There’s a reason why planes are always so cold

No – it’s not just you, planes are kept cold for a reason.

woman cold on an airplane

SJ is a regular travel contributor to YourLifeChoices. Her plane essentials include noise-cancelling headphones, a solid Spotify playlist, sleeping tablets, an eyemask and a large scarf that doubles as a blanket on cold flights – i.e. every flight.

If you’re anything like me, one of your qualms about air travel is probably the Antarctic-like temperature on board the airplane. You may be surprised to learn that it’s not just a tactic to encourage people to wear conservative clothing, drink or eat more, or some sort of masochistic victimisation. There is actually a reason why planes are always so chilly.

According to a study published in the American Society for Testing and Materials, high cabin pressure and temperatures increase the risk of passengers fainting, experiencing nausea or dehydration.

Given the close confines of a plane and how many bodies are packed into such a small space, there’s already a lot of heat being generated by everyone’s bodies. Subsequently, cabin crews make sure to keep a low temperature on board, with the general industry standard around 22 to 23°C.

cold person

Which type of plane you’re flying also comes into play. Newer planes have more advanced air conditioning systems that allow the temperature to be adjusted for specific rows.

While you may still feel the cold next time you fly, at least you can remain warm and fuzzy inside knowing that it is for your own good.

If you can’t stand the chill, however, you can ask the crew for a blanket or dress yourself in layers to stay warm. If things heat up, you can just strip off the layers of clothing. You can even take a decent scarf that will double as a blanket – or pillow – depending on your needs at the time.

How do you stay warm on planes?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    26th Aug 2017
    The OUTSIDE air of the plane is below freezing -MINUS 30 to MINUS 50.
    To get the planes' INSIDE air temperature back up to +20 to +25 for us people takes an incredible amount of heating energy and hence extra fuel consumption if the thermostats are set higher.
    Sheer economics for the air lines is to set the air temperature to the lowest we can bare and not complain too much. It is noticeable on most flights that 1st class is warmer.
    26th Aug 2017
    22 - 23 degrees Celsius is the normal temperature you would have your house set at, so what's the problem?
    26th Aug 2017
    I suppose most people wouldn't sit in one place for many hours as they do on a plane. Those little trips to the bathroom, fridge, find the TV remote, make a drink etc all help to generate heat. Take that away and people will feel stiff and cold after a relatively short space of time even when the ambient temperature is the same.
    27th Aug 2017
    First class warmer?
    Dont think so

    Well after a few champagne's and some wonderful cheese and port, the body does feel warm and snug on the flat bed under a warm duvet
    26th Aug 2017
    I tolerate the cold far better than I do the heat, so I like the temperature settings on planes. I normally wear just shorts and a t-shirt when I’m on a plane and I open all the air vents.
    If you find that the temperature on a plane is too cold for your liking, just wear more clothing like my wife does. Then we’re both happy!
    27th Aug 2017
    so youre one of the unsightly passengers who don't dress decently on planes.
    bet you wear thongs too
    yuck !!!
    27th Aug 2017
    Who are you to say what I can and cannot wear?
    Take a look in the mirror whenever you or your family or your friends wears shorts or thongs.
    What a prude you are.
    28th Aug 2017
    I don't wear shorts t shirt and thongs on planes .
    It's just simple etiquette
    28th Aug 2017
    I don't give a rats #@%* what you think. I'll do and wear what suits me. It's my choice and I certainly don't take any notice of anyone telling me what to wear, especially coming from a snob.
    28th Aug 2017
    Have a look at this
    28th Aug 2017
    The worst airline passengers are the ones that whinge and whine.
    You must be one angry and grumpy old bloke to get upset over someone wearing comfortable shorts.
    Get a life.

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