Surviving a Long Flight


Guess where I am?

In a sea of chatty strangers. The thought of air travel often fills me with shaky anticipation and quivering trepidation, many times due to being trapped in an economy seat beside or near jerks on a plane. Sure everyone has the right to chat, but if they are right behind you and talking so loudly that those up in first class can hear, well that can make the flight that much longer. Trying to watch a movie and all you hear is those two noisy passengers. You just want to blurt out, “Use your inside voice, please.”

How about those that push and shove to the front of the line when ready to board? Yikes, it is not like they are going anywhere faster. I have Sky Priority boarding and even in that line they rush to the front of the line.

Then there is the guy behind you that kicks the seat endlessly as if he is the only one in discomfort. I am often a little worried about being excessively fidgety on a long flight. Many times I am, but I refrain from kicking the seat in front of me.


You would think being fidgety and worried means I lose my appetite. Some people swear by fasting for those hours-on-end flights (some flights offer no food either, like the one I am on now), but I enjoy eating a meal on a plane. Not that the food is special because I often do not like the food, but anticipating its arrival as its wheeled down the aisle just makes my flight. Barbara suggested we get a sandwich before the long flight to bring along. Very good idea, but my sandwich got mushy before Detroit.

I kinda look to the food to provide the needed diversion which again, passes time. I just pretend like it’s a fancy restaurant even though usually far from it when getting airline food.

Plane travel is the best excuse to binge-watch stupid movies which at any other time is a great waste of precious time. Our Delta flight has a few newer movie choices, like the Martian and Steve Jobs. Great selection compared to previous flights.


Usually, my travel companions like to pass the time by reading, but the movies were better than normal, so we settled on watching for five hours. Getting motion sickness from reading on any form of moving transportation – well, that is out for me.


While my one friend dresses in comfortable clothing to facilitate restful sleep, I tend to dress as closely to what I want to be wearing when I reach my destination. Since I am off to a very warm, shorts wearing locale and coming from the snowy, frigid northeast, it does threaten to throw a slight kink in my normal plan.


Lots of snow in Buffalo today so the need to dress warm won out. Just layering it to at least not arrive in Maui dressed for the arctic.


Having heart and circulation problems, it is imperative to drink lots of water, especially 35,000 feet in the air. So, I bring an empty water bottle and kindly ask the flight attendant to refill it. I add iced tea mix and am good to go.

I’m the one person awake on these dark, early am flights. These red-eye flights really take a toll on me. I type away with WiFi to keep me occupied.


During daylight hours on long-haul flights, I get busy with my camera. I rarely show the candid airport and air flight photos I take, but it gives me something to do. The shots out the little, dirty window, well those I like to show. Above, a shot from my comfort seat. First Class is two rows up. My friend and I are flying free with miles. Great life, no?

Breathing in the recycled air has an euphoric effect on my writing abilities as I am soaring high above the clouds. Probably the elevated O² levels, or depleted O² whichever. Life seems to have more meaning as my mind wanders hours on end. That, or I am tired just enough to think it does as my lids grow heavy and my energy drains. Can’t wait to de-plane, even though it is around midnight, Maui time. All blue-sky images of flying into Maui are from last year’s trip. You get this post before I land. No WiFi on the Alaska Airlines flight.


About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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22 Responses to Surviving a Long Flight

  1. jiminpanama says:

    Long flights beat long layovers. Enjoy your trip!

  2. alesiablogs says:

    good thing you took those since you are arriving so late this time!!

  3. Anisa says:

    It also annoys me when there are crying babies on the flight. For some reason, I feel like they always get seated by me. Just me luck.

  4. swo8 says:

    I hope you get up and move around, Donna. Those long flights are a bad for blood clots.
    Keep taking those pictures because I’m living vicariously at the moment.

  5. It’s so cool that you can do so much in an airplane now. Yes, I like the meals on an airplane, too. Even when we take a long car drive, I like to pack snacks. It does break up the boredom. Have a wonderful time!

  6. Sending many smiles to accompany you, to landing! 😉

  7. Indie says:

    Long flights can be brutal! I don’t mind flying if I fly without kids, though, as time without little kids is quite valuable 🙂 I too get motion sickness quite badly, but I’ve found that with a third or half of a dramamine pill I can read and such without getting too sleepy. Enjoy Hawaii! Can you imagine traveling back when before cars and planes where it would take months to get anywhere?

  8. Paul Caron says:

    A pleasure reading your details on flights in general, Donna! We are taking our 5 yo daughter on a plane ride from California to Alaska, her first long flight. You helped me think about some important details. Enjoy!

  9. aussiebirder says:

    Thanks for sharing your interesting musings in flight Donna. It is an unusual situation being in a small box with so many different people and limited things to do. It more difficult for us active ones, especially the creative ones who love to live more actively. You shared some useful and pertinent points,thanks for sharing, and I pray you arrive safely, and well.:-)

  10. I hope by now you have landed and are entirely comfortable. As a larger person, I dread long plane flights. It’s true that the meal and drink carts are a major diversion while flying. For some reason I can’t make myself watch movies. Reading and snoozing are the main activities that I resort to.

  11. Denise says:

    All the things you mention make me avoid long flights. The food does provide a welcome diversion. But I hate it when the person in front of me decides to recline the seat while I am still sitting there with my food tray in front of me; most uncomfortable.

  12. Yes, I remember the flights to and from the Hawaiian islands being tough. Like you, we traveled from winter cold to tropical warmth, so layers were helpful. Thinking about you, and hoping you have a wonderful trip!

  13. Victor Ho says:

    Everything is relative. I flew east to west coast – six hours – an eternity…. till i flew Jeddah to LA. Sixteen hours. Close the door and sixteen hours. Movies, books, music, food – you name it. We flew over Greenland. That was neat and unique. Now the flight from Jeddah to Washington is about twelve – piece of cake.

  14. Long flights are really difficult to cope with. I’m a light sleeper so it’s difficult for me to fall asleep. Watching films is the best options for me but at one point, i always feel achy from everywhere 😦

  15. You’ve summed up all my feelings of flying!

  16. I hope you are enjoying a fabulous vacation, Donna. Having taken numerous flights across the Atlantic I empathize with you. It’s certainly less traumatic if you fly first class — that’s how I use my miles rather than for free flights. And the food is better than in coach. Safe travels home. P. x

  17. I dress comfortable in layers too if I am deplaning in a warm spot. And I read, listen to music on my ipod, watch movies, and write poetry….I also take air sick pills which make me sleepy. I drink lots of water and bring healthy snack food to munch on….sometimes if I have a window seat, I watch the world go by 35,000 ft up. Enjoy your time away.

  18. debsgarden says:

    Enjoy your vacation! I am jealous! I enjoy those in-flight meals, too, though the last flight that provided that service for me was a 24 hr. flight to the other side of the planet. When I made the short hop from Alabama to California, I got peanuts. However, I would fly to Hawaii even without peanuts! I once had a seat next to a morbidly obese woman whose body encroached well into my space. I was jammed between her and the side of the airplane, and at first I was irritated. She was also quite chatty, but when I started listening, I found that she had a great personality. I actually enjoyed talking to her. The WORSE experience was when I was within a couple rows of a two year old who was in the grips of the fiercest tantrum I ever witnessed. I thought we were going to have to make an emergency landing. The entire plane was traumatized. Even the pilot came on to request that we all show patience. I felt so sorry for the mother!

  19. I fly a lot of Alaska flights and they usually have pretty decent Wi Fi…Enjoy the beach and the wonderful sun.

  20. Now that you have survived the long flight, I hope you are having a fabulous vacation. I will look forward to some wonderful photographs of your trip!

  21. Maria F. says:

    I really enjoyed the out-of-window images of the clouds! It sounds like a great time to relax in a tropical place!

  22. Karen says:

    The trials and tribulations of flying can sometimes be daunting but the return is much greater at the end of one’s journey. Enjoy the sun and warmth.

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