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Travel Tips for Long Flights and Making Connecting Flights

Luke Armstrong | Feb 17, 2023

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Airplane in flight.

You’re on a plane for a long time. Maybe you’re taking that famous 17-hour flight from London to Sydney. Maybe you’re going over the Pacific. Perhaps you’re over the Atlantic right now using the plane’s Wi-Fi.

Whatever the case, you will be in the air for a very long time. You might worry, “Am I going to go crazy in these skies? How am I going to beat the boredom the entire time?” We’re sure you’ve already downloaded your favorite movies and podcasts, so use these tips to avoid a case of airplane cabin fever and travel in comfort.

Tips for Making a Long Flight More Comfortable

Book your tickets early

Booking your tickets for an early flight time will help with several things. You should be tired enough to fall right to sleep once you board, which means less time spent trying to entertain yourself. Plus, you’ll be nice and rested by the time you make it to your travel destination, and that’s important, especially when you’re going abroad!

Dress in comfortable clothes

Some people like it hot and others like it cold. On the same flight, some passengers might discard layers while others ask for blankets. Wear layers to avoid getting stuck being too hot or cold on your flight, Goldilocks.

Invest in a quality neck pillow

Having taken over 100 flights, it's clear airline seats were not designed by chiropractors. Those horseshoe-shaped neck pillows might just save you days of a sore neck — they are worth the $15!

Upgrade your seats (for free)

You know that awkward eye contact that is made between first-class passengers and coach passengers as the ‘coachers’ walk back to their subpar seats? They know they have it better than the rest of us! But maybe you could have it better, too. Here are some tips for getting bumped to first class for free.

  • Dress the part. According to Inc., dress as if you belong in first class and the person behind the counter might just hook you up with a seat there.
  • Ask for an upgrade. It never hurts to ask, “Would it be possible to upgrade me to first class?” Ask with a big, kind smile, and you may get your wish.
  • Be early. Some flights are overbooked, and the airline knows it needs to put some coach passengers in first class to make it all work. Usually, the early bird gets the worm.
  • Travel solo. It’s easier to upgrade one seat than two. 
  • Travel during peak times.
  • Give up your spot. If a gate agent asks for a passenger to give up their seat, volunteer, and ask to be upgraded on the next flight — you might get first class and a travel voucher. 
  • Check your seat for a broken armrest, recliner, or tray table. Point out any problems to a flight attendant and ask to be upgraded. I got an automatic upgrade when the flight attendant realized my tray table didn’t latch, making it a safety hazard. I didn’t even have to ask.
  • Join the airline's loyalty club for more upgrade opportunities.
  • Let flight attendants know if it's a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary. Maybe they’ll want to help you celebrate with an upgrade.

Don't forget to stretch your legs

It’s called chair yoga. People are doing it in their office. College students are yoga-ing at their desks. People might look at you a bit funny as you do your chair yoga, but remember what Dr. Seuss said, “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” This not only helps you pass some time, but it will help you from getting too stiff and sore from not moving around on those long-haul flights.

Tips for Connections After a Long Flight 

What happens if you miss a connecting flight?

Missing a connecting flight is stressful, but there are a few ways to minimize that stress. Before even booking your tickets, consider the size of the airport where you’ll be changing planes. Trying to get from one gate to the next in a large airport like Chicago O’Hare could take more time than in a smaller airport like Harrisburg International in Pennsylvania. Stress — and sweat — less by booking flights with more time before your connection at a massive airport.

You can also rest easy before your second (or third or fourth) flight, knowing that the solution to a missed connection is simple: your airline will rebook you on the next flight, free of charge. So take a deep breath and know that even if a delay prevents you from getting to your destination as expected, you won’t have to pay the price.

Does travel insurance cover missed connecting flights?

The next tip for connections after a long flight is to purchase travel insurance before you’re in the sky. As part of your plan with Seven Corners, you’ll also have a team to help, available 24/7, if problems arise. Seven Corners Assist is precisely what it sounds like — an added layer of protection if something unexpected, like a missed connecting flight, occurs on your journey. Seven Corners can help with hotel and flight re-bookings in case you don’t know where to start.

Does Luggage Get Lost on Connecting Flights Often?

Losing your luggage is common, especially when you have a connecting flight. If you missed that connecting flight and the plane still took off without you, the situation gets that much stickier.

The next time you’re packing your suitcase, set aside a few of the essentials and pack them in a carry-on. Even if it takes a long time to recover your lost luggage, having those essential items in your carry-on means that by the time it’s back in your arms, you’ll have barely missed it.

Travel insurance can help you recover from lost, damaged, or destroyed luggage as well as flight cancellations and trip delays. Contact Seven Corners to find the right plan for you.

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