Have you ever got off a flight to your favourite destination and felt a little worse for wear? We’re going to reveal the weird physical effects of air travel, and how you can combat them on your next flight so you can enjoy your next vacation as soon as you step off the plane!

Have you ever wondered what actually happens to your body when you’re flying at around 600mph at 35,000 feet? Then keep reading!

Loss of taste

On a plane journey your senses are affected by cabin pressure. This means that you can lose up to 30% of your sense of taste. Some catering companies that work for airlines will use a pressure chamber to test food to make sure that it tastes good when you are at high altitude.

Quick tip: If your in flight meal is tasting bland, try pausing your movie and popping a pair of noise cancelling headphones on, as studies have shown we enjoy our food more when we have fewer distractions.


In a plane cabin, air moisture is found to be around 12%. The Sahara Desert is around 25% air moisture. This means you may become very dehydrated very fast. Continue drinking water throughout your flight to prevent serious dehydration problems and of course quench your thirst.

Quick Tip: Beverages such as coffee or alcohol can help to dehydrate you. It is best to stick to water throughout your flight to maintain hydration.

Expanding Body Gasses

Due to cabin pressure at cruising altitude, gasses trapped in your body are known to expand and we all know that it needs to go somewhere…

Quick Tip: Avoid foods like dairy products, broccoli and cauliflower in your inflight meal, as many people struggle to digest these.

Blood Pooling

When sitting not moving, as you would do on a flight, blood can begin to pool in your feet and legs. This can lead to blood clots and serious pain.

Quick Tip: A great way to prevent this is by going on a short walk around the cabin. Another great option is to wear a pair of travel compression socks

Exposure to UV rays

When flying on a long-haul flight, you will get as much radiation from the sun as you would an x-ray because you are closer to the sun than what you would be on the ground.

Quick Tip: To prevent this you could apply suntan screen or if the other passengers are happy, close the window.

Colds and Flu

It’s no secret that airplane cabins are not the cleanest of places due to its recycled airflow and the conditions of the cabin. It also doesn’t help that everyone is compact within a small space. This makes it easy for a bug to travel easily throughout the cabin, meaning planes are amongst the worst places to catch a cold.

Quick Tip: Make sure to take hand sanitiser with you on your next flight which should be used after touching things such as the door handle to the bathroom.

Oxygen Deprivation

Always feeling drowsy on a flight? It’s due to the lack of oxygen in an airplane cabin. On a plane you will experience oxygen of 11.5 psi. On the ground, you breathe in 15psi of oxygen. This is a significant drop in air pressure.

Quick Tip: Try breathing deeply to inhale more oxygen.

Landing Headache

Do you experience a sore head at the time of the plane landing? You’re not alone. This is a common problem for many people caused by the pressure changing in your nasal cavities.  You can also get a pain in your teeth especially if you have fillings. This is due to the pressure changing in the cavities of your teeth.

Quick Tip: Chew gum or suck on a hard boiled sweet to help prevent this problem.

Maybe one of the changes to your body has happened to you and now you know why! Hopefully it hasn’t scared you off flying again, but don’t forget to try our quick tips and have a more comfortable flight!

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