There are many rumors about breathing recycled airplane air — here’s an interesting article I found on the topic — but what I want to talk about today is the lack of air vents on planes.
I recently had some short flights within Europe on Lufthansa. I noticed how these flights had vents, but I remembered past trips where none were installed. These short-haul flights were on a combination of Airbus narrow bodies and CRJ-900, and all had air vents above the seats. Thinking about this, I remembered that there aren’t vents on Lufthansa long haul planes.
Side note: Lufthansa is an airline where I’ve had some excellent experiences through the years. Their style is very German and not for everyone, but it works for me, and I don’t speak more than 20 words of German. My favorite experience is the Lufthansa First Class Terminal, but to be honest, I’m more frequently flying short-haul flights in economy.
Air Vents on Lufthansa Short-haul Planes…
Here are some photos showing various views of Lufthansa cabins:
Having air vents was one of the few positives of the economy seating experience on Lufthansa. That said, business class within Europe isn’t much better, as other than a better meal and a blocked middle seat, there isn’t much difference from economy. Many flights within Europe are short, but the Recaro slimline seats are not comfortable at all.
What about Air Vents on Lufthansa Long-haul Planes?
I’ve not flown Lufthansa economy long haul, but I’ve flown both first and business class several times, and I remember there being no air vents. The photo below seems to show the same, this one from an A340-600.
I’ve read multiple reports and experienced warm cabins on my own flights on Lufthansa. I can’t determine why there aren’t air vents on all aircraft. Most US carriers have them but this is less common on foreign carriers. After this trip I decided to attempt to compile lists of carriers separated by having vents or not. See below for my summary.
Carriers with Air Vents at Each Seat
|Virgin America||Sun Country||Allegiant||Spirit|
|Air New Zealand (narrow body)||Adria||Aegean||Air Canada||Air China (narrow body)||Air India (787)|
|Lufthansa (narrow body)||Shenhzen||SWISS (narrow body)||TAP||Air Berlin||Iberia||LATAM|
|Malaysia||Qantas (A380 in F)||Qatar||Royal Jordanian||S7||Sri Lankan||Aeromexico|
|Air Europa||Air France||Alitalia||China Southern||Czech||Garuda Indonesia||KLM|
Carriers without Air Vents at Each Seat
|Hawaiian||Asiana||Austrian||Brussels||EVA||Lufthansa (wide body)||SAS|
|Singapore||South Africa||SWISS (wide body)||Thai||Turkish||British Airways|
|Cathay Pacific||Finnair||Japan Air Lines||Qantas||Aeroflot||Aerolineas Argentinas|
|China Airlines||China Eastern||Kenya Airways||Korean||MEA||Xiamen||Etihad|
Final Thoughts on Air Vents: Please Help Me Update/Complete These Lists
After this trip where I was somewhat surprised to have vents, I decided to compile these lists. They aren’t complete, so I’m hoping you can help me fill in gaps and fix and errors I made. I’ve flown on lots of carriers, but nowhere all of those I listed. To make these lists, I primarily used google image searches, which took me longer than I planned. The lists are organized with US carriers first, then other airlines sorted mostly by alliance. There are other carriers I have not listed, but I’m open to updating this information.
Some trends I noticed while doing this research; Most 787s seem to have vents. Many aircraft that are part of the Lufthansa group do not, and it seems to be more common on narrow body planes than larger aircraft. US carriers almost always have them, only Hawaiian does not. I’d prefer to have the option of fresh air, if nothing else, the comfort of circulating the air is always appreciated.