I didn’t notice the duration until after I booked my airfare.
Total flight time from Salt Lake City to Durban, South Africa: an intimidating 22 hours—just under a full day. And that doesn’t include the 7-hour layover at two different airports. Nor the three additional hours of airtime on the return flight (because trade winds).
The longest nonstop I will take on this trip—New York to Johannesburg—lasts 16 hours and 27 minutes. It won’t be as long as the record-setting 18-hour-and-50-minute doozy from Singapore to New York, but it’s close. And it may make you wonder, why would anyone do that to themselves?
If I’m going to go on a life-changing safari, I’ve gotta get my hands dirty, right!? So I do it—I book the flight. After processing the sheer amount of time I’ll spend in the air, however, I mistakenly think my past experience on 10-plus hour flights will make this long-hauler a piece of cake.
I am wrong. Hour 12, I learn, is like hitting “the wall” in a marathon, and at that point I’ll still have five more hours to go. Someone get me outta here! In fact, the latter half of the flight will feel like a slow-motion time warp. Zombie-land in a flying metal tube, and I’m the zombie.
Sounds nice, right? For anyone planning on taking a similar “ultra long-haul”—any flight greater than 16 hours—here’s a psychological run-down of what to expect, plus tips and tricks to maintain your sanity. Continue reading…
Here’s a roundup of some of my latest travel writing:
Thanks for reading and sharing.
“It doesn’t hurt to ask,” is one of the many sayings I live by. While there are some exceptions to this rule, it is mostly true and has served me well.
This is especially true when flying. Some passengers keep to themselves for fear of troubling flight attendants. But most flight attendants want you to have a good flight, which makes their jobs easier.
That said, you can often get the following seven things for free on your next flight. You just have to ask. Continue reading…
Clouds from my plane window somewhere over Nicaragua (courtesy Blake Snow)
My respect for clouds skyrocketed last year on two separate occasions.
The first was while flying home from France after hiking Mont Blanc with my long-time friend Wesley Lovvorn. Despite being about the same elevation as my beloved Wasatch Mountains, The Alps appear 2000-4000 feet taller due to greater topographical prominence. That is their valley floor is about 2000-4000 lower than the 4400 feet I live at in Provo. Consequently, the Alps looked like giants the first time I saw them. But not as giant as the cumulus clouds I flew through on the way home. Shortly after crossing into eastern Utah on the 10 hour flight from Paris to Salt Lake, my Delta plane felt like an insect flying into an endless mountain range of white, billowy water vapor. I’ve never seen anything so big. It was a beautiful and comforting sight to come home to.
I love airplanes. I love travel. And I love this Delta commercial which is the embodiment of both.
Although United has come on strong this year, Delta remains my preferred airline for its reliability and affordability. Keep climbing.
Thanks to Frontier’s new route “with service to Provo,” Lindsey and I haven’t had to use Salt Lake Airport—nor make the 80 minute round trip drive to it—at all this summer. Since June, the savvy airliner has been flying into my backyard. A quick 50-minute connection to Denver, and we’re off.
While I normally prefer flying direct, the connection actually takes less time than driving to and enduring Salt Lake security lines. I can show up to Provo Regional Airport 30 minutes before departure and still make it to my gate with more than 20 minutes to spare. Security takes less than five minutes, if that. Admittedly, with two flights I’m still exposed to more cancelation, but so far, so good. As a bonus, the flight is significantly cheaper.
What’s more, the route is operating at 90% capacity, enough to justify a westbound flight to either Vegas or LA, officials say. Party on, Provo.
Lindsey and I took the girls to visit their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in good ‘ole Georgia last week. We found a smoking deal on airfare, which just so happen to be on Continental — a first for yours truly who usually flies Delta (for no other reason that low fares and a sky miles account).
I must say, I was impressed with the “service to Atlanta.” First off, Continental coach is way more roomy than any other consumer airline I’ve flown over the last decade, maybe ever. The seats aren’t leather, but they’re comfy, and I’d take legroom over leather any day. Continue reading…