Mask up! How to spend 14 hours or more in an aeroplane
Managing the microclimate
The last two long longhaul trips, I’ve worn a mask on board - and I can’t understand why more passengers don’t do so. Agreed, it might make you look a little alien, but the benefits are worth the puzzled glances you receive. I don’t mind looking weird for 14 hours: I’m comfortable and less dehydrated than if I wasn’t wearing a mask.
A few years ago when I attended the Web Directions conference in Sydney, I heard Craig Mod speak. Craig is a writer, designer and a walker. Originally from the United States, Craig has lived and worked in Japan and he spends a significant amount of time travelling between the two countries. I recommend reading anything that Craig writes, but his article, ‘Let’s fly: how to survive air travel’, influenced my travel habits. I thought his recommendation to wear a mask when flying was super helpful. As Craig says, ‘The mask’s role is two-fold: protect you from the horror that is the air aboard airplanes, and create a microclimate for your nose and mouth.’ Believe me, it works.
When I wear a mask, I feel cocooned from the privations of longhaul flying. I discovered that wearing a mask, good headphones and using a neck cushion (which I hadn’t used since the airlines introduced headrest cushions, but a recent re-acquaintance with a neck cushion is a great find) creates a barrier between me and what’s happening around me in the cabin.
I slip the mask on and off - to eat, or to put on lip gloss - but in the main, once I'm sitting down, I wear my mask. And I arrive at my destination feeling refreshed, hydrated and rested. As I said, if you don't believe me, read what Craig has to say: