INTHEHOTSEAT

Business Traveller (Asia-Pacific) - - INBOX YOUR LETTERS -

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

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