How to Occupy Yourself On a Long-Haul Flight

Long-haul flight in the offing? Forget the drab in-flight movie and the questionable sustenance sitting on the tray in front of you. This is how a savvy flyer goes about their air travel.

Voice your own movie

Let’s face it; in-flight movies are usually a letdown. For the wealth of cinema gold that airlines might have selected for your viewing pleasure, more often than not you’re faced with the latest Adam Sandler vehicle, which ironically makes you want to vacate the vehicle you’re in. The antidote is to create your own dialogue for films; simply choose your movie, unplug your headphones and let loose with the ad-hoc scriptwriting. Admittedly this works better if you’ve a traveling companion but beggars can’t be choosers. Another movie/TV related game you can play involves striking up a conversation with a nearby passenger, and trying to squeeze in as many topical quotes as you can under the radar. Top marks for: “And don’t call me Shirley”, “This plane has no left phalanges!” and “Why exactly are there snakes on this plane?”

Do a Little Light Math

One for the number cruncher: work out the exact distance you’ll be flying and the exact speed that the plane is traveling at. Then, by keeping a close eye on the time, you’ll be able to tell exactly which part of the world you are 35,000 feet above, and impart this fascinating info to people as if you’ve got a direct line through to the pilot. If you’re hell-bent on impressing (aka boring to bitter tears) your fellow passengers, take the time to study the specifics of the plane you’re on, making sure to draw attention to such engrossing facts as how many planes are in the fleet, the number of legroom inches those fat cats up in business class are enjoying, and why exactly passengers are always requested to pull up the blinds on landing.

Become a Clairvoyant

Being up in a plane is a bit like being suspended in time and space. In preparation for landing back in the real world, scribble down a list of predictions for what’s happened while you’ve been (up and) away. Perhaps you’ve missed a big basketball game, maybe an important bill is awaiting the go-ahead, or it could be that Lindsay Lohan is pending verdict on another court trial. Obviously it’s more fun if you’ve got someone to place a few bets with.

Compete in the Air Olympics

There’s nothing like a little competition to pass the time. The best thing about the Air Olympics is that there’s a discipline for everyone. You may not be such a strong contender for the Lasting the “Longest Without Visiting the Bathroom” competition, but on the other hand you might be favorite to come first in the “Learn the Name of Every Member of the Cabin Crew” event. Then of course, there’s the coveted “Get Through as Much of an Adam Sandler Film as You Physically Can”. And yes, you will require a companion for the Air Olympics.