Passenger uses SkyMall to block air vent

Airplanes are notoriously cold. That’s why everyone is eager to find the blankets and airlines are looking to make money off of them. But what do you do when the temperature in the plane is so low that you can’t possibly relax? If you’re on a plane that doesn’t allow you to close your the air vent above you, you’re typically out of luck. Recently, however, one passenger used some ingenuity, chutzpah and an airplane staple to remedy the situation on his own.

My friend Colin McCabe was flying to Austin earlier this month to attend the SXSW festival. His particular Delta flight was chilly. Or, as he put it, “meat locker cold.” The air vent was right over his head and could not be adjusted. He attempted to warm himself with a (free) blanket for 20 minutes to no avail. He notified the flight attendant of his discomfort and was told that there was nothing that she could do to adjust the temperature. Essentially, he was on his own.

That’s when the idea hit him. He grabbed the nearby SkyMall catalog, wedged it in the vent and completely blocked the flow of air raining down from above. He quickly became comfortable as the temperature by his seat increased. He had saved himself from the icy torment and cemented himself as a legend in the SkyMall Monday pantheon.

Sadly, the fix was temporary. The flight attendant told him that he had to remove the catalog as it was a “fire hazard.” Once again, he was besieged by gusts of frigid air as he flew south towards Texas.

Despite his thwarted attempt, we salute Colin for his quick-thinking (and for taking the photo above to share his experience).

Have you ever been so cold on a plane that you were at your wits’ end? What did you do to warm up? Share your tales of arctic airplanes in the comments.

Photo by Colin McCabe via Flickr.