During take off and when the aircraft is climbing, a reduction in cabin air pressure causes gases to expand. Trapped gases can expand more than 25% compared to sea level. When the aircraft descends, the volume of gas decreases. During this time, trapped air in areas of the body such as the sinuses, ears, and bowels can cause discomfort.
To lessen the effects of this pressure change on your body, avoid carbonated beverages and gas-producing foods like beans and cabbage, and avoid sleeping during the last hour or so of your flight so that you can yawn, swallow, or "pop your ears" to equalize the pressure as the aircraft descends.
The risk of problems with ears and sinuses greatly increases if you are congested or ‘blocked up’ due to a cold. You should consider delaying your flight if you are sick or discuss your condition with your healthcare provider, as decongestant medication may also help.
Digestion slows when the body is inactive, so eating lightly will make for a more comfortable flight. It is also best to avoid excessive alcohol and caffeinated drinks such as coffee and tea, as these drinks act as diuretics that increase the need to visit the toilet. Instead, drink juices and water frequently to maintain proper hydration.
To stay refreshed during and after a long flight, try performing these in-seat exercises which can also be found in your in-flight magazine every few hours:
Motion sickness is caused when a body’s sense of balance doesn’t match what is being seen, and may worsen during air turbulence. If you are prone to motion sickness, we recommend that you:
Our modern aircraft are quiet and comfortable, with excellent ventilation. The rate of air change in the aircraft cabin has been shown to be better than office buildings and trains and is comparable to that seen in hospital operating theaters.
In addition, all Emirates flights are nonsmoking, so the level of airborne pollutants is far lower than on most city streets or in many buildings. Fresh air is constantly added to air that is recycled through very fine HEPA filters to remove 99.997% of all dust, viruses, fungi, and bacteria.
However, the air in the cabin is low in humidity, which can cause mild drying of the skin, nose, throat, and eyes. To minimize the drying effects, you should:
Emirates cabin crew are trained to provide first aid in case of onboard medical emergencies.
Our aircraft are equipped with comprehensive medical kits and defibrillators for use by the cabin crew.
Some flights have the latest telemetry equipment so that ground-based medical staff can assess patients while they are still in the air. Please note that passengers are responsible for the cost of any medical care they may require on the ground. Therefore, comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in the lower leg. It is not dangerous unless the clot breaks off and travels to the lungs. Immobility is the biggest risk factor for DVT, and it can occur after car, bus, rail, or air travel—or even after sitting in a cinema.
In fact, a report by the World Health Organization (the WRIGHT report) showed that there is no increased risk for healthy travelers from flying compared to immobility of the same duration during other forms of transport. Follow this general advice for inflight comfort and to reduce the risk of developing DVT:
Some people are more likely than others to develop DVT. Known risk factors associated with DVT are as follows:
If you have any of these risk factors, you should seek advice from your doctor before traveling and discuss the following possible medical precautions: