Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Long Flights

Faiza said she's rather dreading her long flight to Dubai in a few months, and many others complain about long flights (such as my mom) because "there's nothing to do"..

I'm sure my friend Ozair, has his set of interesting activities on long flights.

Some of the advantages of flying Etihad are:

  • You can pray anywhere in the plane, no one will stop you. In fact, the air hostess will even give you a blanket to pray on. I remember once I started praying, and the air hostess gently spread the blanket in front of me. Most of the crew is not Muslim. So, for those hesitant to do it on other airlines don't have to feel awkward about praying on Etihad. I've rarely prayed sitting in my seat for any flight, the times I did, it was probably because of turbulence. It's great exercise, Alhamdulillah.
  • Along with the map, and other coordinates, the direction of the Qiblah is always displayed with respect to the plane. So you'll always pray in the right direction!
  • Channel 1 audio is Qur'an recitation. Beautiful melodious voices.
  • Of course, all meals served are halal. They do have alcohol.

I've made many friends in flight. This time flying to Toronto I met an old couple from Gujrat, who were travelling all the way from Gujrat to Bombay to Abu Dhabi (stayed the night) and then took the flight to Toronto, their final destination being Mississauga. I helped them with their bags, they were so happy talking to me, gave me their address and phone numbers in Canada and India.. I still have it in my wallet.

On a flight from Ottawa to Toronto, I met a girl whom I passed on an Islamic magazine I had. I always pray for interesting people sitting next to me!

Once a german girl, probably about 14-16 years of age wrote a cute letter for me on a postcard.

There's always something to learn from people you randomly meet.

If you're travelling with someone old, always request for the seat near the emergency exit since there are no rows in front of you and you can stretch your leg all the way.

  1. I know many people are not talkers. Some people might get off an 8 hour flight without even looking @ the person next to them. But you might just meet someone you want to keep in touch with, no harm done!

  2. I don't have patience with gluing myself to a screen, but since I don't have much choice while sitting in a plane, so sometimes I watch cartoon movies. I watched Garfield and loved it!

  3. I like to show children how to play games on the screen. Often I've noticed when the older sibling figures it out, they don't share the information with the younger ones. That's where I come to their rescue :D

  4. Most of my flights have a stop over. I generally aim for finishing a juz of the Qur'an in each flight. You can even try memorising a few ayahs, or revising what you already know.

  5. I like to listen to the Qur'an channel and test myself if I know which surah they are reading. Most of my attempts are rather succesful, but oh the joy of getting the Surah right!

  6. This time, I caught up with 2 Arabic lectures that I had loaded on my MP3 player. It was a bit awkward taking notes on the tray table, but I had my coloured pens out and the whole shebang. Considering I had over 20 hours of lectures to catch up, studying on the plane really helped.

  7. I finished a few chapters of The Tipping Point (which... I'm still reading) It's my travel book. So generally I raed a book @ home, and I keep one in my bag that I read when "waiting" (such as when I take mummy to the doc or on road trips to Dubai)

  8. Read duas from my dua card collection (coming soon...)

  9. Write- a diary entry

  10. Reflect... thinking about death is great! Also thinking about what change you're going to implement in your family for the better is great.

  11. Work on your year plan- make resolutions, update yourself.

  12. The inflight magazines are generally useless. But my one flight to Toronto where Jeewan was in the seat in front of me mentioned a great article in there on energy saving in Abu Dhabi.

  13. In flight exercises: Very important for your circulation, air pressure and muscle relaxation. Stretch whatever you can, and rotate whatever you can. Basically.

  14. I almost forgot, the best part, sleep! This time on my way back from Toronto, the girl sitting next to me was Pakistani, I barely spoke with her, she slept all the way from Toronto!

  15. Sometimes there are people who don't speak English, or read and write it. You can assist them with their customs forms or other material.

And I'm sure googling will help you with more of your type of tips :)

And if you want some Airport Survival Tips, read this.


Hafsa said...

Wow....now I can't wait to "hop on a plane" to umm.. anywhere :)

Note to all travellers, please allot some time during your journey to go through your dua book. And make dua for everyone. 'Cuz a travellers dua is accepted.

Humairah Irfan said...

I don't care whether it's a giant albatross you have to fly on (or a camel with wings), your first international stop is DUBAI!!!!!

sheepoo said...

I always look out the plane and see the huge wings spread out. It amazes me how you cannot see anything holding those wings aloft and yet the plane is flying. And then I remind myself of:

أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا إِلَى الطَّيْرِ فَوْقَهُمْ صَفَّتٍ وَيَقْبِضْنَ مَا يُمْسِكُهُنَّ إِلَّا الرَّحْمَنُ إِنَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ بَصِيرٌ

Have they not seen the birds above them lined up in columns and spreading their wings? The Most Gracious is the One who holds them in the air. Truly it is He that watches over all things [67:19]

Humairah Irfan said...

Mashallah, that's so true.
So many beautiful ayahs in the Qur'an... your comment reminded me of this:
88:17 Do they not look at the Camels, how they are made?-

أَفَلَا يَنظُرُونَ إِلَى الْإِبِلِ كَيْفَ خُلِقَتْ (88:17)

88:18 And at the Sky, how it is raised high?-

وَإِلَى السَّمَاء كَيْفَ رُفِعَتْ (88:18)

88:19 And at the Mountains, how they are fixed firm?-

وَإِلَى الْجِبَالِ كَيْفَ نُصِبَتْ (88:19)

88:20 And at the Earth, how it is spread out?

وَإِلَى الْأَرْضِ كَيْفَ سُطِحَتْ (88:20)

Ozair said...

wow Humairah! That is quite an exhaustive list of recommendations. I have more airline horror stories (flying Air Canada, nuff said ;-)) than good moments. I do agree with a common theme of trying to engage conversation with your neighbour. It doesn't hurt to smile when you meet your neighbour, you can usually tell if they will either sleep through the flight or engage convo with you.

I personally recommend the aisle seat since you don't need to walk pass people if you have to go to the washroom and allows you to exit the airplane quicker, and good tip on the exit room seating, it gives you more leg room. Ultimately, the best thing you can do on a place is sleep, although whenever I wanna sleep, I usually end up sitting near to a baby that cries the entire flight :|

Hafsa said...

oh... we forgot to mention, if we have time before the flight, we can always find a computer to send emails like these to Hafsa:

"Lol... I'm here @ the airport and they have free internet! If I knew, I'd have got here 4 hours earlier, and I cud've finished all the badges here.."

and another [parapharasing - can't find the email..lol]
"flight to Ottawa in 10 minutes.. call me"

Humairah Irfan said...

Yeps that's true Ozair, I prefer aisle seats too.
This time when I was flying back from Toronto, there were like 10 babies in the area around me... you can imagine the nightmare!

Goodness Hafsa, don't remind me about the conference days... those badges were the most nighmarish experience ever! lol