Passenger safety, health, and comfort: a review

Aviat Space Environ Med. 1997 May;68(5):432-40.


Since the birth of aviation medicine approximately 80 yrs ago, practitioners and scientists have given their attention primarily to flight deck crew, cabin crew, and ground support personnel. However, in more recent years we have broadened our horizons to include the safety, health, and comfort of passengers flying commercial aircraft. This will be even more compelling as more passengers take to the air in larger aircraft and flying longer hours to more distant destinations. Further, we can expect to see more older passengers because people in many countries are living longer, healthier lives. The author first discusses the stresses imposed by ordinary commercial flight upon travelers such as airport tumult, barometric pressure changes, immobility, jet lag, noise/ vibration, and radiation. Medical considerations are next addressed describing inflight illness and medical care capability aboard U.S. air carriers. Passenger safety, cabin air quality, and the preventive medicine aspects of air travel are next reviewed in the context of passenger safety, health, and comfort. Recommendations are addressed to regulator agencies, airlines aircraft manufacturers, and the aerospace medicine community.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aerospace Medicine
  • Air Pollution, Indoor
  • Aircraft* / standards
  • Aircraft* / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • First Aid / instrumentation
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Safety* / standards
  • Safety* / statistics & numerical data
  • Sanitation
  • Stress, Physiological / etiology*
  • Travel*
  • United States