British Lung Foundation

Anyone had a chest problem after a flight?

I had respiratory failure 5 years ago 5 days after returning from my holiday to Spain on flight tom7777 . I asked the flight attendant on my next holiday how often they purge their air outlets? She went to the pilot and asked as she did not know. The pilot told her that they do not purge short haul any time! When the flight attendant asked why, I explained and she said that's was probably why we get throat and chest complaints all the time then? I started asking around and BA purge theirs after a set number of flights and sometimes use a natural disinfectant to kill 99.9% of the bugs that can hide there. Interested to hear if any one else has had similar?

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I presume you mean respiratory failure. I didn't have this but I did suffer on a flight with sinnus problems( I have Bronchictasis so it goes with the teritory) shortness of breath and Pain down one side of my face. My doctor put it down to bad air on flight, but I have flown since and not had the same problem. I think some flights are worse than others as regards to air quality. I don't think I would like to try long haul, just in case I had a worse problem.

So sorry you had respiratory failure after your flight from Spain, did your doc say you were fit to fly? I think its always worth checking your lungs can handling flying, even if you are flying in safer bug and virus months (said to be October to May). I have flown both short and long haul without any problems.

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To be honest Toci I never thought to ask as they have told me not to fly for more than 4 hours because of my heart problems

Probably you need to be extra cautious Offcut, take good care. BC

I had a long haul to South Africa years ago. Nearby was a very buggy lady, coughing. On arrival, I had a chest infection, insufficiently treated by a South African GP > A few weeks after my return to the UK, I was admitted to hospital with pneumonia and septicaemia. Ever since, I was prone to infections. I learned to carry a rescue pack. But that was a while ago. There must have been improvements since.

Every really bad chest infection I've had has come on after a flight to the point I haven't been away since April 2012 I've refused to go away since then. Hubby has been away with his family I stayed at home he's also been away with his sister and mother. OOPs I did have a 55 min flight to London this January I forgot about that. I was ok after that flight from what I can remember.

I have noticed that every time we fly whether it be short or long haul we both end up with cold and, in hubby's case, it always turns into something nastier. There was an item on tv recently about air quality during flying and they said that since the smoking ban the air is worse as they do not 'clean' it as often as they used to.

My specialist refused to let me fly anymore.I used to do the long haul from Britain,even with 02 on the flight(that I don't use normally) I did feel terrible at the end of it.

The specialist said it is to easy to get sick,with bad lungs on the flights,as the air con just spews out everyone's germs,& he is continually seeing people whom have been taken off flights in a bad way.He feels the same way about cruises,the air con being the bug bearer again,literally!!

I flew to Melbourne,2 hour flight,few years ago,fine on the way down,but taken off by ambulance on return.My daughter said it felt a lot more stuffy on the way back,so maybe the air was poorer quality.

So that's my experience with it.Sad I won't be seeing Britain anymore,but loath to go against expert advice,

Cheers Wendells xx

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