Traveling by flights is almost always a pain in the neck. Well, literally and figuratively. I tend to get out of airports all disoriented and muddled, especially if the plane I’ve just disembarked from is a Singapore Airlines one. Why? Well, my poor brain just can’t seem to handle the pre- and post stress that comes with having to go through multiple security checks, form-filling and baggage claiming. But all this is a piece of cake compared to the trauma I undergo during the flight. Dear Lord, what a horror. 60 movies, 30 television shows, interactive games and 10 radio stations to choose from, and only 4 and a half hours to make the best use of it! Nobody, not even my worst enemy, should be put through such torture.
Fine, I exaggerate…tell me something new, will ya? Anyway, here, friendly reader, is a handy (ahem) to-do list that will help you through the trauma of flying by SA (or any other ‘big’ airlines, for that matter). Oh dear, dear. You’re most welcome. 😉
- Let’s get formalities out of the way first. Pre-flight, check that you have your passport, tickets, yada yada yada, correct number of suitcases, blah blah, tooth-brush, paste, blah blah blah…oh, you know the drill. Or, easier, just follow the simple advice my father and brother always give me before each flight. “If you’ve got your passport and tickets, you’ve got everything you need.” Yep, everything else is replaceable. (I find this much easier to follow, since it conveniently eliminates any stress caused by wondering if I’ve packed everything I need. Trust me, the wondering…it can drive you crazy.)
- Make sure you rest the previous day. Get a lot of sleep, enough to last you through the entire flight, however long it is (unless it’s one of those crazy over-12-hours flights that you make across continents – remind me to never take one of those again!). Don’t let the nice, soft purple pillow or the comfy blue blanket in your seat tempt you. You have a limited amount of time to make best use of the limitless entertainment on board. You do not want to come out of the flight and tell your parents/friends/siblings that you spent 4 and a half hours on an SA flight, sleeping. I’ve been there, and trust me, it’s not a nice place to be. *shudders at memory*
- Look presentable. Make sure you spend some time grooming yourself before your flight. If you’re flying by a popular airlines, chances are you’ll meet a celebrity (fat chance, more like) or better, you’ll meet a cute/handsome/beautiful/smart/funny (choose desired combination) person on the flight or in the airport. And when you meet said person, you want to look your best, right? Right? Love at first flight. Ah, what a romantic story to tell your grandchildren! (Plus if, by a twisted turn of fate, you end up on a beautiful, deserted island, a la LOST, a nice set of clothes will come in very handy to trample about in the jungles in for the first few days, as you go around foraging for food and fending off monsters, at least until you find your luggage in the giant mess. Always camera-friendly, we are!)
- Do not eat before the flight. This serves two purposes. For the queasy flyer – when you feel like throwing up or actually do so during the course of the flight, you do not want to be burdened by a stomach full of food. Quite gross, don’t you agree? For the non-queasy flyer (like me) – they (Evil Airlines People) are going to stuff you with drinks, snacks, more drinks, and a full course meal (this, of course, varies with the time of departure and arrival). A dinner at Burger King before your flight won’t leave you with much of an appetite for the aforementioned, and that would just be sad. Because sometimes, you gotta go with the Indian mentality: “If you’re paying for it, you might as well enjoy it.”
- Always have a seat preference. Aisle or window. (People don’t actually prefer a middle seat, do they? Unless it’s between two people they know?) ‘Cuz if you don’t tell the pretty lady behind the check-in counter that you want a particular type of seat, she’s just gonna give you a nice, charming smile, and continue with her work. But you know what’s going on in her head – “Ha! Middle seat! Muahahahahaha!” Ok, maybe without the “Muahahahaha” part, but you know she just wants to push you into that middle seat nobody ever seems to want. Next thing you know, you’re sitting in between two large, bald men who keep asking the air-hostess for more beer. Don’t give in. Demand for a seat of your preference. Have the choice of sitting next to one drunk, bald man instead of two. Don’t let them (Evil Airlines People…who else?) win.
- Brush up on your mathematics. A quick revision of ‘Permutations and Combinations’ won’t harm you. It is always best to know exactly how many combinations of movies and TV shows you can watch within your flight time. Account for time spent before take off and landing, time in the loo (avoid this if possible – go to the loo beforehand!) and rewatches (because horror of horrors, SA now allows you to fast-forward, rewind, pause, replay and restart anything you want, so there’s no chance of you missing anything because you didn’t start watching in time). Plan your strategy, your mode of attack, and proceed with the plan in an accurate fashion. If all goes well, you should be able to make the best use of your time and watch/listen to as much as is humanly possible.
- Lay off the movies for at least a week before your journey. You’re gonna need all your strength to get through as many movies as possible on the flight, and it’s advantageous to have a clean slate to start over with. It might not be apparent, but digesting a movie is pretty hard work…and you’ve got 60 to wade through. Good luck.
- Let your hand-baggage be big, so you can stuff in those cute little water bottles that they give you during meals or that delightful in-flight magazine you really enjoyed. They’re free! Nah, I’m just kidding. Don’t do anything like that. It’s wrong. *shifty look*
Ahem. So then. Follow this simple set of instructions and you’ll have a safe, pleasant and enjoyable journey. I hope. That’s about all I have for now. Do you have any handy tips you’d like to share, dear reader? 😉