I've been in a long-distance flight between northern and southern hemisphere, with temperatures nearing 5°C on the origin, and 25°C on the destination.

During the first flight, the cabin was excessively hot; one possible explanation would be that the sun was shining on my side of the cabin, and the new "no-blinds" system, even when darkened to block most of the light, was still unable to contain the heat.

However, on the return flight (from hot area to cold area), the sun was also shining on my side of the cabin, yet it was much colder (note: I was wearing exactly the same clothes in both flights), as if the cabin temperature had been deliberately set, in both flights, to match the weather at arrival.

I couldn't find any information about this policy. Is it just coincidence? Are companies supposed to follow some set of rules to e.g. minimize temperature shock when arriving?

Edit: The aircraft was a Dreamliner.

  • $\begingroup$ Do you remember the airplane's model? $\endgroup$
    – sophit
    Commented Feb 28 at 9:27
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ When you come out of a 5°C environment, a 20°C environment feels warm. When you come out of a 25°C environment, the same 20°C environment feels cold. Not saying that this was the case here, but it could play a role. $\endgroup$
    – DeltaLima
    Commented Feb 28 at 10:11
  • $\begingroup$ @sophit : a Dreamliner, I just added it to the question. $\endgroup$
    – anol
    Commented Feb 28 at 15:19

1 Answer 1


No. There are no global rules of this nature.

However, some airlines set their own rules, usually setting the upper limit at 29-32 °C and the lower around 18-20 °C. Some pilots will clearly have preferences for warmer or cooler temperature.

But this is only incidentally related to the destination - you're more likely to be flown to Scandinavia by a Scandinavian pilot, and to Africa by an African pilot on an African airline than vice versa. More likely, not a rule.

Most passengers will spend at least an hour at the airport after disembarking, and airport indoor temperatures vary only slightly around the world.

  • $\begingroup$ Yikes! Having a cabin temp of 29-32°C (84-89°F) would be miserable even for a short flight! I'd sleep well, though - that kind of heat and stuffy environment would put me right out... $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Commented Feb 28 at 18:56
  • $\begingroup$ @FreeMan Not a joke. Most pilots will target 80F or less, but they will fly with a hotter cabin if it doesn't work out. $\endgroup$
    – Therac
    Commented Feb 28 at 20:24
  • $\begingroup$ Ugh... Never taken a thermometer aboard with me, but I'm pretty sure I've been in some hot cabins. Probably never quite that hot, though. Once the engines spin up and the PACS are fired up, temp usually comes right down. $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Commented Feb 29 at 12:39

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