Travelling more comfortably

Here are some ways to make your trip easier and more comfortable.



Modern commercial aeroplanes are well known for being extremely safe and comfortable. Nonetheless, following a series of recommendations can render all flights more enjoyable, especially those over three hours long.

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Inside the aircraft

Atmospheric pressure and changes in oxygen levels, noise, temperature, vibrations, the possibility of turbulence, humidity and space available inside an aircraft are slightly different to what we are used to, although they are perfectly tolerable for travelers.

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Pressure changes

During the flight we'llnormally be at an equivalent altitude between 1,500 and 2,500 metres, for pressure purposes. This leads to a small reduction in atmospheric pressure and the partial pressure of oxygen. When pressure drops, gases tend to expand and this can bother some passengers. We recommend avoiding heavy meals or food that causes flatulence the day before you fly. Our onboard menus are designed to stear clear of ingredients that may cause any discomfort.

Pressure adjusts during take-off and landing. You may notice discomfort in your ears. A simply correction, equalising the pressure in your middle ear, is to pinch your nostrils with your fingers and blow out softly through your nose, chewing gum or, simplest of all, blowing your nose.

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Humidity inside the aircraft is around 10-20% lower than normal. That may make your skin, airways and eyes feel slightly dry. Avoid drinking alcohol and coffee starting the day before you fly because they can dehydrate you. During the flight you should drink plenty of water or juices or use a moisturising cream on your skin.

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Jet lag

Small time differences can cause jet-lag (daytime tiredness and sleepiness) and the bigger the time difference the more it affects your internal body clock. Unfortunately there is little you can do to counteract the effects of changing timetables.

When you reach your destination, try to adjust to the local timetable as soon as possible if you have to stay awake for a long period of time. Otherwise, try to keep to your regular timetable with a difference of no more than 4 hours.

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Sharp movements and turbulence can occasionally cause people problems. Turbulence happens for different reasons and is usually detected in time by the crew, who inform passengers over the speaker system. Passengers should sit down and put on their seatbelts as quickly as possible to prevent injury.

There is also what is known as clear-air turbulence. This cannot be detected beforehand and happens suddenly and unexpectedly, which is why you should wear your seatbelt throughout the entire flight unless you need to get up for any reason.

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All Iberia flights are "non-smoking". Use of cigarettes, cigars, pipes and electronic cigarettes on our planes is strictly prohibited. If you are a regular smoker and think this might bother you, ask your doctor about nicotine substitutes such as chewing gum or patches.

The air in the cabin is recycled completely every three minutes.

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Space and movement

Sitting down for long periods of time is not problematic for most of us, but some people's feet or ankles might swell and sometimes it might exacerbate a previous circulatory problem. This is the case of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It is rare condition and occurs among people who are especially predisposed to it when they are forced to spend long periods without moving.

There is limited space available and possibility of movement. We recommend wearing loose-fitting clothing and stowing hand luggage so that it does not block your legs.

Make sure you wear comfortable clothes, preferably made from natural fibres, to put less pressure on your skin and improve ventilation.

Move your lower limbs around where you are sitting (flexing your toes and ankles and bending and straightening your legs).

We also suggest you get up occasionally, stretch your arms and legs or even walk around the cabin at times when the service to the other passengers is not affected and when flight conditions allow. Keep your eye on the seatbelt sign and always follow crew instructions closely.

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Exercises you can do in your seat

Gently tilt your head to one side. Hold that position for three seconds, exhaling completely. Inhale, return your head to its upright position and repeat on the other side. Repeat three times.

Stretch your arms upwards and inhale. Hold that position and your breath for three seconds. Put your arms behind your head and exhale. Repeat three times.

Stand on your toes and lift your heels up off the ground. Hold this position for three seconds. Then rock back on your heels, stretch your toes and raise them. Repeat three times.

Don't hesitate to seek more advice from your doctor. He or she can provide more detailed advice for your particular case.

And remember

  • All our flights are “non-smoking".
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or coffee and drink plenty of water and juice.
  • Keep your seatbelt fastened at all times during the flight.
  • Try doing the exercises we've recommended from your seat.

See how this applies on flights operated by

  • British Airways
  • American Airlines
  • Finnair