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Finally! An Answer to Why It’s So Cold on Airplanes

Reader's Digest logo Reader's Digest 10-08-2017 Morgan Cutolo

© litabit/Shutterstock Packing essentials always include toiletries, clothes, and shoes; but you also can’t forget your socks and sweatshirt to keep you warm on your flight. As if sitting in a cramped seat for hours isn’t uncomfortable enough, they also set the air temperature way too low. Don’t worry though; it’s actually for your benefit. The airlines aren’t just trying to coax you into buying one of their overpriced, small, and extremely scratchy blankets; there’s a medical reason it’s so cold. (Want to take a snooze to avoid feeling the chills? Try these tips for sleeping on an airplane.)

GALLERY: The Very Best Seat on an Airplane for Every Type of Need (by Reader's Digest)

Safest seats: Airplane crashes are extremely rare, and no one’s died in a commercial American plane crash in the past seven years. But if you’re worried, the most survivable seats in a plane crash tend to be in the back of the aircraft close to the tail section. 'This has been proven in both real and simulated accidents, as the tail will tend to separate first or be the last spot to impact,' says Dan Boland, co-founder of 'That's why aircraft black boxes are always in the tail section.' The Very Best Seat on an Airplane for Every Type of Need

ASTM International conducted a study that looked into the correlation between people fainting while in the air and the cabin pressure and temperature. They found that people tend to faint more easily while flying because of a medical condition known as hypoxia. It occurs when the body tissue doesn’t receive enough oxygen. And high cabin pressure and warm temperatures can further this reaction. It’s fairly common in airline passengers.

Since body temperatures vary, airlines will keep the temperature on the low side just to be safe. That’s unfortunate for people who shiver even at the slightest breeze, but packing on a few extra layers is better than having the guy next to you pass out. Make sure to always follow these etiquette rules when flying.

So even though it’s a pain to lug your sweatshirt on your way to a tropical island vacation, try not to complain. It’s keeping you from passing out.

Want to know where you should sit on your next flight? This is the best seat on the airplane for every type of need.

United Plane Evacuated At Newark (by CBS New York)


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