The air vent trick that will prevent you becoming sick

How to use your air vent to prevent you from becoming sick on your next flight.

The air vent trick that will prevent you becoming sick

I picked this up from travel guru Johnny Jet and I have to share it with you. An article in Travel + Leisure goes into detail explaining how the air conditioning works in a plane. If you’re interested in all that, then I suggest you read the full article. It is quite fascinating. In the meantime, I’m going to give you what could be the single most important tip from this long-form read.

airplane air vent

That little air vent above your head could save you from becoming sick on your next flight. Yep, turning on your air vent to low or medium, and keeping it on for the duration of your flight, creates an envelope of air that will protect you from contracting any nasty bugs.

A doctor interviewed by T+L explains it much better than I can:

“Airborne viruses, like tuberculosis and measles, are transmitted by tiny droplet nuclei that can hang in the air for up to five hours. While viruses associated with the common cold and upper respiratory tract infections tend to be larger in size and heavier (consequently falling to the floor rather quickly), these particles linger. Which is where your vent comes in. By using the vent and turning it to medium or low, you can create an invisible air barrier around you that causes turbulence – simultaneously blocking these particles and forcing them to the ground faster.”

How about that? Would you have thought that air conditioning could keep you healthy?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    14th Oct 2017
    Boeing suggests this isn’t entirely necessary. It claims that between 94 and 99.9 per cent of airborne microbes are captured by a plane’s air filters and that the cabin air is completely refreshed every two or three minutes – far more frequently than in an office.

    Perhaps the biggest risk of contracting airborne diseases on a plane, however, is when a flight is delayed on the ground and the ventilation systems are turned off.

    “Some of the best-known instances have occurred on the ground – such as a large flu outbreak following a prolonged delay on the ground – with ventilation systems switched off,” said Dr Richard Dawood, Telegraph Travel's travel health expert.
    14th Oct 2017
    At one time flight attendants would spray an antiseptic into the cabin air when a plane landed from overseas. Don't know if they still do it?
    14th Oct 2017
    Hi Charlie,
    It wasn't an antiseptic but a powerful insecticide intended to kill agricultural pests that might have travelled in on passengers' clothing, shoes and personal items.
    Particularly nasty stuff.
    14th Oct 2017
    And yes they still do it!
    14th Oct 2017
    Agent Orange?
    14th Oct 2017
    Yes - and the only flies on the plane were the ones on the back of the guy with the can of insecticide.
    14th Oct 2017
    So long as its not Glen 20. Awful stuff.
    15th Oct 2017
    Tib, agent orange was a defoliant, like Monsanto's Roundup, not an insect spray. There was also Agent White, Agent Blue, Agent Green and Agent Purple, all defoliants (I think). They were named for the colour code bands around the 50 gallon (200 litre) drums of the stuff
    15th Oct 2017
    Eddy, I know a guy who served in Vietnam. He said they sprayed several colours over there. He and many others developed Leukemia. Many are no longer with us. Those who are regularly have to undergo extensive testing, some needing to have more chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Others developed Liver Cancer and family members fought for recognition of the responsibility for the terminal disease. There was too many in particular battalions for it to not be connected.
    14th Oct 2017
    some of the modern planes don't have individual air vents which is awful on a long flight as you have no control of your comfort level.
    14th Oct 2017
    I will have to remember this. Often a cold comes from flying. I don't think they still spray planes unless they wait now until we all get off.
    16th Oct 2017
    a good idea thank you
    Travelling woman
    20th Oct 2017
    As ozirules mentioned, the planes these days don't have air vents. I travel overseas every year and I find it quite difficult without them as I like the cool air since I have a medical condition and feel the stuffiness at times. I don't know why the modern planes don't have them.

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