A long haul flight is usually (in Europe) a flight longer than 4 hours. It can be a daunting prospect for a lot of travellers and can even deter some people from travelling to some destinations all together. Airports are an exciting place, starting the holidays, lots of shops and the traditional morning pint. However surviving on a long haul flight without dying of boredom is a challenge and being sat in the same uncomfortable chair for hours on end can seem impossible.
Comfort on a flight is a skill, mostly down to preparation. You have to prepare well, thinking well ahead, to when you will be struggling the most. Personally I like to download hundreds of songs on Spotify to listen offline, also some audio books and interesting podcasts. Make sure you have cables for charging for both your laptop, phone, tablet or whatever you have with you. Bring a book too! When I pack for a long flight I like to pack my note-book, laptop, phone (obviously), comfy headphones/ earphones that I can wear for a long period of time and a recent magazine.
Starting the flight with the excitement, you will never sleep, no matter what time of the night. What I usually do is take my headphone adapter so I can use my own headphones with the in-flight tv. I will usually put one of the new films on and try to relax and get comfortable. Depending on where your destination is, you should plan to sleep (if you can) at certain times. For example I flew to Bangkok (which is 7 hours ahead of London) at around 10am, and when I landed in Bangkok it was around 7am, so I stayed awake all the night before, so I basically flipped my sleeping pattern (which is what I do for night shifts). On the flight because I was so tired, I did manage to sleep quite well after watching a film & some family guy, and upon reaching Bangkok, I felt reasonably refreshed and had a full day.
Of course, flying is a tiring event. It is never that simple all the time to just flip your sleeping pattern and feel fine. My best advice would be to drink plenty of water, (have a beer or wine, but don’t overdo it) I try to get isle seats so I can do this without feeling bad getting up all the time for the toilet. Keep yourself well hydrated and try to eat all the meals provided (my experience with emirates meals were great, they were the first in-flight meals I have fully finished). Also another tip for surviving the boredom you may face is to speak to people! I spoke to a lovely woman on the way to Bangkok, which passed an hour or two and made me feel a lot more comfortable sat next to a complete stranger.
Flying on a whole is not for everyone, you could read all the advice in the world and still struggle. But if you are like me and can happily sit and entertain yourself for 6+ hours in a tin tube, then maybe my advice will help. Personally I used to drink beer on the flights (because its free) and slack off on drinking water, but since switching it up and keeping well hydrated it has made a huge difference. If all else fails, just grit your teeth and think of the destination and the weather, unless you’re flying to England… then your screwed (unless you like rain).