In exactly two weeks time I will be flying high above earth as I make my way to the UK for a three-week visit. I’m a little nervous about the flight – not because I have a fear of flying (shouldn’t it be a fear of crashing?) but because I hope I can keep myself together and not embarrass myself like last time. It was after my week in the UK two years ago, when I made a special visit to attend Buckingham Palace with my Dad. I was just one hour away from Brisbane after a long, long flight plus four hours stopover in Singapore. The cabin crew were trying to stuff another meal down us just in case we’d worked up an appetite from doing absolutely nothing for the last couple of hours. I wasn’t feeling too flash so I disturbed my seat buddy so I could get to the toilets. The next moment I was teetering on the edge of the abyss of horizontal sleep; it was a glorious sensation and I just wanted to stay there. The only problem was, it wasn’t sleep – I’d passed out as I made my way down the aisle – in front of a row of Japanese schoolboys. Oh! the embarrassment! I came to with my legs up on a hostie’s lap and realised my head was cradled in the lap of another one. A male passenger was striding over me as he tried to pass. I must have held up the queue! Couldn’t I just please stay there for the rest of the flight? My head was on a comfy pillow and I was finally horizontal – it was bliss! The hostesses knew my name by this stage and were helping me to sit up. They helped me into a jump seat which meant I was facing the passengers – Beam me up Scotty!
An orange juice put me right and although the lovely crew offered me a wheelchair exit, I decided I was well enough to disembark with the other passengers.
So, that was me, and then there was Dad who was taken ill on their flight home from Australia last October. Following a three week stint in a Dubai hospital and three stents later, he was well enough to fly home.
Flying is a risky business and this time I will do all in my power to remain healthy – and conscious; flight socks, no alcohol (do you think?), and not being tempted to eat every meal going. I can’t help the sleep situation as I’ll be travelling cattle-class but I’ll have a travel pillow and might investigate some natural sleep remedies to help out.
What do you swear by to stay healthy on a longhaul flight? Do you take knock-out drugs? Drink yourself into a stuper? Are you one of these annoying people who can fall asleep at the drop of a hat and sleep for 12 hours straight? I’d love to know your tips.