I took my very first long haul flight last week and it was exciting but scary because I had no idea what to expect. I tried googling and asking family members but in the end I felt no better and had no idea what would happen.
What happens with luggage? No idea.
Do I need to check in at every change? No idea.
Below are all the questions that I asked myself and googled before I boarded my flight, so if anyone else has similar questions I should be able to help. I’ll answer the above two first:
What happens with luggage?
In our case it was a royal fuck up. We had two changes, which is three planes. The first two planes were Turkish Airline and the third was Malindo Air. Checking in at our first destination they told us to collect our bags at the second change as it was a change of airline. As it turned out, this was not the case and the airlines have a mutual agreement where they exchange the baggage between one another. This meant that we missed our flight as we only had an hour to collect our luggage to check it in again. Generally, it seems you should never have to pick up your luggage and airlines will switch it between them. This is something you should make sure you understand at check in and also make sure you have enough time between transfers.
Do I need to check in at every change?
No, you do not. When you check in at your first flight they should give you all your boarding passes, unless they tell you otherwise. This means when you leave the plane you go into the international change lounge rather than passport control.
Is one hour enough time to change flights?
No and no. I googled this question a lot when I realised we only had an hour between our two flights. It is doable if you don’t have checked luggage, otherwise it is impossible. Always make sure you have enough time. I definitely would rather wait a few extra hours than have to rush around and stress about making the flight. As a rule of thumb leave around two hours in between each flight.
Should I clingfilm wrap my bag?
Now, this is something I would 100% never do. Until my Grandma made me (thanks Grandma). And as it turns out it is something that is worth doing, especially when travelling through Asia. You can google all the horror stories about drugs being slipped into your bag so clingfilming it lets you and the airline know that it hasn’t been tampered with. It only cost us 10 Euros which is really cheap and gives everyone peace of mind.
Will there be food on the plane?
If it is longer than three hours then yes. On all out flights there was food and on the 10 hours flight there was also a breakfast. Unfortunately, these meals are not all vegan. I ate two that seemed vegan although I was not entirely sure. Sometimes when you check in online you can give a preference as vegan but I was not able to do this, so make sure you grab food at the international changes. There are free peanuts and drinks available so you’ll be okay.
How long did it take?
Way too long. It can be broken down to:
Malaga to Istanbul: 4 hours
Waiting in Istanbul : 6 hours
Istanbul to Malaysia: 10 hours
Waiting in Malaysia: 13 hours
Malaysia to Perth: 6 hours
In total it took 39 hours but without missing the flight it should have taken 27, which wouldn’t have been too bad.
A few extra tips
- On the flight that took ten hours you got an eye mask and ear plugs which are worth investing in if you aren’t given any for free. It helps sleep and you need it when travelling for so long.
- Aisle seats are always best if you can get them. You can get up and walk around if you ever get stiff and also pee breaks come whenever you want.
- Keep moving. Don’t stay seated the whole flight, walk around and stretch.
- Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
- If you are vegan and you don’t get to tell them when you check in online it is best to make sure you eat at the airports before you board your flights. That way any extra food that you can eat comes as a little bonus!
Those are all the tips and tricks I have for when taking a long haul flight. I hope you enjoyed this post and found it useful if you are boarding a flight soon. I also find that SkyScanner have a great amount of information about flying, so they are worth checking out. Australia is amazing, there are literally kangaroos everywhere!
My next blog post will be up on Sunday but in the meantime why not check out my previous post about being in Malaga.