From the roar of jet engines to the constant stream of in-flight announcements, air travel can be noisy. Armed with a decibel meter, WSJ’s Scott McCartney set out to uncover the noisiest places in the airplane cabin and what exactly passengers can do to ensure a quieter and calmer travel experience.
From the roar of engines to the din of in-flight announcements to the background noise of the cabin, air travel is a noisy experience. But for travelers looking for a slightly less cacophonous flight, The Wall Street Journal‘s Scott McCartney has some pointers for a quieter ride.
Armed with a decibel meter, McCartney gauged noise levels on different aircraft throughout various parts of the flying process.
He noted that, regardless of the craft, the noise level during different parts of the flight remained more or less constant. For example, the noise level at takeoff remained around 84 decibels regardless of the craft while the noise level upon landing measured around 90 decibels.
For those looking for a quieter travel experience, McCartney noted that, on the whole, newer craft – which of course feature newer engines – tend to be quieter than older craft. He also observed that wide-body planes offer a more peaceful ride than narrowbody craft.
He also advised that those looking to keep the noise to a minimum select their seat with care. On the whole, window seats were subject to more noise while aisle spots were quieter. McCartney also observed that the front of a craft tends to be quieter than the rear.
While the mechanical ambient noise of an aircraft is one thing, the din of other passengers and constant in-flight announcements is something else. For these kinds of sounds, McCartney recommends either a pair of noise-canceling headphones or soft foam earplugs to ensure peace and quiet.
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