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aviation

How to Sleep Like a Baby On a Long Flight

Here are some simple things you can do to make your long-haul journey comfortable.

  1. Say no to carbonated drinks.
    The bubbles in carbonated drinks expand at high altitude, making you feel bloated. Enjoy some fresh fruit juice and plenty of water instead.
    Source: http://www.seriouseats.com/
  2. Don’t chew gum.
    It tends to make you swallow as you chew on it, which can cause gas. Source: http://thewinglet.boardingarea.com/
  3. Eat food that contains Tryptophan.
    Tryptophan is a calming amino acid and food items that carry it in high levels tend to induce sleep naturally. So start munching on dates, cottage cheese, turkey and fish once onboard. Source: Thrillist
  4. Ditch gas-producing foods.
    Gastrointestinal discomfort is one of the biggest problems typically associated with long distance flight. Flatulence can be a cause for discomfort and embarrassment for you as well as your co-passengers. The best course is to cut out on food items belonging to the cruciferous family such as brocolli, cauliflower and potatoes which encourage intestinal expansion.

    Source: http://www.wellnessbyzoe.com.au/
  5. Choose vegetarian meals.
    Vegetarian meals are served first, so you’re done faster, thus cutting out unnecessary wait before you go to sleep. Simple! Source: American Airlines
  6. Eat something light before boarding.
    Rather than a secret, this is more of basic common sense. If you find yourself really tired and don’t want to wait till your meal is served, grab something to eat before you step onboard and let the flight attendant know that you don’t want dinner.
    Goodnight!

    Source: chow.com
  7. Always carry earplugs and an eye mask.
    These wonderful sleeping aids are easily available and affordable too. An inflatable pillow is another good investment.
    Source: Alamy
  8. Choose a window seat.
    The benefits of choosing the window seat is three-pronged. You can lean against a solid surface for support while sleeping and not get disturbed by a co-passenger wanting to go to the loo. Plus, you don’t miss out on the view outside. Source: Thrillist
  9. Try and get a seat up front.
    By getting a seat in the first few rows, you can avoid the disturbance caused by engine noise which is loudest towards the rear. You can do this by checking-in online. Most airlines allow web check-in 24 hours before take off. Source: Telegraph
  10. Don’t be tempted to take a sleeping pill.
    A sleeping tablet can increase the risk of a blood clot from sitting in cramped spaces for too long. Besides, it’s good to be alert, not inert, when flying.
    Source: Huffington Post

This story was published in our Nov-Dec 2012 issue. Re-edit: TS intern Siddharth Birla
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Airbus & Boeing: A Passenger Primer

  • Boeing is American. Airbus is European.
  • Boeings come in the #7 series (747, 777 etc.) Airbus is #3 series (A 330, A 380 etc.)
  • An Airbus has a curved, bulbous nose, while a Boeing has a more pointed nose.
  • Airbus cockpit side windows run in a straight line along the bottom. The side windows of a  Boeing run in a ‘V’ shape along the bottom. Also Airbus aircraft cockpit side windows look like one of their corners have been ‘cut’.
  • Only A340s, A380s and B747s have four engines. All other aircraft have twin engines.

Curious to learn more about the two craft? Read up Arun Rajagopal’s superb blog. This Dubai-based social media manager says he’s ‘crazy about planes,’ and it shows! Find him on http://arunrajagopal.com/

Q: “My feet are swollen from 8 hours of flying. My husband says my black pump shoes are to blame. Is he right?”

A: Yes he is, especially if you wore those shoes throughout your flight.

Learn from Lady Gaga’s mistake:  she reportedly wore a pair of scarily high and tight armadillo shoes on a flight, and soon felt her feet beginning to swell.  The cabin crew immediately made her slip into comfortable slippers, and she was saved from Deep Vein Thrombosis, a very common and life-threatening condition that develops when blood clots form in the veins of the legs.

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