What is a Long Haul Flight?

A Long Haul Flight generally refers to any flight that has an in-air duration of over 8 hours. More often than not, these are international flights. However, some long haul domestic flights do exist. Check out our tips below for surviving the journey on a long haul flight.

Plane above clouds

What to Wear on a Long Haul Flight?

  • Generally speaking, you want to opt for looser clothing that is going to be comfortable and allow for blood flow. 

This goes for shoes too! 

Pants: Ideally, stretchy or loose. Think sweat, yoga, or wide ankle pants.

Tops: For a casual flight or vacation, hoodies and sweatshirts are great but make sure you’re opting for fabrics that are breathable.

If you’re travelling business class, a sports coat you can remove, or soft cardigan works as a great stylish top layer.

What to Pack in Hand Luggage on a Long Haul Flight?

  • Reusable Water Bottle: In addition to comfortable clothing, we highly recommend bringing a primary and additional reusable water bottle with you. You’re going to be in the air for quite sometime and although meals are generally customary on long haul flights, you can’t go wrong with extra water. Collapsible reusable water bottles work excellently and are great to travel with as they can fit in your pocket and won’t take up much space.


  • Ear Plugs or Noise Cancelling Headphones: Noise cancelling headphones are absolutely worth the investment especially if you’re a frequent flyer. We recommend the new Apple Airpod Pro’s. Alternatively, if you’re simply looking to block out noise, silicone ear buds are quite inexpensive and can be picked up at most airports.


  • Snacks: Before you go to the airport, consider packing some additional snacks to cover you between meals.


  • Eye Coverings/Pillows: In addition to ear plugs, grab an eye mask that’s going to be effective in blocking out light. Often times long haul flights are overnight so you should anticipate at least a nap.

How Many Pilots Are on Long Haul Flights?

This generally depends on the airline and the duration of the flight. On all flights, there is always a minimum of two pilots on duty at all times. However, for long haul and ultra long haul flights, there will be other sets of pilots on rotating command.

Do Pilots Sleep on Long Haul Flights?

Yes! When there is a rotating group of pilots, generally 4 or more, the duration of the flight is split up. While two pilots are actively in command, there is a second set of pilots resting in a private layer generally above first class near the cockpit depending on the aircraft. 

The pilots go on cycles so in the middle of the flight duration, pilots swap roles and the operating pilots head to the bunks for rest as the newly rested pilots take over for the final duration of the flight.

Searching for other travel related terms? Check out out the full Firefly List Travel Glossary.