Why are Airplane Cabins so Cold?

Airplane cabins are notoriously chilly environments that can leave passengers reaching for extra layers and blankets to stay comfortable. However, the reasons behind the cold temperatures are not simply a matter of comfort, there are a number of factors that contribute to the coolness of the cabin.

Temperature Control at High Altitude

One of the primary reasons why airplane cabins are kept cool is due to the altitude at which planes fly. The air temperature at cruising altitude can be as low as -70 degrees Fahrenheit, which means that the cabin must be kept at a low temperature to ensure that passengers and crew members are comfortable. In fact, the temperature inside the cabin is usually set at around 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit to maintain a comfortable environment.

Lights turned off during takeoff and landing
Why are Airplane Cabins so Cold?

Air Circulation and Safety

Another factor that contributes to the coolness of the cabin is the way that air circulates inside the plane. Air is generally supplied to the cabin through the engine compressors, which can heat up the air significantly. To prevent the cabin from becoming too hot, the air conditioning system is set to cool the air down to a comfortable temperature. This cooling effect can sometimes make the cabin feel quite chilly, especially if you’re sitting near a vent.

In addition to temperature control, the cool air also helps prevent the spread of germs and disease by minimizing the amount of moisture in the air. This is particularly important on long flights where passengers are in close quarters with each other for extended periods of time.

Passenger Comfort and Health

Another reason why airplane cabins are kept cool is to reduce the risk of passenger fatigue and dehydration. Cool air helps prevent drowsiness and fatigue, allowing passengers to stay alert and focused throughout the flight. Additionally, cool air helps keep the body from losing too much moisture, reducing the risk of dehydration.

While the cool cabin temperature may be uncomfortable for some passengers, it is an important part of ensuring safety and comfort for everyone on board. If you find the cabin too chilly, you can always bring a blanket or wear a sweater to stay warm.

In conclusion, there are a variety of factors that contribute to the coolness of airplane cabins, including altitude, air circulation, safety, and passenger comfort. While it may not always be the most comfortable environment, it is an essential aspect of air travel that helps ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.