How To Dress For Long Haul Flights

As experienced travellers know, there is much more to enjoying a long haul flight than simply showing up and taking your seat. You are going to be on that plane and in the seat for many hours, you want to be as comfortable and relaxed as possible.

What you choose to wear plays a key part in this, get your outfit badly wrong and you have a long time to reflect on the decision – and feel uncomfortable.

In this post, we pull together thoughts from experienced travellers to look at how a passenger should dress for a long haul flight.

These are all tips you might want to consider passed on from those in the know 

Tip 1 – Plan In Advance 

By reading this sort of post, you are already tackling this tip. When choosing what to travel in you need to give thought to the choice before the trip, potentially choosing an outfit days in advance and then making sure it is ready.

The opposite, and what to avoid, is to complete packing and then realise you also need an outfit for traveling, perhaps just grabbing clothes you weren’t planning to take, or picking almost at random from the packed suitcase, a sort of ‘these are handy, they’ll do’ type approach.

Whatever you choose, and we’ll come on to what that might be, get it ready in advance.

Tip 2 – It all starts from the feet

While you might expect people to focus on your expensive jacket, or stylish shirt, personal comfort starts with the feet.

The one thing you are certain to be doing on a long haul flight is sitting down a lot, that and walking a bit at the airport to get on the flight.

Think carefully about your shoe choice, it might be that you want to find that balance of being smart, but also extremely comfy. Many prefer slip on shoes, these have the benefit of making security checks easy and they are also simple to kick off once you’re on the flight (and make sure you have good quality socks on, you don’t want to be kicking shoes off only to reveal frayed, old socks.

Your choice of footwear needs to be suitable for the flight, for moving around the airport on arrival, for carrying your luggage, it must be suitable for both the climate when you set off and when you arrive.

Give due thought to what goes on your feet…

Tip 3 Plan in versatility

A long haul flight obviously takes you to a country where the temperature might be very different from what you experienced when you departed. 

No one outfit can cater for all temperatures, so having flexibility can be key, have layers that are easy to remove (within reason) and also additions that can help keep you warm. Even the flight itself can see vastly fluctuating temperatures, so having jumpers and similar that are easy to put on and take off is crucial.

It is worth giving thought to the nature of the clothing too, for instance jumpers that are a bit tight are harder to take off and might feel more of a annoyance to change into or remove, they might be that sort of jumper that brings the t-shirt with it, showing half your belly.

Imagining the process of changing in and out of layers on the flight can help you choose the right garments.

Tip 4 – Style vs Comfort

It might be that you have the perfect outfit that is both stylish and comfortable but, if not, you might have to make a choice.

Obviously you want to be comfortable on the flight, but do you put that above all else, or are you also keen to keep the possibility of an upgrade alive? It might be that sweatpants and a favourite old jumper feel like heaven, they might be great to travel in, but they won’t have you moving the other side of the curtain.

Alternatively, you can go in smarter attire and there is a far greater likelihood you will get that upgrade, although it is still unlikely of course – it has merely moved from impossible to unlikely.

What is known is that airline staff look for those in the smartest of attire to consider for that elusive upgrade, this doesn’t have to be business clothes but it must look a well put together ensemble rather than something more thrown together.

And when you have more to worry about than just your outfit…

Hopefully, your biggest concern on your long haul flight will be whether you should have packed an extra jumper in case the cabin gets a bit chilly.

Sometimes, though, there are more pressing concerns. Long haul flights are regularly subject to delays and cancellations. Other times, the flights are overbooked and so some passengers get bumped by the airline, potentially leading to costly delays and changed plans.

When your flight is delayed, cancelled or you are refused boarding through no fault of your own, you will be entitled to compensation in many cases.

At Flight Reclaim, we help you win this compensation – potentially thousands of pounds worth – on a no-win, no-fee basis. We have a 98% success rate, have helped more than 50,000 passengers and won back more than £20m in compensation.

On the independent TrustPilot, we have superb reviews from hundreds of passengers we have helped.

Hopefully, you won’t need our services, but if you find yourself delayed or bumped in future, or if this has happened any time in the past six years please contact us so we can start the process of getting you compensation.

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