Long flight. No power outlet. How do you pass the time?

I discovered the regretful news that Qantas passengers in steerage - excuse me, “economy” - don’t have power outlets in their seats! Good Lord. My plans to whittle away the 14-hour flight to Sydney with a DVD box set or computer game just went kaput. (Might consider investing in a spare battery, but even so it won’t get me all the way across the ocean.)

So, without that, how do YOU recommend I pass the time? Sleep is obviously the primary order of business but I’m skeptical I’ll be able to get more than 8 hours. Any good two-person card games out there we can learn? Or should I just stock up on sudoku?

There used to be these things called “books”. I think you might still be able to find a few around.

Yeah, I’d read and probably bring along the Gameboy or other handheld game.

That’s what I do–that and Kakuro.

I also bring a book of short stories (more easily digestible than a novel I don’t know if I’ll have time to finish post-flight), and I usually buy a magazine in the airport just to bone up on news.

Plus I always do the crossword of the inflight magazine, and am not above watching the movie the plane’s providing (though usually the choices there are pretty dire).

I also have an incredibly easy time falling asleep on a plane, so that’s an easy way to kill a few hours.

Thanks for the smartypants reply. :rolleyes:

Yes, reading is obvious on the list, but I have serious trouble focusing on a book in a confined space. Reading + iPod, maybe, but still looking for any other ideas.

I’ve used a DVD player on the flights between California and Sydney, which are around 13 hours. Charging up at the airport before I leave, using a spare battery, and getting a bit of sleep, I’ve found that there was still power left in the spare battery at the end of the flight.

I would be really surprized if even the “cattle car” seats don’t have the little LCD screens for you to

  1. watch movies,
  2. watch movies in other languages (have to admit this would be mind-consuming - trying to figure out what’s going on ;-),
  3. monitor the plane’s progress on the flight (in case you’re having trouble getting to sleep ;-), and
  4. play really lame games with an absurdly awkward control device.

You can pick up a cheap, portable DVD player if you like, but as you now know, it will only last you one movie or so. Plus you’ll have the hassle of lugging it (and movies) around with you on your trip.

My best advice: Tylenol PM (valium, if you have some). Sleep as much as you can. You’ll be a zombie just from the time change, but a rested zombie is better than a sleep-deprived zombie.

As I recall from an LA-to-Brisbane flight on Qantas in 2005, even in steerage each seat has its own screen. There were six or seven movies shown in continuous loops, a few TV channels, and various games. I tend to sleep fairly well on airplanes, and read or do sudokus when I don’t. But my partner whiled away a lot of time with the individual games. She said they kept her sane during the flight (she’s has a tendency toward agoraphobia).

Whatever you do, don’t forget to get up and pace the aisles, do some stretches in the back by the doors, etc. now and then. Otherwise, when you land and it’s time to get out of your seat, you’ll be so stiff you can’t straighten out again.

Have a great trip. I wish I were going back myself.

Are you flying with anyone? A deck of cards.

Other than that, my plane entertainment includes:

Word games (a book of sudoku, a book of crossword puzzles, a book of logic puzzles)
Gameboy (or similar)
Pen and notebook
Ambien (to sleep, perchance to dream)

Get a hard plastic cup and six dice. Play dice games with your neighbor on the hard plastic tables. Bring spit balls, toothpicks, and a straw to fire them at people complaining about all the racket.

… and since you have dice, perhaps start up a friendly D&D game with your neighbors. Just set up your gear and a screen. Hand your neighbors pre-drawn characters and say, “You’re in a cave. What do you do now?”

Maybe these aren’t the best ideas.

Books on tape or podcasts tend to pass the time more quickly for me. When I last flew, the little LCDs on the back of the seat had a surprisingly good movie and TV selection, but that was on Virgin Atlantic, not Quantas, so YMMV (Ha quite literally! I crack me up!).

Make sure you have sound-isolating or sound-canceling phones if you want to use an Ipod on a plane.

I like Teaching Company audio lecture courses. You could buy them, or borrow them on CD from the library, rip them and put them on your Ipod. I figure that’s okay to do if I’m only going to listen once. Or you could just use a tape or CD Walkman for them.

Portable gaming might be a good option. Pick up a GBA and a couple games used, that should get you through the flight. Puzzles or something similar is good too, and uses less batteries (I spent my last trip practicing hiragana). Pick up a variety puzzles book so you don’t get bored of the same type of puzzle the whole way.

I don’t know how practical this option is but if your DVD player has a DC power in plug with a voltage close multiple to a standard multiple 1.5V battery, you may try to construct a battery pack using standard D cells Alkakine batteries.

Two words: acapella karaoke

My friend and I have invented a version of Magic: The Gathering drafting that works well on airplane flights. Of course, we’re huge nerds.

(you poor non-book-reading bastard…)

Get yourself a backup battery for your iPod
I took a similar unit with me on a 14 hour flight and had no problems.

Fourteen hours of uninterrupted reading? Heaven on earth (or 30K feet above earth). I’d have my iPod filled with good background music and take along part of the stack of books and magazines I haven’t gotten to yet.

You could also mix 'n match. Take a book and a magazine and a DVD player and your iPod and a handheld game console and a deck of cards, (etc., etc., etc.). Don’t count on any one diversion to last you the whole way.

You don’t know how to entertain yourself without power? If you aren’t old enough to drink yourself silly, you can masturbate like crazy.

Qantas has an excellent inflight entertainment system; each seat has its own screen, and they offer a wide selection of movies, TV shows, and music to select from. Between that, your iPod, and a book or two, you won’t be bored.