In the air
Mobile phones and electronic equipment: All transmitting electronic devices, including mobile phones, tablets and laptop computers, must be switched to flight mode* prior to departure. Smaller devices such as mobile phones, e-readers, electronic games, MP3 players, iPads and other small tablets may be held in your hands or stowed in a seat pocket. Unless otherwise directed by the captain, these devices may remain switched on and used in flight mode during take-off, cruise and landing. Larger electronic equipment such as laptop computers may only be used from when the aircraft seatbelt sign is extinguished after take-off until the top of descent. After landing, the cabin crew will advise when flight mode may be switched off.
Headsets: Do not use a personal single-pin audio headset in the Qantas inflight entertainment system unless it is supported by a two-pin airline headset adaptor. Personal headsets that connect via a cable to a handheld device can be used at any time from boarding until arrival. Headsets and other devices that connect via Bluetooth must be switched off for take-off and landing but can be used during cruise. *Flight mode enables you to operate the basic functions of your mobile phone or personal electronic device while its transmitting function is switched off, meaning you cannot make phone calls or send an SMS.
Your inflight health: When flying, passengers can be seated and inactive for long periods of time. The environment can be low in humidity and the cabin pressure equivalent to an altitude of 2440 metres above sea level. The following advice helps you stay healthy during your journey.
The importance of inflight blood circulation
and muscle relaxation: When walking, the leg muscle action helps return venous blood to the heart. Sitting in the same position for a long period of time can slow this process and, in some people, leads to swelling in the feet. Some studies have shown that immobility associated with travel of longer than four hours (by air, car or rail) can also lead to an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or clotting in the legs. Personal factors that increase the risk of DVT include: ◖ Age over 40 years ◖ Personal or family history of DVT or pulmonary embolus ◖ Recent surgery or injury, especially to the lower limbs, pelvis or abdomen ◖ Cancer ◖ Inherited or other blood disorders leading to clotting tendency ◖ Pregnancy ◖ Oestrogen therapy (oral contraceptive pill or hormone replacement therapy). There are a number of ways to help reduce the
possibility of DVT, including the following: ◖ Avoid leg-crossing while seated ◖ Ensure adequate hydration ◖ Minimise alcohol and caffeine intake before
and during your flight ◖ Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes ◖ During your flight, move your legs and feet for three to four minutes per hour while seated and move about the cabin occasionally ◖ Do the light exercises we recommend here (see above) and through the inflight entertainment system.
If you have concerns about your health and flying, or you feel that you may be at risk of DVT, Qantas recommends that you talk to your doctor before travelling. Additional measures such as well-fitted compression stockings or anti-clotting medication may be recommended for high-risk individuals.
Jet lag: Unlike other forms of transport, air travel allows for rapid movement across many time zones, which can disrupt the body’s biological clock. This is commonly known as jet lag. This disruption can affect various body rhythms such as the sleep-wake cycle and the digestive system, leading to symptoms such as tiredness and lack of energy and appetite. In general, the more time zones crossed, the more disruption of the body clock and the more symptoms experienced after the journey. We recommend the following to minimise the effects of jet lag. Before your flight: ◖ Get a good night’s rest During your flight: ◖ Eat light meals ◖ Wear loose, comfortable clothing and sleep
when you can ◖ Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water and
avoid excess tea, coffee and alcohol At your destination: ◖ If possible, give yourself a day or two after
arrival to adjust to the new time zone ◖ Go out in the daylight and do some light
exercise ◖ Try to eat meals and do other social activities at appropriate destination times to adjust to the new time zone
Cabin humidity and hydration: Humidity levels of less than 25 per cent are common in the cabin, as the outside air that supplies the cabin is very dry. The low humidity can cause drying of the surfaces of the nose, throat and eyes and it can irritate contact lenses. If normal fluid intake is maintained during the flight, dehydration will not occur. We recommend: ◖ Drink water and juices frequently during
the flight ◖ Drink coffee, tea and alcohol in moderation ◖ Remove contact lenses and wear glasses
if your eyes are irritated ◖ Use a skin moisturiser to refresh the skin
Cabin pressurisation: During flight, aircraft cabin pressure is maintained to a sufficient density for your comfort and health. As the aircraft climbs, the cabin may reach the same air pressure as at an elevation of 2440 metres above sea level. Cabin pressure does not pose a problem for most passengers. However, if you suffer from obstructive pulmonary diseases, anaemias or certain cardiovascular conditions, you could experience discomfort at these altitudes. These passengers should seek medical advice before flying, as some may require supplementary oxygen. Qantas can arrange this but requires at least seven days’ notice before travelling. The rate of change in cabin pressure during climb and descent is also carefully maintained and does not usually cause discomfort. However, children and infants, and adults who have sinus or nasal congestion, may experience some discomfort because of pressure changes during climb and particularly descent. Those suffering from nasal or sinus congestion because of a cold or allergies may need to delay travel. The following advice may assist: ◖ To “clear” your ears, try swallowing, yawning or pinching your nose closed and gently blowing against it. These actions help open the Eustachian tubes, equalising pressure between the middle ear chamber and throat. ◖ If flying with an infant, feed or give your baby a dummy during descent. Sucking and swallowing help equalise pressure in an infant’s ears. Give children something to drink or chew during descent. ◖ Consider using medication such as nasal sprays, decongestants and antihistamines 30 minutes prior to descent to help open up your ear and sinus passages.
Motion sickness: Air travel, especially if turbulence is experienced, can cause motion sickness, as it leads to a conflict between the body’s sense of vision and its sense of equilibrium. Maintaining good visual cues (keeping your eyes fixed on a non-moving object) helps prevent motion sickness. When the weather is clear, you should look out at the ground, sea or horizon. If the horizon can’t be seen, closing your eyes and keeping your head movements to a minimum will help. While over-the-counter medications are available, we recommend you consult your doctor about the appropriate medications. More information can be found: ◖ At qantas.com.au/info/flying/intheair/
yourhealthinflight ◖ Through the onboard entertainment system ◖ On our information leaflet available from
Qantas or your travel agent
Smoking: Government regulations prohibit smoking on all flights operated by Australianregistered aircraft. The use and charging of all e-cigarettes and other personal vaporisers are not permitted on board an aircraft. There are smoke detectors in all toilets and penalties for regulation breaches.
Travelling with children: Please ask cabin crew for help if required. Baby food and nappies (diapers) are available on most flights, while some washrooms are fitted with baby change tables. Please dispose of nappies etc. in the waste bins.