Five ways to fly better, according to an inflight service manager from Air New Zealand

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Travel tips by Debbie Ridgeway, an inflight service manager and trainer checker with Air New Zealand since 1986

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Debbie Ridgeway

Drink up

The main thing on a flight would be hydration. We get 1.5-litre bottles of water each and we’ve got to go through at least one of those. So keep the fluids up and have the odd juice for additional energy.

Pack a little luxury

Packing the odd luxury item to make the flight more comfortable. I personally love a silk pillowcase. Sounds a little bit luxurious but it is a treat to place over the usual pillow cases. Not only does it feel good but is better for your skin and hair, which is a big advantage on long flights. A nice hand cream or moisturiser was something I keep in my carry-on, as things get dry on a long flight due to a plane’s low humidity level and high altitude.

Move around

When we’re not sleeping, we are often on our feet and moving around the plane to stay fresh and feeling good. We’ve got the ability to walk around the cabin and keep our legs moving, which keeps the blood moving and stretches muscles that grow stiff when sitting for hours at a time. For passengers, I’d say, get up, come to the galley and say ‘hi’. We don’t mind having a bit of a kōrero (chat) with the passengers at 2am in the morning.

Keep coffee for breakfast

It may be tempting to drink coffee to help you get through a flight but I keep the caffeine for the mornings when we’re going to be landing somewhere. The drink makes it hard to sleep at night and can worsen dehydration.

Beat jet lag by taking a nap

Everyone is different on how they beat jet lag, but for me, after arriving into a new city like New York, I grab some healthy snacks and catch some sleep at the hotel to take the edge off your tiredness. Staying awake until the local night time was also a big help for some of the crew. If we land in the morning, many of us will try to stay awake until the evening. That way you don’t have those two or three days where you’re up in the middle of the night.

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