Why you should never turn the air conditioning above your seat off during a flight

Sure, you may have an amazing holiday waiting for you at the end, but sometimes plane journeyscan be deeply unpleasant experiences.

For starters – why are they always so cold?

Especially, it seems, when you’re absolutely knackered and just want to sleep but, owing to the arctic gusts of air con being blown in your direction, can’t.

Many of us choose to switch off the air conditioning as soon as we can on a flight.

It’s not just the cold that’s off-putting, but also the worry air con is one surefire way of spreading the germs of a hundred odd other strangers.

But this is actually way off the mark.

By shutting off the personal air vent on a flight, we may be increasing our chances of getting ill.

Aeroplanes can be germ zones (Image: GETTY)

Dr. Mark Gendreau, medical director and vice chair of emergency medicine at Lahey Medical Center-Peabody in Massachusetts is something of an expert about infectious diseases.

He explained to Travel + Leisure why it is we should keep the vent on.

“For airborne viruses, it is incredibly important to ventilate, since ventilation becomes your main means of control besides isolating the affected person,” he says.

Airborne viruses are transmitted by tiny droplets of nuclei that hang around in the air for as long as five hours.

Dr Gendreau says these droplets can’t in fact reach you if the air con is on, because a barrier has been formed around you which prevents this.