Cold Comfort: Strategies for Coping with Frigid Airplane Cabins at Night

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How to Deal with Cold Airplane Cabins at Night

Traveling can be an exciting experience, but one common complaint among passengers is the frigid temperatures in airplane cabins, especially at night. Cold airplane cabins can make it challenging to rest or sleep comfortably during long flights. However, there are several strategies that you can implement to cope with the cold and ensure a more pleasant journey.

Understanding the Issue

Before diving into coping strategies, it’s essential to understand why airplane cabins can get so cold in the first place. The main reason for the low temperatures is the high altitude at which airplanes fly. As aircraft ascend to cruising altitudes, the outside air temperature drops significantly. Additionally, the use of air conditioning in airplanes can also contribute to the chilly cabin environment.

Factors Affecting Cabin Temperature

Several factors can influence the temperature inside an airplane cabin, such as:

  • Frequent opening and closing of overhead air vents
  • Proximity to exits and windows
  • Air circulation patterns within the cabin

Understanding these factors can help you develop effective strategies for staying warm and comfortable during your flight.

Strategies for Coping with Cold Airplane Cabins

Dress in Layers

One of the most effective ways to stay warm in a cold airplane cabin is to dress in layers. Wearing multiple layers of clothing allows you to adjust your outfit based on the cabin temperature. Opt for comfortable, breathable fabrics that provide insulation without adding bulk.

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Use a Travel Blanket or Shawl

Bringing a travel blanket or shawl can provide additional warmth and comfort during your flight. Opt for a compact, lightweight blanket that is easy to pack and carry. Alternatively, you can use an oversized scarf or shawl to keep yourself cozy.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is essential for maintaining your body temperature and overall well-being during a flight. Drink plenty of water throughout your journey to help regulate your body temperature and combat the drying effects of the cabin air.

Move Around

Sitting in one position for an extended period can exacerbate feelings of coldness. To stay warm and improve circulation, make an effort to move around the cabin periodically. Take short walks, stretch your legs, and do simple exercises to keep your body moving.


Q: Why are airplane cabins so cold at night?

A: Airplane cabins are typically kept at lower temperatures to ensure passenger comfort and safety. Additionally, the high altitude at which airplanes fly can contribute to the chilly cabin environment.

Q: How can I stay warm in a cold airplane cabin?

A: Dressing in layers, using a travel blanket or shawl, staying hydrated, and moving around the cabin are effective strategies for coping with the cold.

Q: Can I request extra blankets or pillows from the flight attendants?

A: Yes, most airlines provide complimentary blankets and pillows upon request. Don’t hesitate to ask the flight attendants for additional comfort items.

Q: Are there any specific seating options that are warmer in the cabin?

A: Seats located away from exits, windows, and overhead air vents tend to be warmer than others. Consider choosing a seat in the middle of the cabin for a more comfortable temperature.

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Q: Is it advisable to bring a portable heater or heating pad on a flight?

A: Portable heaters and heating pads are typically not allowed on airplanes due to safety regulations. Stick to layering clothing and using blankets to stay warm.


Dealing with cold airplane cabins at night can be challenging, but with the right strategies in place, you can stay warm and comfortable throughout your flight. By dressing in layers, using a travel blanket, staying hydrated, and moving around the cabin, you can make your journey more enjoyable despite the low temperatures. Remember to prioritize your comfort and well-being during long flights to ensure a pleasant travel experience.