Qantas Flight 7 (QF7/QFA7) and Qantas Flight 8 (QF8/QFA8) are flights operated by Australian airline Qantas between Sydney Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. They are currently the longest regularly scheduled non-stop commercial flights in the world as measured by distance—13,804 kilometres (8,577 mi; 7,454 nmi), which is over one third of the distance around Earth. Both flights are operated with Airbus A380 aircraft.
I get on an airplane in Sydney, and I land in Texas. No connections. No going through customs at LAX (the worst!) or SFO, then rechecking my bags. No missing a connecting flight because the original one was delayed. No added travel time sitting in LAX or SFO waiting for a connecting flight that may or may not be delayed, overbooked, or cancelled.
I get on a plane in Sydney during the day, get off the plane at DFW during the day...the calendar date is the same. It's really like I traveled through some loophole to get to somewhere else in the world at the same time & date. Tricking my mind to believe this helps with jetlag. So does being excited for my first Tex Mex meal and to see my loved ones waiting to hug me.
Going back, I get on a plane in DFW at night; I arrive in Sydney in the morning. If I sleep, it's like I went to sleep and lost a day. Because I lose a calendar day going back. I pretend that day didn't happen and trick my mind that I'm waking up the next day after going to sleep at night. Just like normal, right?
I'm on a plane in the air for 15 hours and 35 minutes going to Texas, and 16 hours and 50 minutes return. That's right almost 17 hours in a metal tube flying over the Pacific Ocean. And, you know what? I'm totally okay with that.
Have I confused you enough?
How do I survive this lengthy flight?
I'm not an anxious flyer. I don't hyperventilate. My heart doesn't race. Even though I regularly experience motion sickness in a car, I'm totally fine in an airplane. This helps with the 15 - 17 hour fly time.
I sleep. I sleep in planes, cars, trains, pretty much anything with the hum of a motor, and I can fall asleep. A lot of people have trouble with this. Not me. I'm a sleeper. I may even drool or snore. Yep, I'm that person that may show up on someone's social media trying to shame me. They were a passenger next to me snapping funny photos while I was snoozing.
Comfort is key. I dress comfortably. I don't dress like a slob, but I dress to be comfortable. There are people on this flight who I suspect wear their pajama pants. I don't go that far. Well, I kinda do...because I'll wear legging sometimes, and sometimes I sleep in leggings, so.......
Also, changing hemispheres and changing seasons, I keep in mind dressing for both sets of weather. Most of the time, Sydney and Texas are both pretty darn mild, so that makes it a little easier for me as well.
I prefer wearing a super soft and comfortable maxi dress plus a hoodie. I may be cold. I find hoodies comfortable. Or if I am warm, I can take off the hoodie...but I like having a hoodie. Maxi dresses, I can wear and they cover my legs, but I can curl my legs up like a pretzel too, if I find this comfortable at sometime during the flight. I wear comfortable shoes. My feet swell. Many people's do. So, I don't wear tight shoes. I made that mistake once. Only once. If I wear sandals or flip-flops, I take comfy socks. I put on my comfy socks for the duration of the flight. When I get up and walk around, I don't mind walking in my socks. I don't want to take my shoes on and off.
If you're a drinker, Qantas gives free booze on international flights. Last time I was on Virgin (a few years ago), you only got one free drink with your meal. They charged for the rest. Booze sometimes help with sleep and relaxation. But, I don't drink too much booze because it's a looooong flight.
Instead of boozin', I prefer movie-watchin' (on planes). Qantas inflight entertainment system is the bomb. For international flights, there's over 100 different movies to choose from (last flight, I watched If I Stay and Boyhood; Neil watched an Expendables and Pulp Fiction). You can start them at any time, pause, rewind, you're in control. There's probably even more television shows to watch. One time, I watched an entire series of Modern Family. I'm sure the person sitting next to me thought I was a weirdo with all my spontaneous laughter.
There's a lot of music channels too, and you can program your own playlist. But, let's be serious. You know I go prepared with my own flight friendly playlist on my ipod. I load up a playlist of relaxing songs...ones that I really like to keep me feeling positive. When I want to sleep, this is when the inflight entertainment option of creating my own playlist comes in handy. I prepare a playlist that I can sleep through without using my ipod battery. Although, they having charging stations now...I'm pretty sure.
I'm not a talker on flights. Normally, I don't mind talking to strangers and hearing random stories about other people's lives. On a flight, I'm different. I want to be in my little world with little to no interruptions. Headphones while watching a movie or listening to music is good for this. For some reason, I find if I'm reading a book, the passenger next to me feels that it is acceptable to talk to me.
Books...I still bring reading material, even if I don't use it...because...well...I love books. I prefer fast-paced suspense thrillers and easy to read YA books instead of more thought-provoking historical fictions while on a long flight. Plus, I want a smaller book (not a big bulky one) because I still read books. Those things you hold in your hand and turn physical pages. Not ereaders.
Snacks are important. Sure, Qantas feeds you two meals plus snacks on this flight. I'm not a fan of the flight food. I come prepared with my own snacks. Plus, I have a big water bottle because staying hydrated for this length of flight is important. But not too big of a bottle, because you don't want to have to get up and down to go to the toilet too often.
Speaking of toilets...when I fly the A380, I prefer to pre-book my seats upstairs. Most of the upstairs is for business and premium classes, but there's a back portion for peasants like me. Not many of us peasants are seated upstairs, so not as many people trying to use the same handful of toilets.
I bring with me a small travel kit with a toothbrush & toothpaste, a scented lotion (so I don't stank when I arrive), deoderant (for the same reason), lip balms, and hair ties. If I have this, then I'm usually set for feeling slightly refreshed before landing.
Can you think of any of tricks or pieces of advice for long haul air travel?