I’m just going to say it: I do not enjoy layovers.
The faster I can get to my destination the better.
So when Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) announced that it would be launching daily non-stop direct flights between Bandar Seri Begawan and London in October 2018, I jumped at the chance to plan my next Europe trip.
For now, it would take me 17 hours 5 minutes to get from Brunei International Airport to Heathrow Airport, which is approximately 11,270 kilometres apart. The 17-hour journey is inclusive of a layover in Dubai.
However, once the daily non-stop direct flights are up and running on October 28, the Brunei-London flight is expected to take 14 hours 35 minutes. That’s three-and-a-half hours shaved off!
I recently sat down with a group of well-travelled friends to learn more about how they stay sane during a long-haul flight.
And this is what they had to say:
1. Noise-cancelling headphones are a must
“They are a must-have item.”
This was something that every single one of the friends agreed.
“We would never travel without noise-calling headphones,” they said. “We get better sleep with them on.”
2. Bring some snacks
Even though you will be served meals during your long-haul flight, it does not hurt to have a snack or two stowed in your carry-on luggage.
“We enjoy a good snack, especially after taking a short nap. More importantly, it helps with improving our mood,” they said.
3. Download TV shows and movies
Most airlines allow you to switch on your mobiles and tablets, provided you have airplane mode switched on.
While there is in-flight entertainment systems for passengers on most aircraft, watching your own shows is always far better.
“We would download one or two seasons of our favourite TV shows onto our phones or tablets,” they said.
“Couple this with your noise-cancelling headphones, and you’re all set for your long journey,” they added.
4. Don’t be a jerk
From their years of travel, one thing that they’re still learning is to “play nice”.
“When you are travelling alone, you have no say who is sat beside you, especially when flying in economy class. So the more courteous you are with the person sat beside you, the likelihood of you enjoying each other’s company increases,” they said.
“If you wish to remain silent for the entire flight, at the very least, just say hello,” they added.
5. Understand that some things are beyond your control
No one wants to admit it, but crying babies in planes are the worst!
“There is really no point swearing (silently in your head) when you hear the wailings of a crying infant,” they said. “Try to be understanding. We were all babies once. Just know that the parents of that infant is having a tougher time than you are. Just put on your headphones and forget about it.”
Do you agree with our list? Do you have any tips you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you.
For further reading, we recommend the following report by Traveller – ‘Air travel tips: 50 tips on how to make your flight perfect’.