I've been on the road a lot in the last few weeks. Here are some things I've discovered:
An iPod can take a lot of the pain out of sitting around. The new support for Podcasts makes a long trip much easier - a couple of hour-long items go by more quickly than several dozen five-minute songs.
Noise Cancelling headphones are fantastic - I have a pair of Sennheisers, but I gather that the Bose ones (that cost twice as much) are even better. They don't completely remove the sound of airplane engines, but it's much reduced, and they boost the incoming signal a bit, too. You can listen at regular volumes without any trouble at all. There's so much construction around my apartment these days, that I sometimes just wear them at home, not plugged into anything, just blocking the racket from outside. Many of them come with a little adaptor for plugging them into the airplane sound system - with decent headphones and noise-cancelling you can hear every footstep and sigh in the in-flight movie.
If you're travelling between Toronto and Ottawa, take the train instead of flying - the door-to-door time is about the same, with less hassle and much less fear and loathing. A ticket on VIA 1, with free drinks and meals, a special lounge for waiting, plugs in the seat for your laptop, reserved seating, and fewer drunk Queen's students, costs about the same as a coach ticket on Air Canada Jazz.