If there was a cure for jet lag, we’d all have it – whatever the cost. Because, jet lag sucks – big time. Assuming you’re NOT a fan of going to sleep at 11AM, being hungry at 4AM and spending half the day like a zombie there are steps you can take to mitigate jet lag, and the plane you fly is one of the first measures.

Before

Mitigating jet lag starts before you fly and your habits on board play a large part as well. Syncing your sleep and eating schedule to the time zone where you’ll land is crucial in the days before travel. Even just a little bit helps. Hydration, meal timing and avoiding too many alcoholic drinks (sorry) also factor.

Conditions

Planes contribute to jet lag because their conditions are hostile to our bodies. They don’t mean to be, but it’s hard to fly 33,000 feet above the earth, going 500+ miles an hour. Older planes offer more unnatural air pressure, with dry air that plays havoc on our throats, ears and nose. Even worse – the air just funnels around, creating an environment with very undesirable conditions to avoid sickness or fatigue. But new planes are different.

New Planes

The two most progressive planes to combat jet lag are the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner. These planes pump the highest pressure, which actually makes conditions on the plane feel more like those found on the ground – on earth. They also offer higher humidity, which does less damage to your ears, nose and throat – which helps prevents fatigue and the ever popular travel cold. New planes filter air in safer ways, offering actual air, rather than engine air.

Crunching Numbers

If you had to make a top three: the Airbus A380, Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350 would take your slots. But by the numbers, the Airbus A350 offers the highest humidity (that’s a good thing) and most optimal cabin pressure. If you don’t have the option of flying on the A350, just aim for any of these three newer planes. And follow these crucial jet lag tips. Oh and definitely ignore these useless tips from pop psychology gurus.

Do you have a favorite airplane?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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3 Comments

  1. Sorry, but The seat makes 10x the difference than the plane. A good Biz class seat will permit you to sleep & adjust better. Timing of outbound flight is also critical. The type of plane is probably towards the bottom of factors and certainly beyond control of most people unless you are completely unconcerned with price or routing.

  2. I agree with Boraxo. A good flat bed seat makes way more difference than the plane. You are still flying at 6000ft or more even on these new planes. Unless you live in a city like Denver it is going to effect you. Jet lag also has a lot to do with how much time you spend in the odd time zone.

  3. I think GSTP is right. Since flying the A380, and then the A350 and the Dreamliner, I’ve walked off even 16 hour flights feeling like they were about three hours. Air (especially) and humidity really does count. Such a difference to older planes.

    Flying horizontally helps too but IME it’s not as important as air quality.

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