Posted May 3, 2009 in Travel | 0 Comments



Hello boys and girls. I’m your friendly neighbourhood travel advisor. If you all sit around I can tell you nifty tips on how/where/when to go, wherever you want to go. Now why would you listen to me? Cause I know better…trust me. Why would I know better? Cause I’m a flight crew manager. Which airline? None of your business!

On this trip our flight plans include the causes, effects and remedies of jet lag. Yes, I could have started with a trip but I figured, most of you are students, so I doubt you can afford any travel anyways and aren’t you in exams? So watch the next column.

Definition of Jet Lag

‘Becoming tired and disoriented for days after arriving. Lack of concentration and motivation, especially for any activity that requires some effort or skill like driving, reading, etc…Simple activities can become harder.’


The main reason for jet lag is the crossing of time zones, but your pre-flight condition, the dry atmosphere, lack of exercise, and cabin pressure also aid in the effects.

NASA estimates for every one-hour time zone you cross, you’ll need one day to recuperate. So if your flying Toronto- Hong Kong…your fucked!

Now imagine the flight attendants working the flights? You try keeping that toothy smile after a 14-hour long haul of screaming kids and no one understanding English. Everyone complains the flight attendants are too old. They’re actually not. They’re recent graduates messed up from all the flying.

Anyway, enough of my ranting.


Flying can cause dehydration due to the dry air being re-circulated throughout the cabin. During the winter a flight attendants skin is not pretty. It actually resembles a croc handbag.

Due to the pressurized air in the cabin. Our bodies inflate with air. You’ll notice your belt or bra feels a little tighter. Ladies if you’re flat, its time to pour it on. Your feet and legs become swollen making shoes or leggings uncomfortable. These effects can last for up to 24 hours.


You’re going to have jet lag no matter what. Its how you treat your body before and during the flight that determines how bad it will be.


My advise to you is drink lots of water. This will help reduce dry skin, dry mouth, and keep your body good and ready for the eventual arrival. Refrain from drinking alcohol. Some of you think that getting blitzed on a flight is the right thing to do. WRONG!!! Whatever alcoholic drink you have in the air equates to 2-3 times the amount on the ground. Take it from me; a drunken passenger doing his rendition of Britney Spears is not pretty (actual story) in front of the cabin. This only leaves you with a bigger hang over.


Try to bring your own food as some airlines (especially a major Canadian one) have the worst food. These meals that are being served have a life span of 3-4 years sometimes. Also if not refrigerated properly they can cause the worst trip imaginable.


Get plenty of exercise in the days prior to your flight and a good night’s sleep prior to departure. Also stretch out if possible on your flight. If you can I advise you to walk around, do twisting exercises and stretches. This helps circulation of the blood.

Sleep Aids

Bring some sleeping aids such as facemasks, earplugs, pillows, blankets and schoolbooks. Loose fitting clothes (sweat pants) are a plus. Kick off your shoes, but make sure they don’t stink. The worst thing is sitting next to stinky feet, and for god sakes wear socks. Corns and bunions are so not sexy or in season.

Sleeping Pills

I used to pop some sleeping pills. I’d advise you not to do the same for two reasons. My reason is that on a Tokyo–Toronto flight I collapsed face down into a plate of beef and rice. This almost caused a diversion. Thank god the crew knew me and heard me say I was going to literally pass out.

The medical reason is ‘blood clots’. Not Jamaican swearing, but the fact that for over 3 years at Heathrow Airport 18% of the 61 sudden deaths in long distance passengers were caused by blood clots. The chance of blood clots increases with sleeping pills as they contain anti-histamines, which tends to dehydrate the body. As I told you before…HYDRATE. DRINK TONS OF WATER. Not juices, coffees, teas, soft drinks, or alcohol. WATER!!!

Besides the only other suggestion I would make for jet lag is to keep your ass at home.

This concludes our lesson plan today boys and girls. See you next time and don’t forget, tip the flight attendants heavily. You guys think they’re waiters anyway, but this waiter may save your life.

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