Business Travel Travel Tips

How To Survive A Long Flight In Economy

Business travel can sometimes push your body’s health to the limit. Jet lag, lumpy hotel beds, late meetings, and greasy convenient food after awhile can take a toll on your overall well being. Another inconvenient thing business travelers are sometimes forced to face are long flights. Depending on your company’s travel policy, you may be able to fly business or first class. But more likely than not, you’ll likely find yourself trying to survive a long flight in economy. Before flying across the country or to other continents for business again, be sure to read our tips below.

9 tips for business travelers: surviving a long flight in economy

  1. Pay for lounge access for the day. Most people don’t know that you can buy a day-pass to access most airline club lounges. The price depends on the airline, and buying online beforehand typically comes with a discount. So get to the airport early, take advantage of the food and high-speed wifi, and spread out while you can. Consider also using it during long layovers or even at your arrival destination. Check with your travel manager too, as the costs may be covered under the company travel policy.
  2. Drink lots of water. Flying literally dries you out. Make sure you stay hydrated before and during your flight. Sure, getting up to use the lavatory can be a nuisance, but it’s also a natural reminder to stretch your legs and increase circulation.
  3. Wear comfortable clothes. Yes, you’re traveling for business, but make sure you’re wearing something you can also lounge in. Same goes for shoes. High heels with no socks gets cold and uncomfortable after a few hours.
  4. Dress in layers. Planes can get hot. Planes can get cold. And somehow, can be both at the same time. Plan to dress with layers so you’ll always be comfortable, no matter the conditions.
  5. Bring healthy snacks to munch on. Who are we kidding, some indulgent snacks too… You’ll feel much better overall if you eat an apple, yogurt or salad instead of the prepackaged food that’s offered on planes. But we’re not here to judge. If you think you’ll get cranky or annoyed a few hours into the flight, by all means, bring those Snickers Minis or potato chips to get you by.
  6. Remember to download the airline’s app to your tablet or phone. Most airlines now offer free access to movies or shows, but it’s usually only accessible through their mobile app. Download the app before you leave to avoid slow or impossible loading speeds on the airplane.
  7. Veg out on those movies or shows you’ve missed. Now’s the time to get to those tv shows or movies you haven’t had the time for. Netflix offers a downloading feature on their app, so you can watch their programing without access to wifi. You can also rent movies through iTunes or Amazon before your flight. You have 30 days to start watching a movie. After you start watching, you have 48 hours to finish. Virtually making it the perfect accessory for long flightsrent a movie when it’s convenient, and watch it when you’re ready.
  8. Invest in a comfortable travel pillow. You might be surprised by the plethora of travel pillows currently on the market. Ranging from sizable and plushy, to streamlined and compact, they often cater to your preferred sleeping style. Check out some of our favorite travel pillows here.
  9. Double check you have those oh-so critical items. There are just some things you don’t know you need until you don’t have them. Some items I always fly with are: gum, an extra pair of headphones or ear plugs, Kleenex, anti-bacterial wipes, Advil, Tums, eye drops, lotion, an extra pair of socks, an extra pen, and a bottle of water. Most of these items are small enough that they don’t take up too much room. And sometimes, just knowing I have them with me is enough to feel confident that I’ll survive the long flight with ease.  

What are some of your long-flight travel tips? Let us know in the comments below!


Business Travel Travel Management

Travel Policy Guidelines—To Pay for Economy Seating … Or Not

My first experience with economy seating happened because there were no other pre-assigned seats available besides those in economy. Of course, panic set in due to the dread of not knowing if I would get a seat at the airport during check-in.

My thoughts were: What if I don’t get a seat and I have to take a later flight? I would miss my meeting. Maybe I could fly in the night before. But this would mean additional costs for a hotel. If I chose that option, would I bill it to the company? There are no travel policy guidelines for situations like this. What to do? I didn’t know about this business meeting until two weeks before my departure date and there are no seats other than those in the economy section. Do I need to get this ticket approved?

These, of course, are thoughts many business travelers have, especially during the summer months when the added impact of vacation travelers causes flights to fill so much sooner than usual.

I decided to wait a couple days and continued to check the seats early each morning–still, there was nothing but economy seating available for purchase. The anxiety was getting to me so I finally decided to go ahead and book the economy seat and then asked for permission, figuring the extra cost would be well worth the price. Stress released as soon as I submitted payment for the seats, and I would get to the meeting and home in one day. By the way—my request to purchase economy was approved because with no other pre-assigned seats available, this was the most cost-effective solution.

For my next trip, I had two months to plan and there were plenty of seats available so I booked a regular ticket. But I will also watch and consider whether or not I want to pay for the upgraded, more convenient seating. I learned from my previous experience that, besides the comfort, the small upgrade fee lets me board early, which allows me to carry my bags on with little hassle. And for this next trip, it might be worth the price to know I can enjoy those amenities plus the convenience.