Safety aside, a traveler’s well-being post-flight is often overlooked by airlines.
Airlines are continuously improving on-board meal, beverage and entertainment options but are less likely to focus on passenger health while in flight. Factors like cabin pressure and humidity contribute a great deal to jet-lag.
Almost all travelers have experienced the feeling of jet-lag. Which mimics symptoms of altitude sickness due to cabin pressure which is maintained at a higher altitude. However, a new fleet of aircrafts from Boeing promises to alleviate this problem for business travelers. The dream of touching down in your destination without having to worry about muscle aches, headaches, and fatigue from dehydration while on route to your next meeting is now a reality with the 787 Dreamliner.
Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is built with a unique feature: a humidity controlled cabin. Typical cabin humidity on a flight is anywhere between 2 to 4 percent which means, drier than a desert, with pressurized altitude of around 8,000 feet above sea level. The Dreamliner allows for a whopping 15 percent humidity, and a pressurized altitude of 6,000 feet above sea level which combats the feeling of dryness. This 787 is also built with a superior air filtration system set to rid of smells and airborne bacteria.
Additional innovative features include, 30 percent larger windows than the 777s, making the cabin feel brighter and roomier. Also, you will find no window shades on-board the Dreamliner, instead there is a dimming feature where the level of incoming light is individually controlled with the push of a button. Boeing also says that the Dreamliner’s new smart LED lighting system will help further reduce jet lag via its ambient color system which works to imitate the sky and the crew can adjust to fit the situation.
A major factor for why air in a plane cabin is kept dryer than normal level is because the majority of planes are made with metal composites that are not moisture friendly making them prone to rust. The Dreamliner fuselage is made of carbon fiber composite materials which are less susceptible to corrosion than traditional aluminum, hence they can support an increase in cabin humidity and pressurization.
The Dreamliner is designed for long haul flights of ten hours or more. For business travelers who find themselves back and forth between destinations like Singapore, Dubai etc. this is the answer they’ve been looking for.
United and American Airlines are two one of the many major U.S. carriers transitioning to behind Boeing’s Dreamliner. American already uses the Dreamliner 787-8 however the carrier has just announced they will be using the 787-9 Dreamliner to feature their new Premium Economy early 2017. Before then, you will be able to experience the Dreamliner and the new Premium Economy when flying American from Dallas to Madrid, Spain as well as São Paulo, Brazil beginning November 4th.
United introduced the furthest non-stop route yet for any airline with their 8,446 mile, 16-hour flight from San Francisco to Singapore. A 16-hour flight with no jet lag will now be standard thanks to the state-of-the-art aircraft. On United's Dreamliner, you will feel like you are traveling at only 6,000 feet above sea level, 20 percent reduction over the normal 7,500 to 8,000 feet, which during long haul flights is the ultimate perk. Welcome to the 22nd century of air travel.