Similarly coming home to Canada I immediately spend time with family at dinner or breakfast or whenever I happen to arrive in Canada
I think of the trip as one long cocktail party. I get a chance to meet so many people form all walks of life and have great snacks and drinks. By the way, I do not drink alcohol any time but especially not on a plane because it tends to dehydrate you I have read.
I guess what I am saying is have fun on the plane, talk to everyone and enjoy the company. They will be as anxious to talk to you as you them, although it is not advisable to wake up your seat partner to start a conversation!
When I got to Bangkok, I went to the airline office and when they told me again I had to go through my agent I just smiled and asked them to "work with me on this one" This line always seems to work and two hours later was walking out with a changed and better ticket for $60 and a flight that only took about 20 hours s opposed to the one closer to thirty hours.
Moral of the story? Book through the internet and not a travel agent. Much easier if you want to change the ticket later which you will invariably do.