Traveling is awesome, and if you ask me, the farther away I’m going, the better. That said, jetlag from a 19- or 20-hour flight can ruin the first couple days of your trip, or make coming home even worse than you thought.
If you’ve got the cash, though, the technology on the world’s longest flight makes jetlag one more worry you can cross off your list before you even set foot on the plane.
The plane is the A350-900 ULR (Ultra Long Range), and it comes stocked with multiple tricks for fooling your mind and body on a flight that actually lasts nearly a full 24 hours.
It was built to fly from Singapore to Newark and Singapore to San Francisco (each easily a 20-hour flight without stops), and soon Qantas and others will be adding the jets to their own arsenals for trips from London and New York all the way to Sydney.
But what exactly makes these planes so magical?
You can start with the elbow room – the plane only offers Economy Plus and Business Class, so those cramped three-across seats are a distant memory.
And the extra space is just the beginning, says Yung Han Ng, VP of Product Innovation for Singapore Airlines.
“We have anti-jet lag cabin pressurization, which lowers the effective altitude from 8,000 feet to 6,000 feet. That means more oxygen for everyone on board.”
More oxygen = less grogginess. Winning.
The plane’s airflow management and purification system renew the cabin’s air every 2 minutes and regulate cabin temperature in the process, which means you don’t feel like you desperately need a shower the minute your feet hit the jetway.
And the best part is that you don’t even know any of that is happening while you’re snuggled in your airline slippers.
Speaking of snuggled, being able to sleep on long-haul flights can mean the difference between a great, rested first day abroad and feeling like someone dumped a fistful of sand in your eyes while you try to navigate an unfamiliar city. And this plane has you covered: your seat reclines to a completely flat position, and the cabin is four decibels quieter than other commercial aircraft – eight decibels quieter at the front of the plane.
Good-bye, earplugs and trying to sleep with headphones covering your ears.
On Singapore Airlines, the entire flight experience is paramount – they’ve partnered with Canyon Ranch, a 40-year-old wellness brand, to offer healthy meal options also designed to fight jet lag. Meals include prawn ceviche and lavosh, citrus-braised pork shoulder, and French apple frangipane tart for dessert, and the meals are served to coincide with the meal times at your destination, which helps ease your body into a new routine.
I can’t vouch for this plane’s ability to totally do away with jet-lag, but I’d definitely be willing to give it a try.