Sunday, July 22, 2007

The 11 Commandements

Jetting off on a trip sometime soon? Keen to make the whole business as pain-free as possible? The follow the 11 commandments for ensure you have the best possible chance of arriving in something approaching reasonable shape.

1. Babies. Watch out for those adorable little bundles of joy. Losing sleep is the parents' job, not yours. Avoid seats near the bulkheads, that's where the carry cots will be located. Take a look at for the best and worst seats on each aircraft type. Use the information you have with your carrier's online check-in system and bag a good pew. And remember, the seats at the back don't recline and are closest to the toilets - thinks queues and disturbance.

2. Wiedo's. Don't fancy the person next to you? Avoid the problem aith and ensure a sympatico soul is seated adjacent.

3. Upgrade. Get on the frequent flyer programme, it'll help get you sent up to the plush cabin. And arrive late - once economy is jammed full the upgrades will be easier to score.

4. Head for the daylight. Keep jetlag at bay by controlling your exposure to light. Try for a guide to when to seek and avoid light. A window seat offers you the best chance of regulating your exposure and minimising the lag. And use a natty eye mask to keep it dark when you're asleep.

5. Stretch those legs. Try to avoid close pitch seating to give your knees a break. Check out for details of the space available between seats on each airline. Thai Airways, Malaysia Airways and Air New Zealand all give you 34 inches in ecomony...on Airtour, Monarch, Air 2000 and bmi baby it's 29.

6. Fuel Up. Keep the food going in, but stick to bananas, dried fuit and similar slow release foods to help with anxiety.

7. Keep the blood flowing. Deep Vein Thrombosis affects approx 1 in 2000 flyers. Aspirin and pressure stockings help, but best of all take regular walks around the cabin.

8. Don't get separated. Make sure you get seated with your nearest and dearest by bagging your seats early with the one-line check-in facility for your airline, so you've chosen your seats and printed your boarding pass before even getting to the airport.

9. Hydrate. Don't turn into a cream cracker in the dry cabin air (30% drier than atmospheric) and get the splitting headache that goes with it. Aim to glug 500ml per hour of still water. And stay off too much booze, it'll only dehydrate you more.

10. Munchies. Take the fish option at mealtime - all that omega 3 is claimed to help with anger and stressful situations. Both things you will probably experience on arrival if not before.

11. Go Veggie. Special order food, such as vegetarian, is usually served first, so you get your meal ahead of schedule and can then settle down for a snooze and disgest it fully before you get to your destination.

Happy landings!

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