Effects Of Long-Haul Flights On The Human Body

Effects Of Long-Haul Flights On The Human Body


Do you know which is the longest flight operated from India? Air India’s flight 173 from Delhi-San Fransisco is the longest flight which takes about 16.5 hours to cover the length of over 14500 kilometres. Qantas Airways has unveiled its plan to run non-stop flights from Sydney and Melbourne to London and New York by 2025 end. This would mean flying for 19 hours in one stretch. But why are we talking about long-haul flights? 

Millions of people fly every day for different reasons. Long-Haul flights can be really tough for your body. If you don’t take proper precautions, it can hamper your system. Let’s take a look at the risks of long-haul flights.

  • Dehydration

Effects Of Long-Haul Flights On The Human Body Dehydration

The longer the flights, the greater the risk of dehydration. Your throat, skin, and nose become dry. This happens because of low levels of humidity in the cabin as compared to the ground. The air circulating in the cabin is drawn from outside and at high altitudes, you can’t find a lot of moisture in the air. 


  1. It’s better to drink water before you board the flight. 
  2. We also recommend you to drink more water if you board a long-haul flight. 
  3. Do not drink coffee or alcoholic beverages.
  • Blood Clotting

Imagine sitting on a seat for more than 15 hours. It can be excruciating. This may sometime leads to circulatory problems and swollen legs. As the blood stops moving correctly, the chances of blood clots increases in a long-haul flight. 


  1. Keep stretching your legs and feet to let the blood flow if you’re stuck in a seat that’s not easy to leave. 
  2. Keep drinking water and this would necessitate going to the lavatory which will eventually help in movement. 
  3. Don’t keep seating. Get up and walk around every few hours to move your body. 
  • Skin Dehydration

Skin dehydration can really piss you off in a long-haul flight. As the air stays super dry in the aeroplanes, your skin and mucus membranes get dehydrated. 


  1. Pack a moisturising lotion when you onboard the flight as it can work as a lifesaver.
  2. Drink more water and avoid drinking alcohol.

Also Read: Types Of Common Illnesses And Natural Remedies To Cure Them

  • Fatigue 

Even a 2-3 hour journey brings you fatigue and here we are talking about a flight which is more than 15 hours long. It’s quite obvious that it will bring you fatigue. The sensitive people may feel mild hypoxia (a state in which oxygen is unavailable in sufficient amounts) which can lead to headaches. 


  1. You are going to spend a very long time in the plane. Invest in comfortable clothes preferably cotton clothes or sportswear. 
  2. Invest in earplugs, a neck pillow, and a sleep mask. 
  3. Take books, magazines, and movies along to keep yourself busy and occupied. 
  4. Carry some painkillers
  • Radiation

Whenever you fly, you expose yourself to cosmic ionizing radiation which may increase the risk of cancer and reproductive issues, as said by the World Health Organization. If you fly within the United States from the east coast to the west coast, it exposes you to about 0.035 mSv (3.5 mrem) of cosmic radiation. 


  • Use anti-radiation blankets. The airlines generally provide a thick blanket to protect passengers from the pressurized, frosty air. 
  • Put your phone on Airplane mode as it decreases the amount of EMF radiation emitted.
  • Avoid using Bluetooth earphones or headphones as they create another wireless signal to bounce around the aircraft.  

Final Words

If you already have a health condition, we recommend you to consult your doctor before flying in a long-haul flight. If the doctor allows you to pass, necessary precautions should be taken to avoid any kind of medical emergency. 

Must Read:


Leave a Reply