How to survive long-distance flights in economy class

By David Flynn, June 12 2012
How to survive long-distance flights in economy class

In this week's High Flyer blog for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, AusBT editor David Flynn asks readers to rate the efforts of Qantas and Virgin Australia in their fight for the hearts, wallets and bums of Australia's business travellers.

"Are we there yet?" It's not children making the plaintive plea, but my legs, some 10 hours into a flight where they – and the rest of me – are sandwiched into economy.

On almost any other flight my legs wouldn't be asking this question. If this was a hop to Singapore or Hong Kong I'd already have checked into my hotel and may even be back out on the street.

But I'm on Qantas' flight QF7 from Sydney to Dallas (well, Dallas Fort Worth if you want to be accurate) and there's still more than five hours to go before we touch down in the city of large hats.

This is one of the longest flights in the world. It feels even longer in economy – especially when you don't score a seat with extra legroom.

But business travellers are increasingly having to make international treks down the back of the bus, thanks to the belt-tightening impact of the GFC.

So how do you survive the long haul in the cheap seats?

Head over to this week's High Flyer blog for our top tips plus a swag of great advice from other frequent flyers!


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

I usually like to remove all the junk that they place in the seat pocket (great if A380 upper deck economy where they have the storage bin on the side). It might only give you one extra cm but does make somewhat of a difference.
The problem for me is however whether I prefer to sit in window or aisle. I've done SIN-AKL 10hour flight without goin to the loo in window, I've also done SIN-LHR in aisle with the next pax constantly wanting to go to the loo.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 783

Avoid carriers that use 10-across in B777 and A330 aircraft.

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 543

I'm afraid A330 can't use 10 abreast - 9 abreast is already really tight for a330.

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