Why It’s So Cold on Planes and the Most Popular Hotels for Prostitution Busts

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Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I was wondering about the cold thing myself, so I ended up buying a data logger to see what happens to the temperature.

    As it turns out, humidity plays a huge role in this. On an Alaska 737-900 from SEA-EWR, humidity dropped at about 7%/hr, with a bottom of 17%. At 17% humidity, sweat evaporates very quickly, which makes the perceived temperature drop. The temperature itself was roughly constant at about 24ºC/75ºF the whole time.

  2. 95% of our temperature problems on planes have been excessive heat on overnight flights.

    Many of us have heard the theory that FAs actively turn up the thermostat at night to “drug” the passengers. I think often it’s simply the temperature ranges between different sections of the plane.

    Just one of our most recent overheated experiences was a few months ago in UA Global First on a 747, the “best seats in the sky,” as our enthusiastic purser described them (what a view!). We awoke feeling hot to the point of mild nausea after 3-4 hours of sleep. It felt like 80F. At that point, it feels too late to request the heat be turned down. I’ve started requesting a cool cabin proactively to the purser as soon as we’re seated.

    The only time within memory I recall being too cold was AS SEA-HNL in F in our Hawaii clothes, not knowing they didn’t hand out blankets. We bought nice bath towels on sale at Macy’s for the return trip and added them to our home inventory.

    If you’re too cold, you can add a sweater – or a towel. 😉 If you’re too hot, you’re stuck, unless the temperature is lowered.

  3. Funny thing but no matter where I sit on an A320 or A330 towards front of cabin it’s always too hot … yet I walk back a few rows and marvel at how much cooler it is there

  4. Each Air line is different. when I first started flying 35 yrs ago, I noticed right off it is usually cooler on a plane, so I wear layers and have a jacket or fleece with or in my carry on in winter. in summer I wear t-shirt and along sleeve outer shirt. Yes I am a male.

    But here is something I remember reading a long time ago, maybe someone can see if the advice has changed, but according air line crash experts, they said that it is recommend that a PAX wear tight woven clothing like jeans, cotton t-shirt and tightly woven outer shirt. the tightly woven material will help protect a pax in a crash and if it happens in winter will help them survive the cold until help arrives.

    So to me cabin temperatures are just right because I have on layers

  5. I think Lufthansa needs to keep their planes much cooler than they do. Impossible to sleep on a trans-Atlantic flight when I’m sweating and it’s still early evening where I start the day.

  6. @Autolycus, While we’ve enjoyed LH in C and F, we have regularly been overheated on overnight flights, just as we are in some German buildings. 😉

    Unfortunately, we’ve experienced it on a variety of other airlines as well, and it really wrecks our sleep.

    We sleep comfortably at about 18C / 65F and too many plane temps. seem set for growing orchids. Our adult daughters find our house too cold at night, but at least they can add blankets. Again, for those of us who like to sleep “cool,” there’s nothing to be done.

  7. I haven’t been on a cold plane in years. Not uncommon for nternational flights to be horribly overheated. I dream of a cold plane.

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