How to survive a transatlantic flight

I didn’t think I would write something like this until I had to experience the worst flight of my life. I’m not kidding, it’s a scary story. Right now, I’m still recovering from jet lag which makes it even worse – but hey, we made it.

There was nothing wrong with the first flight. It was a calm flight, everything went well and I didn’t feel a thing – until the last hour. There was too much wind during landing and the plane went up and down. It didn’t stop. You need a strong stomach to get through this. The second flight was a different story. Have you ever had turbulence for 7 hours in a row (literally – like it will never end)? To make it even worse, they switched off all the lights to make it look like we were about to crash or something. Imagine a lot of noise, flashing lights and a shaking airplane. Sounds like a nightmare, right? It was.

If this would have been your first experience in a plane – well, I don’t think you would ever want to fly again and I wouldn’t even blame you. That’s exactly how I felt after that flight.

If you’re one of those people who’s terrified to get on a plane, well maybe you shouldn’t read this (unless you’re really curious).

Advice is different for everyone. Some people enjoy flying so much that they could easily hop on a plane every week, other people feel like dying before departure and others just get sick. That’s the way it is.

You could take pills (or should I say “drugs” to make it easier – the kind that makes you want to sleep for 8 hours). It might help if you get sick easily, although I can’t say I ever tried it.

Other than that, there are so many stories about flying and how to make your flight a little better. Is there any truth in those stories? One of the stories would be the one that says “don’t sit at the back of the plane” and that’s where my advice starts.

1. Don’t sit at the back of the plane

Just don’t. Try to avoid this at all costs. Ever heard about turbulence being worse at the back? Well, it’s true – not to mention the noise that turns you into a deaf person (don’t forget to bring earplugs and prepare yourself to start yelling to the person next to you – having a normal conversation is pretty much impossible here).

I was “lucky” enough to end up at the back row of the plane and it was my own choice. I booked those seats because I was hoping to be more comfortable and to be able to sleep a little bit (and also hoping that we would have 3 seats to ourselves –  I mean, who would take that one seat at the back?! – think again, that plan didn’t work).

But if that’s one of the worst places, what would be the best place?

2. Try to sit at the emergency exit

I’m pretty tall so I need space. Also, I have this habit of starting to feel a bit claustrophobic. Is there any place worse to feel claustrophobic than a plane? Yes, an elevator maybe, but have you ever been in an elevator for 8 hours? Right, I don’t think so.

Legroom is a luxury on a plane and believe me, the seats at the emergency exit have plenty of legroom.

These seats are a bit more expensive than the ordinary economy class but do you want to feel comfortable or not?!

3. Ask for a paper bag

Just in case. You never know. It’s scary when you feel like getting sick and you can’t find a paper bag. So scary.

4. Keep breathing

Last but not least, keep breathing. At all times. I’m actually serious about this. Trust me, you don’t want to have a panic attack on an 8-hour flight. You just have to convince yourself that it will end – eventually. That’s what I kept telling myself all the time.

 

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