While Qantas previously held the world’s longest flight in 2014 with a nearly 16-hour route from Dallas to Sydney, the airline recently announced new plans for a 19-hour journey from London and New York to Sydney.
While this may sound like a tedious (or downright nightmarish) plane ride for some, it’s an innovative and smart way to travel for others. When it comes to actually making it through these flights, the effects on the body and high price might have travellers wondering whether it’s such a good idea.
A smart idea for many
While the proposed Qantas route is a staggering 19 hours, several flights have done similar long-hauls in the past – like the 18 hour Singapore Airlines flight from Singapore to Newark. While many prefer to break their long-haul journey up with layovers, getting the journey over within one flight has its perks – even if it is more expensive. For business people, this way of travel is ideal when it’s necessary to be in one location the next day – and for others, hopping on one long-haul flight is simply easier, and can reduce the fear of missing a connection or loss of baggage. Qantas baggage allowance is included in every fare, so travellers have peace of mind when it comes to their belongings. There are also added benefits of these flights running overnight, which makes it easier to deal with jetlag. Overall, the convenience of these long flights makes them ideal for many different situations – despite what they do to the human body.
Long flights and the human body
One of the biggest concerns of ultra-long-haul routes is how exactly they affect the passengers and crew. We already know that sitting too long on a flight can increase risks of Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT, a condition where blood clots can form when blood isn’t circulating properly – but there’s more to it than that. Long-haul flights are also extremely drying to the body, which can contribute to dehydration. Cabin pressure can also cause a lack of focus and headaches, which is the exact reason Qantas is preparing for the record-breaking flight with test flights, where they will monitor how the body deals with 19 hours of flight, including sleeping patterns, brain waves, and food consumption.
How you can prepare
If you’re planning on taking a long-haul flight in the near future, it’s important to show up to the gate prepared. Along with a bottle of water, it’s a good idea to wear compression socks to combat the inevitable swelling, not to mention they can reduce your risk of DVT. It’s also a good idea to plan how you will spend your time in the sky. Many frequent fliers suggest breaking up the time by sleeping in intervals, watching films, and frequent stretching to keep the blood flowing.
New and innovative things are constantly happening in the travel industry, with extra long-haul flights being one of them. While many may not be ‘on board’ with the idea, it’s safe to say that it’s a smart travel choice for many situations.
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