Flight query about cabin pressure

  CurlyWhirly 22:36 26 Aug 2012
Locked
Answered

I have never flown before but am flying to Majorca in October.

My partner (who has flown before) said that on take off I should suck a sweet to avoid a ringing sound in my ears caused by the change of air pressure.

What I can't understand is how the cabin air pressure changes as all planes are airtight ?

  Quickbeam 22:40 26 Aug 2012

Chewing a Curly Wurly works just as well.

  CurlyWhirly 22:41 26 Aug 2012

Quickbeam - yeah I love my chocolate :)

Terrified of flying though !

  Quickbeam 22:44 26 Aug 2012

If I can't drive there or go by train, I don't go!

  CurlyWhirly 22:48 26 Aug 2012

Quickbeam, that's a major restriction on your holiday plans !

  Forum Editor 22:57 26 Aug 2012
Answer

"What I can't understand is how the cabin air pressure changes as all planes are airtight ?"

Cabin pressure changes because an automatic system makes it happen. As an aircraft begins its climb to the cruise altitude the cabin pressure starts to rise so as to maintain a pressure of around 11lbs per square inch, which is approximately what you would feel if the aircraft was unpressurised at 7000 feet.

Your aircraft will cruise at around 30,000 feet.

When the aircraft begins its descent for landing the flight deck crew will set the cabin pressure control system to to the ground altitude at the destination airport, and the automatic system will gradually adjust the cabin pressure throughout the descent.

You are more likely to feel the effect in your ears during the descent. Some people (I'm one of them) never experience any discomfort, but others - like my wife - can get a mild earache for a few minutes. Sucking a sweet can help.

Cabin pressurisation is essential for your comfort during the flight, and is nothing to worry about. Have a good trip.

  Quickbeam 23:12 26 Aug 2012

"that's a major restriction on your holiday plans"

Not really, I have a sister near Milan and a cousin in Rome and can visit them without flying. It would only be a problem for going to America as I can't afford the Queen Mary!

  CurlyWhirly 23:16 26 Aug 2012

"Cabin pressurisation is essential for your comfort during the flight and is nothing to worry about"

I had no idea that cabin pressurisation was even active on flights.

"Have a good trip"

Thank you.

  CurlyWhirly 23:20 26 Aug 2012

Thanks to everyone for their input much appreciated.

One final thing I'm unsure about is the difference in flight times on the departure and return flights.

Flying to Majorca is scheduled to take 3hrs 40 mins and yet returning to the UK is only scheduled to take 1 hr 40 mins meaning there's a massive difference of 2 hours !

Would this be anything to do with the jet stream ?

Just curious.

  CurlyWhirly 23:39 26 Aug 2012
  CurlyWhirly 23:40 26 Aug 2012

Woolwell, oh right. I did wonder !

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