A lot has been done in recent years to lift the otherwise plain appearance of plane interiors.
You’ll notice when you walk onto a Virgin plane, the purple club-lounge lights lining the ceiling, which immediately distract you from the commercial carpet, beige walls, and metal and vinyl seats, and make you feel as if you’re stepping into something sort of special.
But airline designers aren’t installing soft lighting and pleasing colour palettes for aesthetic purposes. No, they’re doing it to soothe you.
“Colour psychology plays an important role in developing the overall look,” says Boeing on its website.
“Studies show that people in different cultures associate certain colours with similar emotions or concepts. Blue/green is nearly unanimously associated with peace. Pink and lavender shades connote love, while blue/purple may signify nobility.”
Which explains why airlines almost always have blue seats. It’s a colour that’s meant to keep you calm in what should be a possibly stressful situation. After all, you’re 30,000 feet in the air, packed in like sardines with people who may not pass your pub test.
According to the designers of Boeing, colour creates an important impression and informs passenger experience: “Lighter colours may make something seem higher, larger, wider and more open. Darker colours give the feeling of lower, smaller, narrower and more enclosed spaces. Blue and green tones may also help a person feel cooler, and blue can send a message of clean or fresh fragrance.”
Have you ever noticed the colour combinations used on airlines? Can you recall the airline with which you’ve had the calmest feeling onboard? Do you recall the colours used on that plane?