Flights whisk travellers off to their holiday destination and can greatly range in length. While holidays to Europe are a hop, skip and a jump away, flights further afield can be lengthy affairs. Those travelling to Asia, Australasia and the western coast of the USA, for instance, face very long haul flights.
Today it was announced that Qantas’s first non-stop London to Sydney, Australia flight had safely landed after a flight time of 19 hours and 19 minutes.
This could well herald an air travel future of such ultra long haul flights.
However, being stationary for so long can result in a rather nasty health condition that travellers need to look out for.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in your legs. Deep vein thrombosis can cause leg pain or swelling, but also can occur with no symptoms.
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Flights: The Qantas flight could well herald an air travel future of such ultra long haul flights
Flights: Being stationary for so long can result in a rather nasty health condition
Flight-comparison site Jetcost has revealed there’s one thing you should never do when flying such great distances to beat unpleasant health conditions.
The expert team revealed you should never remain sitting in your plane seat for hours at a time.
“Not that you would physically be able to but sitting down for 19 hours straight can be extremely bad for your health,” said Jetcost.
“You need to keep the blood pumping around your body, particularly to your legs.”
They also advised purchasing a decent pair of compression socks that suit your needs for the long haul flight.
It’s also important to get up and down on a relatively regular basis. “Make sure that you get up every hour or two to have a little walk, even if it’s just a quick stroll up and down the aisle, and elongate the time you take when you go to the toilet,” said Jetcost.
You don’t necessarily have to be standing or on the move to boost your inflight health.
“When sat down, keep pointing your toes, and draw letters of the alphabet with your feet every so often,” the team said.
Flights: “Make sure that you get up every hour or two to have a little walk”
Travellers concerned about DVT and blood clots should speak to their doctor ahead of long-haul travel.
Other precautions you can take are drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding alcohol, which contributes to fluid loss.
According to Mayo Clinic: “Water is the best liquid for preventing dehydration, which can contribute to the development of blood clots.”
The Jetcost team also recommend prioritising comfort on long haul flights. “Ensure you have enough layers to be comfortable whatever the temperature is on board,” they said.
“Having light sweatshirts that are easy to slip on and off are a must, and a comfy hoody is essential.
“Don’t be ashamed to bring a pair of slippers to wear during the flight – you deserve to be comfortable if you are on a plane for that long and shouldn’t concern yourself with others judging you for doing so.”
It’s also important to be savvy with hand luggage. “Write down everything that you think that you will need over a 24-hour period, and then pack more,” recommend Jetcost.
“The last thing you want is to get 10 hours into your flight to find you’ve forgotten your favourite book, or your charger. Take books, electronics, card games, cosmetics – everything. Once onboard, put your luggage in the overhead, because you want to have as much leg space as possible.”