In-flight Tips


Keep alcohol and coffee intake to a minimum. Stay well hydrated by drinking water throughout the flight. Fizzy drinks may cause bloating by expanding gases in the stomach as the aircraft gains altitude, causing discomfort.


Eat only when hungry and choose lighter, more easily digestible meals. Avoid fatty and carb-rich foods.


Dress for comfort. Avoid tight or restrictive clothing and shoes. Choose loose-fitting, light garments and comfortable footwear. Dressing in layers will enable you to adjust more easily to temperature changes in the cabin and at your destination.


Try to get some sleep on longer sections of the flight.  Frequent short naps can be useful in reducing fatigue and preventing jet lag. Close the window blind, wear an eye mask, and ask for a pillow. If possible, avoid sedatives as this can increase your risk of deep-vein thrombosis.


To reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis (see page 60) take regular walks around the plane and at airport terminals.  While seated, maintain circulation by rotating your ankles and flexing the lower leg muscles. See suggested exercises in your in-flight magazine.


Cabin air is very dry and moisturiser can reduce the feeling of dryness and dehydration. Moisten your face, lips and eyes regularly. Consider using your spectacles in place of contact lenses during the flight, or carry a lens case and saline solution in case your contacts dry out.

Ear or Sinus Pain

Flying with a cold or flu may cause discomfort. This can be minimised by:

  • Using a nasal decongestant spray prior to take off and landing.
  • Sucking mentholated sweets or chewing gum during ascent and descent. This encourages swallowing and helps equalise pressure in the ear canals.

Jet Lag

Jet lag is caused by taking long flights across three or more time zones. Jet lag is generally worse when you are heading east than west and your ‘internal clock’ is out of step with the local time at your destination. Jet lag results in:

  • Being wide awake at bedtime
  • Poor quality or interrupted sleep
  • Tiredness and sleepiness during the day
  • Feeling disorientated
  • Irritability
  • Poor concentration and difficulty in completing mental tasks
  • Reduced appetite
  • Stomach upsets (such as a bloated feeling after eating)

Reducing Jet Lag Symptoms

The symptoms of jet lag usually ease quickly and disappear within a few days of arrival. You can minimise the impact of jet lag by:

  • Planning your arrival time to coincide with bedtime at your destination.
  • Pre-conditioning your body in the days before you leave. Go to bed earlier than usual if you are flying eastward and stay up later if you are flying westward.
  • If possible, scheduling a stopover.
  • Setting your watch to ‘destination time’ while boarding your plane and sticking to it for waking and sleeping.
  • Avoiding caffeine and alcohol. Eat regular light meals on the aircraft and when you arrive at your destination.
  • Avoiding making important commitments for the first 24 hours after arrival as your judgement may be impaired. If possible, give yourself time to recover from the time difference.
  • Taking a walk in daylight on the day you arrive. This will help set your body clock.

Taking a mild sleeping tablet at night for the first one - two days after arrival to help you sleep while your body clock adjusts to the new time zone.