Inflight wellbeing

Below is information to help make your journey as comfortable as possible.

Inflight exercises

To help your body adjust to flying and to maintain your personal comfort and wellbeing, we recommend you:

  • Drink plenty of fluids: water, juice or non-caffeinated soft drinks to prevent dehydration, fatigue and headaches. Minimise intake of alcohol and coffee. Moisten the face to help reduce the drying effects of cabin air
  • Eat lightly
  • Exercise: do gentle on board exercises for about five minutes every one to two hours. Click on the attachment below for a copy of our exercise instructions

Inflight exercises

Also we recommend that you:

  • Don't cross your legs
  • Occasionally walk down the aisle
  • Gently bend your neck down towards each shoulder
  • Move your shoulders upward, then lower slowly
  • Wiggle your toes and then raise one foot at a time
  • Exercise your calf muscles while seated by regularly flexing and rotating ankles for a few minutes

While it is not uncommon for passengers to remove their shoes to alleviate the potential discomfort of normal swelling during flight, it is however a requirement that passengers must wear safe, appropriate footwear for boarding and disembarking.

Please note: you should not do any of these exercises if they cause you pain or cannot be done with ease.

  • Move about the aircraft: as space permits and when the seat belt sign is off
  • On descent: to minimise the discomfort of changes in air pressure:
    • Yawn or swallow frequently
    • Pinch your nostrils together and blow firmly into your cheeks with your mouth closed

Inflight wellbeing

Occasionally a passenger may become ill inflight. The vast majority of the problems are minor, and are easily dealt with by the cabin crew.

The following is available should someone require medical assistance on board:

  • A comprehensive doctors' kit which the crew make available to any medical doctor travelling on the flight
  • On-call specialist medical advice available to the crew by radio or telephone at any time
  • Emergency defibrillators which the crew are trained to use in the very rare event of a passenger having a cardiac arrest

Guidance is provided in the airlines' inflight magazine about how to maximise your personal comfort and wellbeing inflight, through simple exercises and sensible eating and drinking.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Deep vein thrombosis or DVT is a condition in which a blood clot develops in one of the veins of the legs.

This usually causes a painful swollen calf but in a few cases could cause more serious illness, or in rare, severe cases can be life-threatening.

The perceived link with long distance flying is mainly due to issues of prolonged immobility - sitting in one position for a long time - which can slow down the blood circulation. DVT in itself is not a specific airline or economy class issue - and any situation of prolonged immobility could increase the chance of DVT.

Also it is important to note that there are a number of individual factors which increase the likelihood of someone developing a DVT - whether or not they are flying. People most at risk are those who are:

  • Elderly
  • Overweight
  • Smokers

or have:

  • Had recent major surgery
  • Had a DVT in the past or a family history of DVT
  • Congenital blood clotting abnormalities
  • Recent injury or surgery to the legs
  • A heart condition or a cancer, or
  • Are pregnant or on oral contraceptives

If you are in any of the above categories, or have any concerns about your health needs, we recommend that you consult your doctor before you fly.

S/he may recommend medication, the use of elastic support stockings, or other measures.

When making your reservation

Please advise us when making your reservation:

  • If you have a requirement for special medical equipment such as oxygen on board
  • If you have a medical condition which may cause problems for you in flight, or be made worse by the flight; or if you have a contagious disease such as measles, mumps, or tuberculosis - you may need to complete a MEDA form. Your travel agent or airline office can assist with this

If you have any concerns about any medical condition which might affect you during a flight, please consult your doctor before you travel.

Safety on board

Passenger safety is of the utmost importance to Air New Zealand. No effort is spared to ensure maximum safety both inflight and on the ground. All Air New Zealand aircrew are highly trained for any situation, and all aircraft must meet strict worldwide safety standards. In the highly unlikely event of an emergency, the crew will know exactly what to do. For passengers, a Safety Information card can be found in the seat pocket in front of you on the aircraft. Once on board the aircraft, it is important that you read this carefully, take note of the safety features, and the restrictions on the use of portable electronic equipment and mobile phones. The card also details the passenger "brace position" and all the exits provided. Identify the location and operation of the nearest exit to your seating position and please replace the card for the next person.