I’m one of the people who, too often it seems, gets sick from airplanes. Here is a very educational article about why:
One well-known study in 1979 found that when a plane sat three hours with its engines off and no air circulating, 72% of the 54 people on board got sick within two days. The flu strain they had was traced to one passenger. For that reason, the Federal Aviation Administration issued an advisory in 2003 to airlines saying that passengers should be removed from planes within 30 minutes if there’s no air circulation, but compliance isn’t mandatory.
These days, with airlines pinching pennies, they do not power the auxiliary power unit (APU) and no air circulates. The article suggests bringing it to the attention of the flight attendants but, given the state-of-mind of today’s flight attendants, it is probably futile.
Details from The Wall Street Journal. Ahh-Choo!