12 Hour Flight - Any Suggestions?

Dirt wrote:

Drink booze.

I would go with this.

It's travel. I think adults that get that bent out of shape over kids are worse than the babies they are whining about. Selfish little babies that can't stand the idea that they have to exist in this world with other real people with real life needs and wants.

I'm on-board if the complaints were abut expensive restaurants and movies. But for travel, it ought to be common sense that you are going to be in contact with folks of all walks of life and ages. Advice on how to deal with crying babies is a good idea. Lamenting that parents bring them on-board is just really immature.

Jayhawker wrote:

It's travel. I think adults that get that bent out of shape over kids are worse than the babies they are whining about. Selfish little babies that can't stand the idea that they have to exist in this world with other real people with real life needs and wants.

I'm on-board if the complaints were abut expensive restaurants and movies. But for travel, it ought to be common sense that you are going to be in contact with folks of all walks of life and ages. Advice on how to deal with crying babies is a good idea. Lamenting that parents bring them on-board is just really immature.

It's immature that when you put yourself through college, work your way up through your profession and get to the point where you can spend thousands on travel because of how hard you've worked you don't want to spend hours listening to a screaming baby or misbehaving child? Really? That makes you immature? To make the choice to spend your leisure time on travel and because you can't afford a private jet you should never expect travel to be a little peaceful?

There is a middle ground here. I buy expensive noise canceling headphones and 1st class tickets when possible. I spend thousands of dollars others use on kids making my travel time more peaceful. In exchange all I ask is that parents don't travel with kids unnecessarily when the kid misbehaves or hates flying. I won't say a word to parents. I won't glare at them. I feel sorry for their kid. But I don't think it's asking too much for someone to help mitigate their choices so they impact others less.*

*Please note that those of us without kids face this every time we go into public. It's like going to a concert with smokers. Sure, you can smoke. And I don't have to love the experience. I adjust. But I don't have to like it. Is that immaturity?

Here's a wacky idea: how about we give the hypothetical people on the OP's flight who brought their hypothetical children along the benefit of the doubt and assume that they did not do so frivolously? That they're all moving their entire hypothetical families permanently to the flight's destination, that it was not feasible to get to that destination in any way other than flying, and that this is the only time the children will need to fly until they're 18? Can we further assume that they will take all reasonable precautions to ensure that the children do not cause a disturbance and that any disturbance that DOES happen is beyond their control? Can we do that? Can we do that and move. The eff. ON?

But in answer to, y'know, the question the OP asked and not the general question of the etiquette involved in breeding and subsequently traveling: Dragon Quest IX. Boom. Done. Also, when I took a trip to Japan a few years ago there was a rule that all flights over 10 hours must have free drinks, so take advantage of that.

DSGamer wrote:

It's immature that when you put yourself through college, work your way up through your profession and get to the point where you can spend thousands on travel because of how hard you've worked you don't want to spend hours listening to a screaming baby or misbehaving child? Really? That makes you immature?

Yes

There is a middle ground here. I buy expensive noise canceling headphones and 1st class tickets when possible. I spend thousands of dollars others use on kids making my travel time more peaceful. In exchange all I ask is that parents don't travel with kids unnecessarily when the kid misbehaves or hates flying.

Is that all?

Seriously, I think you missed the part where I said that advice on how to deal with normal parts of travel, like crying babies is good and helpful. This nonsense about how you've earned the right not to be bothered is a level of entitlement that isn't useful, at all.

The iPod touch or iPad are the best devices for flights ever invented. That is all.

Jayhawker wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

It's immature that when you put yourself through college, work your way up through your profession and get to the point where you can spend thousands on travel because of how hard you've worked you don't want to spend hours listening to a screaming baby or misbehaving child? Really? That makes you immature?

Yes

There is a middle ground here. I buy expensive noise canceling headphones and 1st class tickets when possible. I spend thousands of dollars others use on kids making my travel time more peaceful. In exchange all I ask is that parents don't travel with kids unnecessarily when the kid misbehaves or hates flying.

Is that all?

Seriously, I think you missed the part where I said that advice on how to deal with normal parts of travel, like crying babies is good and helpful. This nonsense about how you've earned the right not to be bothered is a level of entitlement that isn't useful, at all.

I never said I was entitled to never be bothered. I'm entitled to nothing in this regard. I just think that in civil society you can mitigate how some of these differences we have. I try not to cuss in public or otherwise offend people. I try and respect their sensibilities. Parents are the most entitled class of people when you're childfree. Seriously.

psu_13 wrote:

The iPod touch or iPad are the best devices for flights ever invented. That is all.

The iPad I'd agree with but the iPod touch has such poor battery life I'd hate to ever use it on a flight for anything but music/podcasts. Personally I pay for a flight that will have seat back entertainment, put on noise cancelling headphones for the flight and maybe use my DS for a few hours during the flight. I'm never going to get to sleep anyway so I tend to just catch up on the latest films.

For gaming I have to say the DS beats other systems (except perhaps the iPad). Huge selection of games and decent battery life.

International travel is all about adjusting to the time change, I think. If you're headed west, note the time won't change much, people won't sleep much, and it's hard to sleep. I resign myself to a very long day and focus on staying awake until I land and reach a bed. Headed east, I try to catch a little sleep (using beer or sleeping pills), though I think flying east kinda sucks whatever I try. Entertainment is up to you, but I find a laptop is amazingly awkward.

One thought: when booking the flight online, you can select your seat, and see what seats are available and what seats are unavailable. Any seat occupied with no adjacent occupied seats is someone flying alone. I recommend you select one of these unoccupied seats. Such people may be interesting people worth talking to, or may be someone that quietly sits through the flight, but most importantly they are generally someone that will not spend the flight talking to neighbors/consoling children/lecturing you about how offended they are.

I've made a few international flights in the last two years. On each I brought: my Kindle with a variety of books on it, my iPod touch with a variety of shows/movies/music, and my DS with a variety of games. I've never been able to sleep well on planes, so I try to make sure I have as many entertainment options as possible. I'm never quite sure what I'll feel like doing, or how my attention span will be after hours and hours on end. Rarely do I end up even getting all of that out of my backpack, but I like to know that I have choices if I start getting bored.

Some airlines/planes are better about the in-flight entertainment options. There are still some older planes that fly internationally that don't have the personal-TVs with a choice of movies, shows, and games - so instead you're stuck watching whatever movies they're showing. I rarely like the airline movie choice, so I plan for my own entertainment and am pleasantly surprised if there's something good on.

Also, once you get to selecting your seat, be sure to check out Seat Guru. It's usually pretty easy to figure out what equipment an airline is using for your flight, and seat guru will show you a map of the plane as well as highlight any particularly good (extra legroom, good window view, etc) or bad (high traffic area, no window, no reclining seats, etc) seats. On long flights, little things like that can make a huge difference.

DSGamer wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

It's immature that when you put yourself through college, work your way up through your profession and get to the point where you can spend thousands on travel because of how hard you've worked you don't want to spend hours listening to a screaming baby or misbehaving child? Really? That makes you immature?

Yes

There is a middle ground here. I buy expensive noise canceling headphones and 1st class tickets when possible. I spend thousands of dollars others use on kids making my travel time more peaceful. In exchange all I ask is that parents don't travel with kids unnecessarily when the kid misbehaves or hates flying.

Is that all?

Seriously, I think you missed the part where I said that advice on how to deal with normal parts of travel, like crying babies is good and helpful. This nonsense about how you've earned the right not to be bothered is a level of entitlement that isn't useful, at all.

I never said I was entitled to never be bothered. I'm entitled to nothing in this regard. I just think that in civil society you can mitigate how some of these differences we have. I try not to cuss in public or otherwise offend people. I try and respect their sensibilities. Childless people are the most entitled class of people when you're a parent. Seriously.

Emphasis mine, because it goes both ways and people (myself included) are forgetting that. Generally, I don't fly with my kids. My parents and in-laws are both a day's drive. Anything beyond that though, and I'd seriously consider flying to save on travel time.

Ultimately, mitigating differences isn't about someone else sacrificing time spent with family like you seem to be espousing on one hand and denying on the other. Publicly available transit is about sacrifice on all parts, even when it seems like you're making all of them and the people you're doing it for are making none.

Childless and Childfree* can indeed be entitled. I don't agree I'm being that way, though. I'm simply arguing for people being respectful of others in public spaces. I'm equally as likely to tell a pack of young adults to step aside and let a family onto mass transit as I had to this weekend in New Orleans when some hipsters insisted on blocking the door to the streetcar.

Please remember that this side argument started when someone said the OP should bring headphones or earplugs for the inevitable screaming baby, only to have that comment pounced on.

*There is a difference. My wife and I aren't missing kids. We made the choice to get fixed and not have them. A choice that invites an insane amount of prying and scrutiny and judgement from parents. There are two sides to this decision, in other words. You can choose to see that and understand where we're coming from or you can choose to marginalize us like atheists and other people considered abhorrent by society.

The only scrutiny I have for that is the implication that kids tie you down somehow. Not having kids is not having kids, regardless of whether it's by choice or biology, so declaring yourself 'Free of Children', rubs me a bit wrong. But that's a whole other thread.

Beyond that, if you don't feel that you're acting entitled because you feel that people with small children should be homebound instead of exposed to differing experiences and social situations so that you can be more comfortable, well, there's nothing really more to be said.

Wow. This is exactly what I was talking about when I said those of us who have chosen not to have children are treated differently. I don't want to drag this on so let me close my participation in this thread with this. I'm glad you enjoy having kids. We have nephews we love dearly whom we spoil and contribute to a college fund for. So to whatever degree It's possible we understand the choice to have kids.

However we also enjoy not having that responsibility. Being free of it. Free to travel wherever we choose with only ourselves to worry about. Free to go to dinner or a movie and not worry about it. Free to make decisions for two adults and no one else. In the 21st century that should be acceptable for us to be different in how we think.

When people think you're Childless they assume you lead a tragic life. That yours is a sad and lonely existence where you have been cursed by nature with the inability to have kids. So self identifying as Childfree is a shorthand way of saying that this is a choice and we're not to be pitied. Scorn, on the other hand, is something we're used to.

Break it up guys.

Trevdor,
As far as time wasting games I would recommend Angry Birds, Civilization Rev, and Cut the Rope, all on the Iphone. Look into purchasing a battery recharger for the Iphone, because you'll get only 4 hours from it if you're lucky. Your plane most likely won't have outlets, you might want to check, but usually any recharging device would need to be battery powered.

If you're going to be making this trip more or flying at all more in the future, I'll echo the Ipad recommendations. Batter life is great, and you can watch a couple tv shows on it, then play some games, read some articles, surf the web, listen to music, read a comic, etc... Well worth it, but make sure you get the one with WiFi.

Bring a neck pillow.

If I had to choose one device (excluding the headphones) it would definitely be an iOS device. I frequently go long flights just watching TV. I'm on Season 6 of Curb Your Enthusiasm with all of my travel this year. I listen to music when a flight gets bumpy and I get stressed or if I need to nap. And I've gotten many hours out of Civ Rev, Plants vs. Zombies, Cut the Rope, Angry Birds and other games.

I still love my DS, though, and find it indispensable for long flights. And a neck pillow. For sure.

As a sidenote we tested the recent hypothesis that fasting for the last 8+ hours of the flight then having a massive breakfast helps reset your body clock and prevent jetlag.

It doesn't. Just ended up jetlagged and hungry.

Make sure you get a good pair of noise-canceling earphones. And do not forget batteries. Even if you don't plan on listening to anything, the noise cancelling can help with the airplane noise if you're trying to sleep.

Kurrelgyre wrote:

Make sure you get a good pair of noise-canceling earphones. And do not forget batteries. Even if you don't plan on listening to anything, the noise cancelling can help with the airplane noise if you're trying to sleep.

Indeed. This was a major revelation to me. The first time I strapped on noise canceling earphones on a plane I started to get sleepy. That much silence on a gently rocking plane... Now I actually like flying.

@Trevdor,

I seem to be posting on everything today, but I've done several 10+ flights in the past few years so I understand your concerns.

1) Join the carrier's frequently flyer club immediately so that you can ask for a bulkhead seat. I'm 6'2" and I find the extra legroom invaluable. Carriers, like Qatar Airways tend to hold these seats for people travelling with children, injuries/disabilities and Frequent Flyers.

Also, most carriers priorities Frequent Flyers for any upgrades. On a 10-hour flight the a business class seats is worth its wait in platinum!

2) My portable device of choice is the PSP. I had a couple of games, the BBC's 'History of the World in 100 Objects', a lot of music and some short films all in one package, and it was nice to have that flexibility.

3) I agree with DSGamer on the noise-cancelling headphones. Even when you're not plugged in to something they make the journey much more pleasant.

4) I suggest magazines rather than books. I think they work better with the intermittent disruptions that come with long haul air travel.

5) In-Flight Entertainment can be a very mixed bag. Sometimes the content is great, sometimes it's dismal and you'll find yourself watching Monsters Inc three times. Also, the screens take a lot of abuse and sometimes fail. It's no fun to stare a a blank screen for 12 hours. And finally, check that the IFE on your flight is On Demand. As Sheazy says, there are still some older planes where its not, and that can make for a very frustrating journey ("Your film movie will start in 20 minutes...")

6) My PSP comments notwithstanding, ditch the laptop - keep the DS. Laptops and airline seats just don't go together. They're a bit too bulky, and you'll likely be asked to stow your laptop overhead when you're not using it (it's precisely the kind of object that airlines don't want lying around loose in the cabin in case of turbulence).

Water and Civilization