While civil aviation technology has increased by leaps and bounds in the past few decades, the technology controlling air conditioning in aircraft cabins is still stuck in the 20th century.
On many occasions when travelling on a long-haul flight aboard a widebody aircraft, I have had trouble sleeping due to the temperature. When I’ve complained to members of the cabin crew about the cooling in the cabin being insufficient, they have always responded by telling me it is set at the “one size fits all” industry standard of 24°C. Not only is each person’s body metabolism likely to be very much different to the passenger sitting next to them, but a search online will reveal that the ideal temperature is 18.5°C. That’s a great deal of discrepancy from the industry standard.
It used to be that when staying in a hotel room, travellers would not be able to control how hot or cold their rooms were. But, with presentday technology, they are now able to set their air conditioning to the temperature they desire.
If only aircraft manufacturers could deploy the sorts of air-conditioning technology found in modern hotel rooms, or offer individual overhead air ducts as are commonly found on narrow-body aircraft, then the temperature on board would be more conducive to sleeping.
Lim Ooi Kong, Malaysia