Ever felt a tad chilly on a flight? Or maybe just a little warm? Either way, at some point in your flying career you may have wondered how we set the cabin temperature. Well, wonder no more: today we’ll reveal the ins and outs of how we strive to keep you comfy at 30,000 feet.
How We Do It
Inflight temperature is set via a digital panel that you might notice at the entrance to each aircraft as you board. It’s fairly precise, adjustable in increments of 0.5⁰ Celsius (just under 1⁰ Fahrenheit), and usually set to 23.5⁰ to 24⁰ C (around 74⁰ to 75⁰ F), which will keep most people happy. Bear in mind, though, that we may make occasional adjustments – for example, dialing down the temperature for prolonged turbulence, as warmer air combined with the movement may make some people queasy and more likely to reach for that little bag in the seatback pocket.
Temperature Zones Vary
Different temperature zones in most aircraft – for example, there are seven on the Airbus A350 – allow us more precise control over your inflight experience, and sensors throughout the aircraft measuring the air as it comes out of the vents help us pinpoint and solve any potential issues, as where higher temperatures in one zone might cause the system in adjacent zone(s) to pump out colder air to compensate.
How You Feel It
Perception is personal, of course, and how you feel at a given moment can have much to do with who you are (men and women are known to experience temperature differently, for example) and other factors, such as whether you have a full or an empty stomach, or whether lights are down and you’re ready to sleep.
Still Too Chilly?
If more often than not, you feel too cold on an airplane, it’s likely because the ventilation mechanism never stops, as it’s part of the air pressurisation/filtering system (so necessary nowadays to ensure pathogen-free air).
Do Let Us Know!
If you feel the temp should be tweaked, please do let your flight crew know. This feedback is very important, as their own perception of temperature as they move about the cabin will be different from yours. mostly sitting.
Temperature adjustments can only be made in increments of 0.5⁰ F (just under 1.0⁰ F) every 20 to 30 minutes (any faster and you’d have abrupt temperature swings), so don’t expect a noticeable difference right away.
What You Can Do
While it may be tempting to wear shorts on your way to the tropics or a down jacket on your way to a ski holiday, it’s best to dress in layers for your flight, so you can add/remove as needed. It’s especially important in the age of coronavirus and COVID, as we no longer offer blankets on medium-haul flights. This may be the best proactive step you can take, as it keeps you firmly in control of your own comfort in flight.
Photo | vinhdav