Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Circulation Makes a Difference

Years ago, I used to be a frequent flyer from an enormous amount of business travel.  I was platinum on Northwest and Delta (when they were separate companies), gold on US Air, and gold on United.  Back  in the late 90s and early 2000s most of the planes had individual lights and vents for each passenger, and I appreciated being able to adjust the air flow from my vent to help regulate the temperature in the general area of my seat.

You see, I've always been a warm blooded creature.  My older brother was often known as "Sweaty Eddie".  In humid climates, I sweated a great deal, and after hurrying through airports, dragging heavy luggage behind me to make my connecting flight in time, I'd plop down into my seat and turn on the air vent FULL BLAST.  On a trans-Atlantic United flight I even had a passenger behind me complain to the flight attendants that there was "too much air" blowing down upon her as my seat was reclined somewhere over Iceland.  Korean Air back in 1999 and 2000 often had no vents, and the passenger cabin was unbearable hot.  I actively avoided flying Korean Air.

Last Saturday, as I was flying back from Bangalore on Air France in 777-200 equipment, there were no individual vents.  Air France kept the cabin unpleasantly warm, and I was very hot and uncomfortable from Bangalore to Paris, and then from Paris to Atlanta.  But then, in Atlanta, I got on a 757 with traditional American air vents, one for each passenger.  I was able to flood my seat with cool air, lean against a cool bulkhead, and not stay so bloody hot.

Circulation makes a significant difference in passenger comfort, temperature regulation, and in determining the pleasantness of a voyage.  Give me a window seat, and a personal air vent, and I am a happy passenger.

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