, believe me you want a few essential services. You certainly want to be fed, you definitely want drinks available and if possible, you want entertainment. Take into consideration what the airline has to offer in terms of seating arrangements, inflight entertainment, meals, drinks and the inflight service. Read what other passengers who have flown with the airline have to say about the service and then make your judgement based on all the fore mentioned. It is sometimes worth paying a little more for comfort and to ensure you have an enjoyable flight that scrimp on price and be miserable!