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What to do on a long airline flight?

  1. May 30, 2013 #1
    All,

    I have to fly from Pittsburgh to San Francisco next month and I am not a comfortable flyer. My phone battery will only last about 2 hours (in aircraft mode of course) and my lap top battery lasts about 10 minutes. I am an avid reader so that might help.

    Any suggestions of books that don't involve airplane crashes/terrorists?

    Thanks
    Matt
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 30, 2013 #2
    I can never get comfortable on flights either. Never been able to sleep. Domestic don't have any movies. So bring a tablet or dvd player and watch a movie. That kills 2 hours right there. Close your eyes for a bit, 30min. Read a magazine, 1 hour. Talk to your neighbor 30min. That's it, you've arrived :)
     
  4. May 30, 2013 #3

    FlexGunship

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    Joust.





    Joking aside, I bring word and number puzzles that don't require a battery. Sudoku, crosswords, et cetera. I also bring a Rubik's cube (my speed cube) and solve it a few times. It's a lame conversation starter, but can also be a little relaxing because it's so repetitive.

    I also bring tons of music and music sources. For me this means my Nexus 7 tablet (or, previously, my Kindle Fire), both of my smart phones (iPhone 4S and Droid 3), and my iPod. If there's in-flight WiFi, I almost always purchase it just for Pandora, Spotify, Slacker, my Amazon Music account, or (of course) the new Google Play Music service. With WiFi comes Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime movies.

    My tablet has quickly become my "go to " source of media consumption on a flight. I highly recommend the Nexus 7; it's ridiculously cost competitive and it certainly the best non-Amazon 7" tablet. I had a Kindle Fire originally and it was really good, too... so I'd be willing to be the new Kindle Fire HDs are decent. Either way, it's a small price for an amazing ROI.
     
  5. May 30, 2013 #4

    ZapperZ

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    You might need to get a tablet that has a longer battery life than what you have. The original iPad (rather than the mini) has a 10-hour battery life, which should get you through such a flight.

    I've been on a 15-hour flight (Chicago and Hong Kong) and 17 1/2-hour flight (Newark and Singapore). Luckily, those long flights have airplanes equipped with power outlets.

    Zz.
     
  6. May 30, 2013 #5

    nsaspook

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    Sleep.
    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/how-to-sleep-on-a-plane/

    When I travelled a good fraction of a million miles a year (US -> Asia -> ?) , getting drunk and not sleeping the night before the flight would put me in a coma from the airplanes background noise and vibration. I'd usually wake-up hungry and ready to work.
     
  7. May 30, 2013 #6

    Fredrik

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    I think the most effective way to pass time on planes is to solve math problems. Seriously.

    Edit: Of course sleep would be even better, but like Greg, I'm unable to sleep on in an airplane chair. There's just no way to sit comfortably enough.
     
  8. May 30, 2013 #7

    lisab

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    I hate flying, I just sit there and sigh loudly every 10 seconds or so.

    It's probably worth it to splurge on one of those rental console thingies. I've never done it, I'm ultimately too frugal, but at about hour 2 in a long flight I always say, Next time I'm getting one! They have movies, games, etc.
     
  9. May 30, 2013 #8

    FlexGunship

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    Help me with this... I've heard it said before, but I can't imagine coming close to a million miles a year. A few years ago, I traveled A LOT for work and I would hit about 100,000 miles a year. But even with a 7,000 mile flight to Shanghai (from Boston) which is probably 20 hours, including security and customs, you'd have to make that trip almost every other day to hit a million miles. 145 times a year, in fact. If you do the math, this pattern: "travel to Shanghai, stay one day, travel back, stay at home two days, travel back to Shanghai, stay one day, repeat" doesn't even get you to a million miles in a year.

    EDIT: Oh! And on any flight over 6 hours, first class is always worth it. Seriously. Trade in Amex points, frequent flyer miles, just do anything... make it happen...
     
  10. May 30, 2013 #9
    Thanks guys! I might have to invest in a tablet....
     
  11. May 30, 2013 #10

    nsaspook

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    You're right, it only felt like a full million miles but it was a huge amount of flight time sometimes on planes that are not very comfortable with no points or frequent flyer miles like C-141 or C5A flights from Guam, Japan or Clark AFB in the Philippines to some dot in the ocean like Diego Garcia, quickly complete my job then move on as soon as possible to the next job.

    I travelled light and usually had no problems with security or customs.
    http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5058/5411900043_fe810926fb.jpg

    I had it written in my contract to only fly first or business class on commercial flights. :zzz:
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2013
  12. May 30, 2013 #11
    If I could upgrade to first class I would. I am not a frequent flyer mainly because I don't like to fly so I don't have many points yet on my Amex card. Next trip will be to Chicago and then back out to the west coast, north of Seattle.

    Since I am going to a class on using OpenFOAM, (an open-source fluid dynamics program) I should solve some fluid problems on the flight. Good advice, Fredrik!
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2013
  13. May 30, 2013 #12

    jim hardy

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  14. May 30, 2013 #13

    FlexGunship

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    Just be prepared for a lot of strange looks.
     
  15. May 30, 2013 #14

    George Jones

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    Worry about deep vein thrombosis.

    http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/healthy_living_fit_facts_content.aspx?itemid=290

    Seriously. My brother got this while flying from Moscow to Toronto. I don't know if it was a direct flight. For while, his doctor was very concerned.

    In Canada, (at least some) long domestic flights have movies. Flights that I took from Vancouver to Montreal and from Toronto to Vancouver both had movies.
     
  16. May 30, 2013 #15
    I think I will just act like "there is ... some ... thing.... on ...the wing!" :)
     
  17. May 30, 2013 #16

    nsaspook

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    Just be quiet and watch the movie.
    [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  18. May 30, 2013 #17

    Astronuc

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    United usually has movies on most of their aircraft. I fly a lot from the E coast to W coast. One has to buy meals in coach.

    Otherwise, I read. Sometimes I've worked on my computer.

    I'd recommend getting a new battery that lasts at 4 hrs. Usually one can't use 'portable electronic devices' during the first and last 20 or so minutes of flight, so 4 hrs is good.
     
  19. May 30, 2013 #18
    Get some valium and you'll be just fine.
     
  20. Jun 10, 2013 #19
    I just tried to change this flight and get an earlier flight out and it is very expensive to change. It is so expensive, I just said "thanks but lets keep it the same." Now I have to find a way to waste an entire week day in San Francisco. I don't think it will be hard.
     
  21. Jun 10, 2013 #20

    turbo

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    My wife has a Kindle Fire that has a lot of games on it, and the battery life appears to be pretty good. Just a suggestion.
     
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