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Just to say I arrived in NZ in one piece on Thursday 17th June about 1.30pm (lcal time) - very tired and somewhat frazzled but not as bad as I had feared. Took a couple of days for the body clock to catch up.
Long flights - 1 hr 20 mins from Dublin to London on Tuesday 15th June then a two and half hour stopover followed by 12.5 hrs flght to Kuala Lumpur - another three our stopover and then 10.5 hours to Auckland. I was nervous to varying degrees all the time but I tried to remember all the advice I'd read and keep saying that the "panic" feelings would pass and they did. But they'd come back again perhaps an hour or two later - but not so bad - and I'd go throught the same thing again. I did take a few relaxer tablets to help me out. The last few hours into AKL was hellish because I couldnt sleep. But at least I knew why I was feeling as I was and I knew it would pass and it did.
The planes were big which helped a lot (747 and 777) and crews took it all in their stride - that always gives me a sense of security. Couldn't sleep much though. Couldn't get that tiny extra sense of trust I needed to "let go" completely - (I know if I did I'd have slept all the way from KL to AKL).
For the record the flights were smooth all the way except for two short periods of minor bumps - one on way to KL and then another on way to AKL. These lasted about 20 mins or so and I did exactly what Capt. Keith has suggested - kept seat belt fastened and I didn't hold on to the arm-rest to help "keep the plane airborne" and I relaxed all the muscles and just let it pass. AND IT WORKED. No problems. So that was progress. Seeing my daughter and son was tremendous and worth all the effort. My liittle granddaughter is away with her dad at the moment but I'll see her very soon and that will be really fantastic. I'll post another comment with some further reflection on the experience. In the meantime - take heart folks - and keep learning about flying and practising all the relaxation technques you can. All the best from Auckland NZ (where its winter and, except for short days - the weather is almost as good as Irish summer weather!!!) Frank Edwards