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November 25, 2007


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so ... tonight you'll be hardly able to keep your eyes open past ten pm instead of eleven? how will you go on???

Charlie Stross

On the dessicated-airways front, I found a solution about two years ago that works for me. It's quite simple: drink lots of water. Not "lots" as in "whenever they offer you a refill, drink it", I mean "lots" as in "drink everything they offer you, PLUS one litre every three to four hours."

This entails hunting departure lounges for lots of bottles of water after you clear security, which is a real drag. And it also entails sitting in an aisle seat (because when I'm running this routine I'm up to go to the toilet every 90-120 minutes throughout the flight). It may not be practical on long-haul flights over 12 hours (see toilet trips above). But what it achieves is to keep my sinuses and the back of my throat saturated and moist with lots of icky mucus to trap the airborn crud that would otherwise settle into my dry membranes and start breeding.

I typically fly trans-Atlantic or longer, return, 2-3 times a year. Before I learned to drink like a fish, I used to come down with an ENT infection a week after every flight. Since then? I'm a much happier frequent flyer.


Thanks, Charlie -- I already do that though. My brow ridge and cheek bones? filled with sinus cavities. I blame it on Neandertal introgression.

Charlie Stross

Oh boy. I think I'm out of suggestions, then. (Prophylactic ecinacea before flying?)

Admittedly, given the state of the current world-wide drive to render flying unattractive to the masses who can't afford to charter a bizjet, this might not be much of a problem for us in future decades ...

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