After years of travelling around the world, I've stated to develop habits:
1) I always try to find the cheapest flight around. Indeed air travel has become a commodity to me, and when I fly to our offices in Spain, I check of course www.vueling.com, www.easyjet.com, www.terminalA.com and www.easyvols.com. Often enough, www.AerolineasArgentinas.com offers the cheapest return flight to Madrid for less than 150 euros (the drawback is that 1) you have to go and get your ticket at their offices on Rue de Rivoli in Paris, 2) you fly through an international carrier, hence outside the Schengen zone, ie passport controls, etc.). Iberia and Airfrance tend to be way too expensive anyways.
That last site www.easyvols.com compares all the different carriers. Very similar to www.mobissimo.com. Of course I always also check www.opodo.fr (and check www.opodo.co.uk as well, the rates are sometimes cheaper with a stop-over in London) and www.expedia.com. I haven’t really found the ONE-stop site that will do it all for me.
No need to spend that extra cash for basically only a few hours of comfort. I’d rather spend them on somehting more tangible. This applies to both my private and professional flights.
2) my years in consulting have taught me that it’s a bad idea to work on your computer or sensitive paper files on public transport. 3M has released special filters for your laptop so your neighbour won’t see what you are typing. Well, since I’m travelling favella class anyways, there’s no room for opening a laptop, although Apple is positionning the latest MacBook for that.
So what do you do on planes and airports ?
a) my normal guess is that as an entrepreneur, whenever you can grab some sleep time, grab it. So I sleep. Drink a lot of liquid (you otherwise get dehydrated), put on your sexy sleeping mask (you do of course a lot those handing around right), and get yourself some good noise cancelling headphones. And off you go for some quality time with yourself (experienced it recently with my 2 return flights to the Valley from Paris = 20 hours each way…).
For some heavy time zone shifts, I usually don’t sleep the previous night and get a lot of work done. Hence I just fall asleep when I board the plane, and get immediately on my destination’s timezone. By the way, since you’re so tight on your seat, but asleep, you shouldn’t worry too much. Try to get a window seat and a pillow; better for leaning agains it.
b) if you don’t want to sleep, keep those headphones on, and browse through the press, trade magazines, or that book you hadn’t had time to read. You’ll get there wiser and with the right feeling of having caught up with your backlog.
c) on this flight to the US I tried something else: catching up with podcasts. I tuned into VentureVoice which I hadn’t listened to for a long time. With my headphones on, a lot of water, AND my sleeping mask on. Well not only do you really relax, but I enjoyed the different shows about Fabrice Grinda, David Sifry, John Bogle and many others. Listening to other entrepreneurs telling about their own experiences was great, and I was focusing just on them.
Give it a try, and feedback always welcome.