Downside of flying high

In "Flying Carrot Class" (The Lawyer, 22 April), Farrol Kahn makes the confusing assertion that "most passengers are unaware that cabin altitude is an average of 8,000 feet which represents 25 per cent less oxygen by pressure". With respect, most passengers believe the captain when he announces that the aircraft is flying at an altitude comfortably exceeding 30,000 feet.

What Mr Kahn means is that, during the flight, the pressure within the cabin is maintained at the terrestrial equivalent of 8,000 feet – what the citizens of Bogota, Mexico City and many other upland regions regard as perfectly normal.

Mr Kahn heaps all the blame for what he calls the adverse effects of flying on the flight itself. I am in no doubt that the flight is only contributory, to which must be added the cumulative effects of a menu which includes late night last minute preparations, an early morning start, a long road journey, parking at the airport, trekking to the terminal, queuing at check-in, last-minute duty free shopping, boarding formalities and the prospect of all this in reverse on arrival.

Eliminate as many of the aforementioned as you can, relax during the flight, and you will arrive in better shape.

I cannot vouch for the therapeutic effects of four days on carrot juice, but what is certain is that no airline will allow you to take up Mr Kahn's suggestion of a whiff of oxygen as the ultimate quick fix. Cylinders of compressed gas are, inter alia, classified as dangerous goods and must not be carried either as hold or cabin baggage.

Geoff Atkinson, Group Lawyer

Monarch Airlines, Chelmsford