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Why It’s so Cold on Airplanes & Tips on How to Stay Warm

Aside from long-haul flights, one of the biggest discomforts of air travel is the freezing temperature. Have you ever wondered why it’s so cold on airplanes? Apparently, there’s a scientific explanation and it turns out that the freezing cold is actually good for you.

According to a study conducted by the American Society for Testing and Materials, researchers found that flights are generally kept “very” cold due to avoid Hypoxia – this is when one tends to faint due to body tissues failing to receive enough oxygen. Said medical condition is triggered by “overheated” cabins, which is why more people tend to faint on board than on the ground. Ergo, to avoid this, the cold temperatures.

While we probably should be more appreciative of this, not everyone is too happy about the cold and understandably so. Especially with the following reasons:

  • People have different capacities for acceptable temperatures
  • Not all travelers wear thick clothing
  • Women are most likely to wear shorts, dress, or skirts than pants to stay comfortable
  • One’s temperature window also depends on age and physical fitness
  • Passengers from countries with hot weather, like the Philippines, deal with the 24 degrees Celsius temperature differently from Western people

Taking all these into consideration though, newer plane models have better temperature regulators on board. These advanced thermostats can control the coldness and hotness of the cabin more precisely than older aircrafts. So much so that they can set the temperature per row.

How To Stay Warm During Flights

If and when you end up in a cold cabin, here are a few tips to keep warm during your flight:

  • Choose seats two rows away from any exit door because they’re sometimes “drafty”. Also, avoid sitting at the very back of the plane, where it is colder.
  • Wear pants during your flight. Upon arrival at your destination, you can change into your shorts or dress.
  • If it’s an overnight flight, pack a pair of socks for extra warmth.
  • Pack a lightweight scarf onto your hand carry so that you can easily use it when your trip gets too chilly for you.

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