Killing time on air flights

Every summer my family and I take the 5 and a half flight from Los Angeles to one of the Hawaiian Islands. (I know, its a rough life.)

But the flight always seems to take forever.

How do you kill time on air trips?

Can I bring a lap top computer and surf the web?


It was even worse flying from Atlanta to Honolulu. Say “hi” to the islands for me - I miss them!

I usually took a book and a hand-held game of some sort, but was mostly concerned with holding the plane in the air with my stomach muscles. I hate flying.

You can’t usually surf the web but some planes have it now and more will be coming. Don’t expect it to be cheap. You can watch movies on a laptop with a DVD player though and little portable DVD players with a screen are <$150 now.

I tend to take a stroll to the bathroom every hour or so. It kills some boredom but more importantly, it lets you stretch your muscles. That is important for comfort and safety. Several otherwise healthy people have remained seated in the cramped seat of today’s airliners for the whole, long flight and then stood up and the end and dropped dead from the blood clot moving away from their legs to more vital areas. :slight_smile:

When I flew from DC to San Franciso in February I brought my laptop and some DVDs, and for when the battery died I also had a few TV shows loaded up on my iPod. And, of course, I brought some books/magazines.

6+ hour plane flights are why they invented Tom Clancy.

I read and watch the in-flight movies. I see a lot of movies on planes I would never normally see, gives me something to bitch about when I get home "Have you seen Rumor Has it? WORST MOVIE EVER!!

LA to Hawaii? Try LA to Tel Aviv. I expanded my movie knowledge by quite a bit on that round-tripper, let me tell ya.

(The El-Al experience is fantastic, BTW. The food is good and appeals to the international palate, the seats are comfy and every seat gets a screen showing a small assortment of TV channels (I don’t know how many El-Al produces; probably all or almost all), mostly in English, including several showing different movies at any given time.

I saw some bad movies, sure (Taxi and the one with Seth Green where the three dudes go camping) but also some movies I really liked (Cellular and Paparazzi) and some other ones that at least passed the time.

I save up all the books I’ve meant to get through. I can usually plough through one or two on a flight.

Just to add, a lot of planes have plugs between some of the seats so you can keep your computer charged. They were DC plugs like a cigarette lighter. When I flew from Memphis from Honolulu, I took my laptop, and I made sure to book myself a seat on a row with one of the plugs.

An iPod full of Lake Woebegone. That and the latest copy of Games magazine.

Try kicking the seat of the individual in front of you.

Apparently, that’s REALLY, really fun. If you ask any of the legion of 5-year-olds who sit behind me on a rotational basis, at least.

Some favorite re-reads and one or two of those Big Books of Pencil Puzzles (with a couple of mechanical pencils) will get me through a couple of days’ worth of air travel, if I’m relaxed enough to actually be able to read or puzzle. Generally I, much like SnakesCatLady, am generally occupied with holding the plane in the air.

I’m with Paul in Saudi. I’ll bring along the latest Games magazine and/or a crossword puzzle book. I also bring along a book or two to read and some knitting. A few years ago, though, I noticed something interesting. When I flew to England to visit relatives, American airport security had no problem with me taking a pair of circular knitting needles and knitting on the plane. When I came back, though, British airport security asked me not to knit in flight. Maybe the British know something about pleasant looking ladies who knit the Americans don’t! :smiley:

Most airlines don’t have web access. I think some Lufthansa business class flights do, but still very rare.

I bring a book that is not too serious, but not complete fluff. I also bring some heftier magazines, and then some outright cheesy reading. I find it really helps to be able to jump around topics so I don’t get too bored with any one book or magazine.

I also find game, crossword puzzles, etc. help. Anything that is engrossing enough that I can forget the passage of time and zone out.

For long flights I stay up really late the night before so that I sleep on the plane. My goal is just to minimize the experience.

Join the mile high club. :smiley:

Get a window seat and bring topographic maps of your flight path. Identify rivers and cities and other landmarks. Of course, clouds can really ruin this one. On United flights, you used to be able to listen to the air-ground communication and if they still do, that can be somewhat interesting.

I chat with my neighbor if they’re the chatty type. I read. I play with the kids. I drink. I jones for a cigarette.

I sleep. I swear, I never get better sleep than on a jet.
I was asleep once before take-off and woke up at 30,000 feet.
Nothing kills time like sleeping.