Long-haul flying


It has been a long time between posts so I will make this a very detailed one. You lucky reader!

So, flying.

I hate flying so much. Every time I get on a plane I am sure that I am going to die. Genuinely 100% sure that I will die. Every landing is a pleasant surprise, before I am gripped with the cold fingers of panic on my neck as I start to count down to my next upcoming flight.

I fly a LOT for someone who hates flying.

Yesterday I flew from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney on an overnight flight, and as I prepared myself with the militant precision that can only be fuelled by panic and perfectionism, I realise that maybe I could improve your flying experience, dear reader, by sharing Things I Have Gleaned About Flying with you.

It won’t make any of my flights more enjoyable, but at least I have got the horror organised to a fine art.

 So here we go.



All of the small (under 150ml, in a plastic bag) toiletries that can kid you into thinking you are preparing for a night at home. Cleanser, toner, moisturiser, even that overpriced Jurlique “balancing oil” that you were shamed into spending $60 on in the Marrickville Metro Day Spa by that 16 year old “beautician”.

Set up a little beauty shop in the lavatory right after they dim the lights for bedtime. (It’s best to do this at a time that will inconvenience the fewest people, but you might have to be selfish here, because you are more important than that kid who needs to vomit). Go through your ablutions whenever you feel like your face is a dry sandpapery desert, and you will feel so much better.





You need to sleep in a position that will be comfortable, and you need to find that position by whatever means possible. The person next to you understands, and in fact is doing the same thing. Perhaps you could come to some sort of romantic compromise, which will also make the trip awesomer.



This is more important when you’re doing the Europe to Australia route, which involves 24 hours of flying. There is nothing grosser than sitting around Dubai Airport waiting for your next 13 hour flight in yesterday’s underpants and sweaty socks. Pack at LEAST new undies and socks, and maybe a new top as well. When you get to the halfway point of your journey, you can wipe off the important Stink Central parts of your body with Wet Ones wipes, and it’s almost like an executive lounge shower! Except not even nearly.



Would you put up with a little bony-fingered child poking you in the sternum every time you moved slightly over the course of the flight? Of course not. You would break that child’s finger. So why do you let Eve’s Upstairs Curse  do the same thing to you?

No, you stupid idiot. As soon as the lights are dimmed: BRA OFF. You could even wear one of those built-in-bra singlet tops during the flight and go dizzyingly bra-less for the whole commute! WHAT A LIFE!

(It does mean that during turbulence you sometimes need to fold your arms across your chest to avoid hurting anybody).



I always bring the same hideous “wilted pink” Kathmandu zipper jumper on flights. It is ugly and old so I can spill lasagna on it, and it zips up to my neck to stop dangerous neck-breezes from ruining my beautiful voice.  

I also recommend bringing a shawl, either to cover your legs, drape over your front, or use as a pillow. So versatile!

If you’re going to wear thongs, bring some socks too. Maybe those ugly ones with separated toes, so you don’t have to pull them off to go to the toilet.



You have THINGS TO DO when you get off this plane, like BRUNCH, so you’ll be damned if you’re going to let 8 hours of compressed air tighten your stomach into a hard kettle drum of discomfort while grinning and bearing it.

If you have to let something out, you let it out. YOU ARE NOT HERE TO MAKE FRIENDS.

If modern airplane manufactors had taken a leaf from the “al fresco” book of the Wright Brothers, this wouldn’t even be a problem. But fancy “closed windows planes” have meant that you are flying in a thrumming cyclinder of mixed human gas. So you might as well join the party.


Thanks for partaking in this special edition of ‘Would Jess Like To Give Unwanted Advice’. The answer to that is of course, “always yes”.