The Playbook For The Modern Man

Business Class Travellers Reveal Their Dodgiest Strategies For Beating Jetlag

“Always aim for the red eye. Get busy drinking before and after departure. Drink turns to sleep. Sleep your way to the morning on arrival. Works every time.”

What would you do to beat jetlag? Starve? Meditate? Drink dodgy homeopathic cocktails? Party all night the day before you leave?

If you’re an Economy traveller, you’d probably be open to trying all of the above. If you fly Business, however, things are more complicated. Why? Many jetlag avoidance techniques involve abstaining from the wonders of the Pointy End (the food and, in some cases, the lie-flat bed).

This in mind, many Business Class passengers have come up with some dubious ways to have their luxury and eat it too.

Here you have them.


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I’m your Mr. Jetlag atm 💤 Did you know that the body adjusts only about 1,5 h per day to the new timezone? 🗺 So in my case: 10 hours time difference to Sydney means about one week 😱 #pilotpatrick #sleepy #donotdisturb . . . (De) Ich bin zurzeit Dein Mr. Jetlag. Wusstest Du das sich der Körper nur ca. 1,5 Stunden pro Tag an die neue Zeitzone anpasst? In meinem Fall sind es 10 Stunden Zeitverschiebung nach Sydney sprich es dauert etwa eine Woche. . . . #jetlag #mrjetlag #sleepingmask #sleeping #timezone #timedifference #berliner #berlin #homesweethome #skybed #bestbed #blonde #fitman #bedtime #bloggerstyle #designfurniture #instagrammer #whitebed #howto #sleepyboy #german

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Indulge like Charlie Sheen

In the comments beneath a (relatively) recent DMARGE article about the impact of Business Class on jetlag, a number of people put forth their personal strategies. This is our favourite, courtesy of Max Feng.

“Always aim for the red eye. Get busy drinking before and after departure. Drink turns to sleep. Sleep your way to the morning on arrival. Works every time.”

Change your watch

The top (user voted) comment on the aforementioned article is less entertaining, but perhaps more useful: “The real way to beat jetlag, and it’s very similar to working shift work which I did for 4 years, is to turn your watch to the destination time straight away.”

“If you are then supposed to be awake based on your destination time zone, then stay active till you at least 6pm at destination time (not layover time zone). Keep your eyes covered for at least 4 hrs as this will allow your body and mind to relax (invest in noise cancelling headphones too).”

“This is known as short sleeping yourself and means you will have to stay awake at your destination, no matter what time you arrive, until at least 6pm. Set your alarm for 6am at destination time. If you ‘wake up’ before, just stay snuggled up until your alarm goes off,” the anonymous user continued.

“DO NOT GET UP AND GO FOR A WALK. You will then suffer from jetlag.”

Make like a Spartan

As journalist Sue Williams writes in Traveller (“How I Accidentally Discovered The Secret To Avoiding Jetlag“), “If I happen to travel in business class, I try to go to sleep immediately so I won’t see what fine fare I’ve paid for that I’m missing out on.”

But the key to not getting jetlag, according to Sue, is not in sleeping, but in abstaining from food during your flight: “I had the last meal of my trip one evening in, I must point out, a pretty upmarket restaurant, but spent the whole of that night in the bathroom, throwing up and suffering crippling bouts of diarrhoea.”

So far so gross.

“It was with enormous trepidation that I boarded the plane the next morning, horror when I took my seat in the middle of the middle row, and then sheer misery as I clutched a sick bag and got up and down every few minutes to use the toilet on the long, long (oh so long!) flight.”

“Uncannily,” Sue continues, “There was a silver lining after my arrival home. To my amazement, I suffered not the slightest hint of jetlag. I looked up the research and found lots of it commending flying without eating, and drinking only water, as a great technique for dodging jetlag.”

“The theory is that having food sit in your stomach that can’t be properly digested at altitude is always a bad idea.”

Choose the right route, aircraft and seat

This isn’t always possible. But as the user PERflyer writes in the comments of Executive Traveller, if you pull it off a jetlag free (or, at least, freer, arrival awaits): “I have found QF10 in business provides the best sleep opportunity and jet lag adjustment ex Europe to Aus.”

“My recent experience is a quality 8 hours of uninterupted sleep a few hours into the flight after the first service and then waking up on my own before the final service and landing.”

“The 16 hour flight,” PERflyer continues, “means no awkward wake up for the final service and landing after only 4 hours or so sleep on the traditional 2 x leg SIN/DXB stops. Travelling to MEL a quick shower in Perth transit lounge and then sleep that night worked extremely well for adjustment. I would not have slept or adjusted that well with the middle stop.”

“I will add though,” PERflyer says, “I think QF10 is better than other options in Business only. It would be a struggle for economy or premium economy which is just so much less comfortable than the 380 even with the awkward middle stop.”

Visit The Financial Times so assuage the guilt inflicted on you by flight shamers…

Feeling guilty in your ergonomic tower? Read some of the comments on The Financial Times’ “Can I Justify Flying Business Class To Avoid Jet Lag” article and you should start feeling better about yourself.

Case in point? The top comment on the above article: Lmao Peasants. Last year I took 10 long-haul business class flights (10+hrs in length — I live in Sydney, AUS) and 26 domestic flights within EU and a bit in Asia Pacific all for leisure.”

“I had an an abundance of luggage (far more than necessary for one person, increasing my carbon footprint). That doesn’t even include the cute girl I met in Croatia from Northern UK who I flew all around Europe to meet me in XYZ places.”

“In between all that were V-Class sprinter pick ups, bullet trains, Uber’s, pricey hotels which use too much electricity and an abundance of extravagances that demonstrate a complete disregard for ones climate conscience,” Mr. Sensitive raved.

“Clearly, I don’t see it as my personal responsibility to take a moral stance – I’m pragmatic. Anything I do is immaterial and would have no meaningful impact on the environment. You probably hate me already but, alas, I could care less!”

For good measure Mr Sensitive adds: “PS. At least I didn’t charter a Yacht in the South of France — I do have a conscience after all!”

5/10 for trolling 10/10 by making the rest of us feel better by comparison.

Read stats that show hedonism rewires your brain for the better

This one’s our personal recommendation. Forget the cruel CIA anti-jetlag routine. Get a full night’s sleep the night before your flight (if you’re someone that never sleeps well on a flight anyway) or stay up partying if you’re someone that can sleep anywhere. Then get on the plane and enjoy yourself to the max (whether than be by sleeping or indulgin). Trust in the process, and read about the hidden benefits of business class economy passengers have no idea about. Trust us: your smugness will keep you company even if everyone else ends up hating you.

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