Given my crazy travel schedule, I have really bad sleeping habits. Based on the fact that I typically like to be online during east coast hours and am a morning person, my ideal timezone is Pacific Time. Left to my own devices I’d ideally go to bed every night at 7PM and wake up at 5AM, for example.
The bad news is that when I travel I get almost no sleep, because when different timezones are involved all bets are off. Not only is that due to the impact of timezones on when I like to be online, but I also am someone who needs near perfect conditions to sleep — no light, a cold room, quiet, and a flat bed. I am so jealous of people who can get on a three hour flight in economy and just pass out the whole time. Meanwhile I can’t even sleep the whole flight when I have a flat bed in a premium cabin, especially if the cabin lights are on and there’s a meal service (the noise and smell distracts me).
So in my millions and millions of flown miles, I don’t recall ever sleeping from takeoff until touchdown. Not once.
On the plus side, I figured out why they pad the schedule so much. They don’t actually seem to intend to operate the flight on-time — boarding was scheduled for 6:30PM, and at that point they told us that boarding was “maybe in one hour.”
By the time we boarded I was tired. I had only slept a couple of hours on the flight from Detroit to Beijing, and had a short night the night before. I’m pretty used to this type of travel, though I guess I wasn’t feeling great for whatever reason.
I couldn’t sleep during boarding (there was too much good people-watching), but the second the wheels got off the ground I reclined my seat. Unfortunately China Eastern only has angled seats on these planes, so they weren’t ideal. Despite that, and despite the cabin lights being turned all the way up for the meal service, I managed to sleep fo 4.5 of the 5 hour flight, and woke up to the announcement that the cabin had to be prepared for arrival.
When we landed in Bangkok after midnight I felt great, which was a blessing, since the immigration queue was crazy. And today I feel great.
So I apologize that I won’t have a trip report of the China Eastern experience from Beijing to Bangkok, though it’s not that much of a loss, since I’ve reviewed China Eastern’s A330 business class before. But now I know what I’ve been missing out on all these years. If only I could always get that kind of sleep on planes…