How to Actually Get Work Done on a Plane

Working on a plane

When you have an overflowing inbox, a calendar full of meetings and a to-do list that’s threatening to become a to-do novel, an hours-long stretch to focus on work without interruptions is bliss. So why not use your next flight as a chance to power through a project? Now that free wi-fi is available on even more domestic Qantas flights, it’s easier than ever to disembark feeling ahead of the game.

So whether you’re on a short flight from Sydney to Melbourne or crossing the country from Perth, follow this checklist for a very productive journey.

1. Make sure all your tech is fully charged

Though power for personal PCs is available in First and Business cabins on most Qantas aircraft, boarding with a fully charged device is best practice – and frees you from any annoying cords. Make sure your laptop and phone are juiced prior to your flight.

Pack a charger for each of your devices (and a back-up USB charger in case of emergency) and carry a universal power adaptor so you’re covered for any type of plug or port.

2. Choose the right technology

Work with the smallest, thinnest device you’re comfortable with. Not only will it make your carry-on lighter but it will also mean you have more room to build your in-flight work station with other devices and papers. The MacBook Pro, HP 2-in-1 laptop and Samsung Galaxy Book are all good options.

A screen privacy protector for your device means you can work on sensitive or embargoed projects with confidence. Many laptops and smartphones come with this as a built-in feature but you can also purchase physical protectors.

3. Pack noise-cancelling headphones

When you’re in deep work, you don’t want to hear the low hum of the Adam Sandler film your seatmate is watching. Pop on some noise-cancelling headphones – such as the Bose QuietComfort 35 II or the Sennheiser noise-cancelling wireless headphones – and flood your ears with peaceful music to prevent unwanted distractions.

4. Connect to the free in-flight wi-fi

Qantas wi-fi

Free wi-fi is now available on even more domestic Qantas Boeing 737 and Airbus A330 flights.

To connect, select the “Qantas Free Wi-Fi” network; go to in your browser; enter your details and start working. Just remember to keep your device’s Flight Mode activated throughout the flight.

5. Have a realistic plan

Don’t board aiming to finish your lengthy to-do list; a two-hour flight isn’t going to be long enough to complete a major presentation. But it does allow you a solid chunk of interruption-free thinking time in which to brainstorm, flesh out ideas that have been percolating and clear your inbox. Choose which projects will be best achieved in the time you have and stick to your plan.

6. Ask when meals will be served

Check with the crew on the approximate time of meals and refreshments. If you know how much time you have to work with before your dinner arrives, you can choose a task you can complete without having to stop and make space for your food.

7. Don’t forget to relax

Once you’ve ticked off all your to-dos, make sure to take advantage of the in-flight entertainment. Receive three months’ unlimited access for new Stan subscribers; up to four months of Apple Music free; and your first three audiobooks free when you start an Audible trial.*

*Terms and conditions apply.

SEE ALSO: Wi-fi is Now Available on Domestic Qantas Flights    

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