Inflight well-being

Vue du Dubai International Financial Centre depuis le métro aérien et automatique de la ville.

View from the Dubai International Financial Centre from the city’s driverless elevated metro.

R comme reflet La règle, ici, pour que le roman s’invente : qu’un mot en reflète un autre et qu’il en brouille le contour. De billard à pillard1, le reflet trace la route.

1. Dans Comment j’ai écrit certains de mes livres, on apprend que c’est la transformation d’une première phrase, «les lettres du blanc sur les bandes du billard» en cette autre «les lettres du blanc sur les bandes du pillard», qui a produit le roman Impressions d’Afrique.

R as in reflection A ground rule for constructing the novel: each word always has to reflect another, blurring the contours. From billard to pillard,1 the mirror effect paves the way.

1. In Roussel’s How I Wrote Certain of My Books, we learn that the novel Impressions of Africa is based on the transformation of the opening phrase“les lettres du blanc sur les bandes du billard” into this other one“les lettres du blanc sur les bandes du pillard.”

Dr. Vincent Feuillie, chief doctor for Air France, offers a few tips for a comfortable, relaxed flight.

Peace of mind

Statistics show that air travel is far safer than many other daily life situations. Air France flight attendants are qualified to perform first-aid, and they undergo regular training to deal with any health problems that may affect passengers on board. Every flight attendant joining the airline receives a first-aid course so that they can provide inflight medical assistance. If there are no doctors aboard, the crew can provide emergency care.

Every year, these specific skills are maintained and broadened at workshops, which include theoretical sections and practical exercises based on real-life situations (cardiac arrest, fainting, trauma, etc.) and the use of specific equipment (oxygen mask, defibrillator, blood pressure monitor, etc.).

Flight attendants are also responsible for communicating with a doctor who may be traveling aboard the flight or via telephone with a doctor from the Paris SAMU (Emergency Medical Assistance Service) to determine a diagnosis, administer appropriate medication and, if necessary, organize further treatment of the patient on landing.

Relaxing in flight

Here are a few tips and recommendations when traveling on long-haul flights:

– It is best to wear appropriate clothing: opt for loose-fitting clothes that are not too tight around the waist or legs, and comfortable shoes.

– Good-quality support stockings or tights are recommended to prevent the possible risks of venous thrombosis or phlebitis that can occur after sitting for too long. For optimal effectiveness, they should be worn starting on the morning of air travel. This recommendation applies to all adults, particularly for flights exceeding six hours.

– After takeoff, listen to relaxing music to unwind. Make yourself as comfortable as possible by stretching your muscles, without crossing your legs.

– Stand up and walk up and down the aisle often, and do a few exercises, like gently contracting the muscles of your calves to boost circulation in your legs.

– Drink more water than you usually do, to compensate for the low level of humidity in the aircraft. Limit your consumption of coffee, tea and, especially, alcohol, as it can have a stronger effect in flight.

– Do not take any sleeping pills during the flight.

– Moisturize your lips and skin.

– Remove contact lenses and wear glasses instead.

– Offer water regularly to your children, and for infants, bring a bottle, which can be extremely useful during takeoff and especially as the plane begins its descent for landing.

– Don’t forget to pack in your carry-on bag any medication you may need to take during the flight. Keep it in its original packaging, and bring the doctor’s prescription indicating the exact name of the medication. Pack enough for the entire duration of your journey.

First stop: vaccinations

It’s best to wear loose-fitting clothes and comfortable shoes on long-haul flights and to drink more water than you usually do.

Prof. Pierre Carli, medical director of the Paris SAMU

What is the Paris SAMU?

The SAMU is a public service that responds throughout France to emergency medical calls made to the number 15. Each département has a call reception unit for this number, available to handle medical calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The unit assesses and initiates action to best respond to each call, and ensures the availability of public or private hospitalization options best suited to the patient’s condition. It is therefore run as an emergency dispatch center, directed by a coordinating physician. The Paris SAMU is one of the oldest in France, responding to situations within the 75 département (Paris). Since its creation, it has been the correspondent of the French airlines for the medical coordination of emergencies occurring on board aircraft.

Practically speaking, what is your role?

Fortunately, inflight medical emergencies are rare. Each airline has its own procedure. In the majority of cases, the response is provided by the specially trained flight crew, assisted by a doctor on board, if necessary. But for more complicated situations and whenever necessary, the Paris SAMU will contribute its expertise to provide the best care and decide where the person should be taken next. Depending on the seriousness or urgency of the situation, the means available on board and the possible destinations, we help the crew make the best possible decision. Thus, both in the air and on French soil, passengers can have access to the SAMU’s expertise.

First stop: vaccinations

Run by Voyage et Santé, the Air France International Vaccinations center is the largest of its kind in France in terms of the number of travelers receiving international vaccinations and also for sepcialized consultations and check-ups to stay healthy beofre , during and after a trip. Don't forget your certificate of vaccination if you have one, and bring ID ih the name of a child is different from that of the parents.


38, quai de Jemmapes, Paris. Tél. +33 (0)1 43 17 22 00.


Monday to Friday 8:45am-6pm, Saturday 8:45am-4pm, 
with or without an appointment.


Children at the heart of music