Skip Navigation

Pressurizing cabin

Travel Forums General Talk Pressurizing cabin

1. Posted by fjesudason (First Time Poster 1 posts) 4y

fjesudason has indicated that this thread is about List of Airlines

In this age of advanced technology, why can't certain planes do something about the ear pain caused during the take off and landing, when children suffer the most?

2. Posted by jaredellis123 (Budding Member 27 posts) 4y

You shouldn't be flying if your ears get that painful, you could burst an eardrum. Healthy ears can be cleared naturally during descent with no pain or discomfort.

3. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 4y

In fact the new generation of planes has taken this into consideration. Both the A380 and the B787 are less painful. I also find the B777 to be better than most. The most painful thing to do when you experience this pain is to touch your ear.

4. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 4y

Daawgon is right - the newer plane designs have taken ear squeezes into consideration. The bigger problems are those flying with an assortment of ailments that do not allow the ears to 'clear' during take-off and landing, such as colds, ear infections, sinus infections and even an ear canal filled with natural ear wax.

Children suffer the most because: a) there is a medical situation (as mentioned above) and/or b) they have not learned how to clear their ears (continual swallowing, yawning on purpose or wiggling their lower jaw back and forth). All of the latter cause the eustachian tubes to expand and release the pressure. One reason most airlines handed out a stick of chewing gum on each flight before take-off years ago. It kept the jaw moving to expand the ear tubes.

People complain about crying babies and children on a plane. I try to be tolerant because, especially with babies, they are probably in pain. They can't tell anyone what's wrong outside of crying. Young children may be able to say they have an ear ache but the parents don't know what to do about it - at that point, probably nothing. And, they bring a child with a cold or ear infection on the plane. The more a child cries, the worse the problem becomes because their sinuses begin to swell which ultimately affect their ears.

Plane pressurization is not a simple concept regardless of our technological advances. It's a question of averages. Not everyone boarding the plane has been at the same elevation in real life. This does play into the equation. What is comfortable for one person will not be comfortable for another. If you are used to living at a low elevation and the person next to you has lived at a high elevation - the median cabin pressure could affect both of you.

Useful List of Airlines content