#1 6-7-2017 9:07 PM

jacobi
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In Flight Non-Entertainment

So with regards to my recent travels to Greece, the first flight leg was over 13 hours from Melbourne to Dubai. Having a bad back this flight almost drove me mental. I can't sleep on planes and I'd boarded it at about 4:45am, so I was already really tired as I live almost two hours away from the airport. I was a mess by the time I got to Athens.

Anyway, for the trip home I made inquiries about an upgrade or possibly having a spare seat next to me to stretch a little. Well, seems like free upgrades don't exist these days and I couldn't afford the extra $2500, but as the plane was only 60% full, I was incredibly lucky to have four straight seats to myself. A lot of people had at least one empty seat next to them. I was ecstatic and could sleep most of the way home.

What bemused me was when one woman who already had the luxury of being able to occupy three seats asked if I wanted to swap into her seats. WTF? I was almost a foot taller than her. Why did she need a fourth seat? Anyway, I said no and that I needed to stretch out because of my back. I initially felt bad, but made myself dismiss this feeling. I covered my eyes, plugged my ears and slept as much as I could. Jack Daniels helped a bit too.

How have your flights been for you?

 

#2 6-7-2017 10:33 PM

sarahelaine
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Manchester, England
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Re: In Flight Non-Entertainment

Bless- I literally cannot remember the last time I had a vacant seat next to me, even going to Africa I was on full flights. No luck there! And I haven't been upgraded since 2010, but I'm rarely alone and rarely on quiet routes.

My last two trips have been wedged in a middle seat with my baby on my lap. Budget airlines where we were not the only family with little ones. No inflight entertainment because they were short haul, and cosy even for me at 5'2". I don't expect much more than a bus in the air from those flights- edible food is a bonus. My last long haul was with Malaysia, and it was good as these things go- plenty of movies to catch up on, decent leg room for economy and decent food. But I don't really ever expect more than a comfortable bus with films even then. If I want luxury I'm going to have to think of some brilliant business idea and make more money!

 

#3 6-7-2017 11:37 PM

shavy
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Belgium
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Re: In Flight Non-Entertainment

I just return from Mynamar flying with Emirates via Dubai our flight departs from Yangon at 2 am the plane came from Hanoi so there were already passengers onboard, I reserve our seats in advance and choose mostly at the rear near the toilets

So after everyone is onboard I see the plane is half full and so lucky 4 seats next to me are empty. I move  and lying down and I sleep for more than 5 hours. The next leg of our flight Dubai- Brussels we're not so lucky the plane is full, so a more than 6 hour uncomfortable flight. I hate when flying smile . But, Emirates has more leg room.

We were on flight with Alitalia last December to Chile it was horribly cramped seat I think if you are taller than 6 ft you won't fit in that seat you will cracking your leg by the end of your trip. I walk around for a week in Chile with a swelling feet. Onboard entertainment didn't work, air hostess were rude it was a 17 hour suffering flight. Never flying again with Alitalia, was the first and last time with that airline. We are going to fly with Iberia in a couple of months back to South America it will be our frist time with the airlines so we will see.

We flying with different airlines on our trips-  the nicest and very comfortable airlines on economy class is Turkish airlines. It was a very comfortable flight to Japan, but they flying via Istanbul and I really don't liked flying overthere big_smile

Last edited by shavy (6-7-2017 11:59 PM)

 

#4 6-8-2017 12:05 AM

jacobi
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Re: In Flight Non-Entertainment

sarahelaine wrote:

....... with my baby on my lap..... If I want luxury I'm going to have to think of some brilliant business idea and make more money!

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention there were two screaming kids on the flight, but I plugged me ears and eventually they stopped, so thank goodness for that. And yeah, I think I'd like to be rich and travel first class.

shavy wrote:

..... the rear near the toilets........ Emirates has more leg room........ big_smile

On the Athens - Dubai leg I was right down the back next to the toilet, which I wouldn't have minded too much usually, but something was wrong with the toilet and it was extra loud when flushing which was really irritating. Also, I didn't like the queue for the toilet hanging around my seat. I like Emirates also.

 

#5 6-8-2017 1:55 AM

sarahelaine
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Manchester, England
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Re: In Flight Non-Entertainment

..... with my baby on my lap..... If I want luxury I'm going to have to think of some brilliant business idea and make more money!
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention there were two screaming kids on the flight, but I plugged me ears and eventually they stopped, so thank goodness for that. And yeah, I think I'd like to be rich and travel first class.

Well, I'm glad to say James didn't scream at all- not that I am super parent at all, it's just that at the time he was tiny and I could still get him to drink some milk at take off and landing so his ears didn't hurt, and then go to sleep. This time around we're going to Turkey and he's almost two, so I will just have to hope for the best- plan is to load up some sort of electronic device with as many Kung Fu Panda videos and Sesame Street songs as possible and hope we have nice people sitting near by.

I don't usually mind little babies- they can't help it- it's when you have some kid that's old enough to know better (or worse still adults) acting up. I've been stuck on flights with overexcited hen (bachelorette) parties before, drunk off their pink clad heads, and either starting one AM sing songs or screaming through a totally uneventful landing. Then there was the Glaswegian man who spent about twenty minutes bellowing about how he had never understood how anyone could sleep on planes as it was far too exciting (because it's midnight, maybe?). The prize for that isn't my story and I wasn't there, but my husband swears he was on his first flight to Asia when the guy next to him started a loud, unstoppable midnight lecture about the best places in Thailand to find under-age prostitutes, and husband couldn't get him to shut up. He was too young at the time to just say "shut up, you sicko" and he was genuinely worried people would think they knew each other and think he was condoning it.

Last edited by sarahelaine (6-8-2017 1:55 AM)

 

#6 6-8-2017 2:40 AM

stefmuts
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Re: In Flight Non-Entertainment

Last time I had the luxury of empty seats in a plane was 2005 returning from Beijing
I'm really glad I don't have back problems, I'm average hight and I have no trouble sleeping in planes but leg room seems to get smaller and smaller though Last years flight to Rome I only had just enough space to be comfortable or maybe it's because it was a short (cheap) flight

 

#7 6-8-2017 8:34 PM

jacobi
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Re: In Flight Non-Entertainment

sarahelaine wrote:

........The prize for that isn't my story and I wasn't there, but my husband swears he was on his first flight to Asia when the guy next to him started a loud, unstoppable midnight lecture about the best places in Thailand to find under-age prostitutes, and husband couldn't get him to shut up. He was too young at the time to just say "shut up, you sicko" and he was genuinely worried people would think they knew each other and think he was condoning it.

Yeah, one thing I like as I get older, I don't hold back in telling people what's not on.

stefmuts wrote:

Last time I had the luxury of empty seats in a plane was 2005 returning from Beijing
I'm really glad I don't have back problems, I'm average hight and I have no trouble sleeping in planes but leg room seems to get smaller and smaller though Last years flight to Rome I only had just enough space to be comfortable or maybe it's because it was a short (cheap) flight

I hate getting no the plane and noticing within minutes that some people are already snoring around me. I'm like "seriously?" lol

 

#8 6-8-2017 9:16 PM

Apurva_N
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Re: In Flight Non-Entertainment

I've had a lot of mixed experiences with flight comfort. This March, I flew Japan Airlines - which probably has one of the best leg rooms I've ever seen on a flight. On the way to Japan, I was in a middle seat, squeezed between two largish people. On the way back, I had two empty seats next to me - so I reclined and thoroughly enjoyed the trip, with some great Japanese plum wine for company.

My best experiences were, of course, free upgrades to business class - once on Qatar Airways and once on Air France. But these upgrades are increasingly becoming a thing of the past - most airlines strictly don't do it now. And plenty of times with empty seats next to me, to stretch out for a good nap.

My worst airline experience possibly was between France and Cuba once - the plane nearly crashed due to the weather, people were praying and screaming for their life, babies were crying, and I was jammed in a middle seat. Another horrible experience was between Malawi and Cape Town - the flight couldn't land due to stormy weather, kept circling and ran out of fuel, then it was finally diverted to a remote military airbase near Joburg. We waited there the whole night, on the plane, waiting for fuel to arrive by land from Joburg and the storm to subside. Again, in the middle seat!

 

#9 6-8-2017 9:22 PM

jacobi
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Re: In Flight Non-Entertainment

Apurva_N wrote:

........ This March, I flew Japan Airlines ......  My best experiences were, of course, free upgrades to business class ......... My worst airline experience possibly was between France and Cuba once ......Another horrible experience was between Malawi and Cape Town ......

I loved the food on JAL smile
Yeah, heaven forbid you give something away for free these days sad
And how scary for you on those two flights.

 

#10 6-8-2017 9:30 PM

Apurva_N
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Re: In Flight Non-Entertainment

Yes, great food on JAL. smile

 

#11 6-8-2017 11:24 PM

shavy
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Belgium
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Re: In Flight Non-Entertainment

Apurva_N wrote:

My worst airline experience possibly was between France and Cuba once - the plane nearly crashed due to the weather, people were praying and screaming for their life, babies were crying, and I was jammed in a middle seat. Another horrible experience was between Malawi and Cape Town - the flight couldn't land due to stormy weather, kept circling and ran out of fuel, then it was finally diverted to a remote military airbase near Joburg. We waited there the whole night, on the plane, waiting for fuel to arrive by land from Joburg and the storm to subside. Again, in the middle seat!

That's indeed scary.........after so many years of flying with different airlines the only scary experience I had is a heavy turbulence......on the way to Manila with Singapore airlines we suddenly had that turbulence it wasn't a normal turbulence but an awful one,  they just served meals when its happen, tray's with food flown to the ceilings, people were screaming even the stewardess are scared they runned in panic, one of the stewardess left her cart and this heavy cart with food and drinks are swinging on the hallway of the aircraft it takes 10 minutes when turbulence is done. I keeped calm myself, I thought I'm gonna died that time lol

 

#12 6-8-2017 11:27 PM

jacobi
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Re: In Flight Non-Entertainment

shavy wrote:

......on the way to Manila with Singapore airlines we suddenly had that turbulence it wasn't a normal turbulence but an awful one,  they just served meals when its happen, tray's with food flown to the ceilings, people were screaming even the stewardess are scared they runned in panic, one of the stewardess left her cart and this heavy cart with food and drinks are swinging on the hallway of the aircraft it takes 10 minutes when turbulence is done. I keeped calm myself, I thought I'm gonna died that time lol

Oh my. You have to worry when the crew start to panic lol

 

#13 6-9-2017 3:25 AM

stefmuts
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Re: In Flight Non-Entertainment

jacobi wrote:

stefmuts wrote:

Last time I had the luxury of empty seats in a plane was 2005 returning from Beijing
I'm really glad I don't have back problems, I'm average hight and I have no trouble sleeping in planes but leg room seems to get smaller and smaller though Last years flight to Rome I only had just enough space to be comfortable or maybe it's because it was a short (cheap) flight

I hate getting no the plane and noticing within minutes that some people are already snoring around me. I'm like "seriously?" lol

Uhm, Sorry then ?! :-)
Well, I normally wait until the plane is in the air, but not long after ...

 

#14 6-9-2017 3:30 AM

stefmuts
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Re: In Flight Non-Entertainment

jacobi wrote:

shavy wrote:

......on the way to Manila with Singapore airlines we suddenly had that turbulence it wasn't a normal turbulence but an awful one,  they just served meals when its happen, tray's with food flown to the ceilings, people were screaming even the stewardess are scared they runned in panic, one of the stewardess left her cart and this heavy cart with food and drinks are swinging on the hallway of the aircraft it takes 10 minutes when turbulence is done. I keeped calm myself, I thought I'm gonna died that time lol

Oh my. You have to worry when the crew start to panic lol

I remember one incident long ago, when they could still leave cockpit door open: turbulence, slight panic with the stewardesses, but when they closed the cockpit door (had been open the whole flight) I didn't think it was that funny anymore

 

#15 6-9-2017 4:14 AM

jacobi
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Re: In Flight Non-Entertainment

stefmuts wrote:

jacobi wrote:

...I hate getting no the plane and noticing within minutes that some people are already snoring around me. I'm like "seriously?" lol

Uhm, Sorry then ?! :-)
Well, I normally wait until the plane is in the air, but not long after ...

You're so lucky

 

#16 6-9-2017 11:41 AM

grandmar
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Re: In Flight Non-Entertainment

I was on a plane once coming into Cleveland, and it was snowing (1958).  The plane landed and skidded sideways down the runway.  Also I was delayed going from Miami to Key West (1968).  I had a baby and two children with me.  They said they would put us into two seats - the two girls in one and the baby and I in the other.  We were right behind the door, and the door didn't quite shut.  It was a short flight though.  I was also on a flight into D.C. for work c 1998 and there was terrible turbulence - seemed like the plane would drop out of the sky.  A lot of people were screaming.

I am fat (although I fit in a seat belt and don't need an extender) , and my husband isn't, so if someone has to be in the middle seat, he usually takes it.  I'm fairly tall for a woman (originally I was 5'7"+ and he isn't that tall for a man (he's 5'11"), we and usually be OK even in the small amount of room they give you unless someone reclines their seat all the way.

I was on a Qantas flight LA to Australia, and the airline decided that the seats I picked (two together on the side) weren't appropriate and put us one row behind the galley in the center.  And the woman in front of me not only reclined her seat (she had the whole area in front of her to stretch out in and she was the only one in the row) but she also had the light on all night and shining in my eyes.  My granddaughter had an empty seat next to her to sleep in but I was miserable.

I am also too old to be taking long overnight flights without having room to stretch out, and Bob doesn't sleep well on planes.  I am fortunate enough to be able to afford to fly Business Class.  The last couple of times I have flown overnight, I've flown BA.  The flights are fine although the seats aren't set up very well - I can recline but when I'm reclined I can't reach anything.

 

#17 6-9-2017 6:08 PM

jacobi
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Re: In Flight Non-Entertainment

grandmar wrote:

I was on a plane once coming into Cleveland, and it was snowing (1958).  The plane landed and skidded sideways down the runway.  ......................I was on a Qantas flight LA to Australia, and the airline decided that the seats I picked (two together on the side) weren't appropriate and put us one row behind the galley in the center.  And the woman in front of me not only reclined her seat (she had the whole area in front of her to stretch out in and she was the only one in the row) but she also had the light on all night and shining in my eyes....................

Skidding sideways!! How unnerving!

Yeah, there alwasys seems to be one person with that damn light on. But having said that, I got a bit peeved when I was flying from Melb to Dubai. Because we left at 5am, people have their window blinds down, which is fair enough, BUT, they ALL kept them down all the way to Dubai! What the hell? I really needed some  sunlight by then! I couldn't understand how not one person by a window didn't open their blind.

 

#18 6-16-2017 12:21 AM

hightide
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Re: In Flight Non-Entertainment

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, I used to enjoy flights. In addition to being wider, the seats used to be bulkier hence provided excellent back support. The wide armrests with built-in ash trays were double the width of the armrests you see these days (the armrests these days are slimmer than the lower arm of an average woman! such that when one rests his/her arm on it, he/she would encroach neighbour's space). Getting a goody bag on flights was the icing on the cake.

The shrinkage of seat widths during the 21st century in addition to me growing sideways have made flights more and more uncomfortable. Moreover, with reduced seat pitch, it is almost impossible for one who is not sitting on an aisle seat to get out when his/her aisle seat neighbour is seated. When the aisle seat person is asleep and the ones inside have to get out without bothering the aisle person, they have no other choice but to use the seat in front as a leverage by pulling it - creating a shock factor for the person seated in front as these new modern slim seats get swayed easily (unlike the heavier, sturdy seats from the 1990s).
Aisle seats are not as attractive as they used to be. In line with the cramming of more seats (e.g. what used to be 3-3-3 on B777 is now 3-4-3), aisles have become narrower as well. The result is people passing by are much more likely to knock into the aisle passenger.

Only starting in my 30s, I sometimes experience knee aches on long haul flights when I rest in the wrong position. In sum, being a pre-middle aged person with an increasing waistline, it is hard to fall sleep without the risk of getting achy in these tiny seats.

During the 20th century, I used to feel that my holiday starts the moment I step on the plane whereas in the 21st century, my holiday only starts when I reach my destination.
On the bright side, flying has never been more affordable. It lags behind inflation smile So the temporary discomfort is worth it for an exciting destination.

 

#19 6-16-2017 2:47 AM

nolan
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Re: In Flight Non-Entertainment

In November 2006 I was on a trans-Pacific flight from MNL to LAX on Philippine Airlines. They fly non-stop, and I know they are usually packed, so I went through the process of snagging myself one of the choice seats in the forward cabin of economy on the 747-400. Unfortunately many other people had the same idea so I ended up with a seatmate beside me who had the misfortune of being seated in front of a kid who happened to love kicking the seatback. Despite having an interesting conversation with him, I could sense he was so annoyed by the kicking that at one point he got fed up, stood and turned back and curtly told the kid to stop it. Good thing the kid stopped, most likely because of an embarrassed parent beside him.

On the  way to the rear lavatory (I usually walk up and down the aisle to exercise my legs and size up who's flying in the other cabins), I was shocked to find out that the rear cabin was practically empty, and lots of the people seated there were actually lying on a whole row, 3 or 4 seats abreast! Lesson learned, since then I have always been asking the check in agent if the flight is full, so if in case I want to score a whole seat row, I might as well be moved to the rear cabin.

As Fay mentions, the conversion of middle sized twin aisle planes has been a bane for people like me - the A330 family used to be 2-4-2 in economy, now 3-3-3 is the norm except for older planes on legacy airlines. Even the 777 has gone from 3-3-3 to 3-4-3, so it's not a preferred aircraft save for if you can snag a seat in a more expensive cabin (business class or premium economy). The 767-400 is one of my preferred planes, they still manage a 2-4-2 in economy. I have yet to fly the A350 or 787 but likely I will choose that because they are sized for comfort on long haul flights. I also like the A380 but only on upper deck economy, where the seating is 2-4-2 and the seats nearer the windows have extra storage compartments. I dread the lower deck economy cabin, though.

 

#20 6-16-2017 4:10 PM

jacobi
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Re: In Flight Non-Entertainment

hightide wrote:

'.....The shrinkage of seat widths during the 21st century ......

And we all know what drives this discomfort these days sad

nolan wrote:

......he was so annoyed by the kicking that at one point he got fed up, stood and turned back and curtly told the kid to stop it. Good thing the kid stopped, most likely because of an embarrassed parent beside him.......

Good on him.

 

#21 6-16-2017 11:26 PM

pilgrim68
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Re: In Flight Non-Entertainment

The best.Emirates from Dubai to Hong Kong. Travelling on my own I got asked to change seats with an elderly couple so that they could sit together ,no problem. After being seated I was again asked to change seats by a cabin crew member so a family of four could sit together. I said it was no problem but explained I had already been moved once already. After take off the purser came down for a chat and thanked me and then gave me an upgrade to 1st class. Bliss!
The worst. Flying through a thunderstorm between Warri and Lagos in Nigeria in a 19 seat Twin Otter turboprop. Very scary and vomit everywhere.

 

#22 6-17-2017 1:23 AM

jacobi
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Re: In Flight Non-Entertainment

pilgrim68 wrote:

.... then gave me an upgrade to 1st class. Bliss!.......The worst. Flying through a thunderstorm between Warri and Lagos in Nigeria in a 19 seat Twin Otter turboprop. Very scary and vomit everywhere.

lol quite the extreme difference

 

#23 6-17-2017 12:57 PM

Sept922
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Re: In Flight Non-Entertainment

I can't feel sorry for most of you. I am 6 ft 270 with large wide shoulders. I just had 10 flights or so over the past 10 weeks (including destination with layover so 2 actual flights) and had no major concerns. It's all mental. Yes the legroom was shite, but with the longest flight being 8 hours, I managed. I have taken 12 -15 (but never 20 ain't happening) hours so the 8 is really nothing. I like layovers as chances to stretch and move. And sometimes to visit another place..as I did with Lisbon for 24 hours and it was great. TAP had good service though tight seats. Aegean had great service also.

Last edited by Sept922 (7-17-2017 12:55 AM)

 

#24 6-17-2017 5:45 PM

planxty
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Re: In Flight Non-Entertainment

I got fed up of flying, especially long-haul, when the smoking fascism took hold.

Now I will do anything to avoid it within Europe as I have enough time to use trains, carpools, buses or whatever but I still have to suffer it (I use the word advisedly) on long-haul.

I agree totally with several people above that  Emirates are excellent as are the close rivals Qatar.  I also rate Thai highly.

I am 6,5" and really do suffer in economy.  I have actually measured me femur and it is longer than the legroom allowed on most international airlines these days.

 

#25 6-17-2017 5:52 PM

jacobi
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Re: In Flight Non-Entertainment

Sept922 wrote:

.....I just had 10 flights or so over the past 10 weeks (including I destination with layover so 2 actual flights) and had no major concerns. Its all mental. ......

Maybe, like exercise, one gets used to it? I dunno, but mental or not, I'm crippled for a time afterward sad

planxty wrote:

...... I have actually measured me femur and it is longer than the legroom allowed on most international airlines these days.

Aye carumba!

 

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