If you’re facing a delay when you’ve already boarded your Air France flight, it may start to get hot in the plane. Air conditioning doesn’t kick on until you’re in the air, and here’s why.

Air Conditioning and Planes

A plane’s air conditioning system is designed differently than a traditional one. What works on the ground won’t necessarily work in the air, so an airplane’s cooling mechanism is designed for optimum performance in the air.

The plane’s main engine plays a huge role in operating it air conditioning system. The air in a plane cycles, and the hot engine air is cooled by the outside temperature and pushed through the cabin. That heat exchange isn’t possible if the plane is sitting on the ground, especially if the engine is off.

This can cause high temperatures on the inside of an Air France plane, making it feel like there’s no air conditioning in the plane. There is, but it doesn’t work right until you’re in the sky.

Temperature Regulations on Planes
There are regulations in place that require airlines to provide comfortable cabin temperatures; however, there is no definition of what those temperatures exactly are. Without air conditioning, passengers may be offered water or ice to cool down, but the temperatures can still get to be uncomfortable.


Air France does not have air conditioning until the plane is flying due to how the in-flight cooling system is set up. This makes it feel like there is no air conditioning during flight delays.


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