Passing the time on your long flight

Unless you’re like Gadling blogger Grant, who might have been genetically engineered by Boeing, it’s inevitable you’re going to get bored on a flight sooner or later. This is especially true on transcontinental flights, where you’re guaranteed to be stuck inside your cylindrical prison for at least 6 hours if not longer. No matter how many awful in-flight movies, magazines and episodes of The Wire on your iPod you have to amuse yourself, you can still expect to get bored eventually.

For the gaming-obsessed bloggers at Joystiq, the tedium of these long flights is just an opportunity to invent some creative ways to pass the time. If you’re desperate to hold back the boredom (or just cannot sleep on planes like me) consider the following (questionable) game suggestions:

  • BING! – This game only requires a bag of airline pretzels or snack mix. Start with three pretzels and set the rest to the side as the “house.” Each round bet one, two or three pretzels on which side of the airplane cabin will be first to ring their flight attendant call button. If you guess right, take as many pretzels as you bet from the house. If you lose, put the pretzels back. Keep playing until you’ve either won or lost all the pretzels from the middle.
  • In-flight Catalog Scavenger Hunt – As one Joystiq commenter suggests, compete against a friend to find the most ridiculous items from the in-flight catalog. The person to find the item with highest cost-to-uselessness ratio wins. Keep your eyes peeled for the remote control dragonfly.
  • Cellphone standoff – As the plane begins to land, try to guess the number of cellphones that will be turned on/make noise between the moment the wheels touch the ground to when the seatbelt light is turned off.

We don’t necessarily suggest playing these games unless you’re desperate, but with flight delays and long waits on the tarmac all but standard these days, it’s always good to have a few backup options. What do you do to amuse yourself on long flights?