To ensure your time on board is as comfortable as possible, we have introduced our Care in the Air guide to help you relax.
As part of the Care in the Air campaign, we asked John H Scurr, Consultant Surgeon at University College and Middlesex Hospitals, to give Thomas Cook passengers his health advice and guidance
on reducing the risks of Deep Vein Thrombosis.
Water quality - free for all
Enjoy a drink when you're flying with Thomas Cook Airlines but as surgeon John Scurr says, don't over indulge. Remember the effects of alcohol at altitude are heightened.
Pure water can dilute the chances of a clot occurring and as part of our Care in the Air programme we provide an individual bottle of water free of charge to all our passengers on long-haul flights.
Cabin crew on short-haul journeys will be happy to serve water by the glass. Individual bottles of water are also available for sale from the on-board bar.
Cabin air quality - a safe environment
At Thomas Cook we care about the health of our passengers - which is why the air you're breathing right now is much cleaner than the air you will find in most office buildings.
Our cabin air system is designed to provide a safe environment at cruising altitudes that can reach up to 40,000 feet. All our aircraft operate with a mixture of 50 per cent outside air and 50 per cent recycled air.
Cabin air is continuously circulated through a system, which controls and filters the flow and temperature. Heating and cooling systems in most office buildings provide a far lower percentage of outside air - often as low as 20 per cent.
The air in a Thomas Cook aircraft is filtered every two or three minutes, depending on the size of the aircraft, and with the continuous use of outside air it means that the re-circulated portion rapidly disappears.
Our highly efficient air filters are replaced at regular maintenance intervals. They are designed to work more efficiently than those found in office buildings. The air intake at altitude is also likely to be much cleaner than you will find at ground level which means overall that flying with Thomas Cook is like a breath of fresh air!
There is nothing new about Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) but it is only in the past decade we have begun to understand why it occurs.
In normal life a great number of people experience blood clotting in one form or another. Quite often a clot may develop and disappear without you knowing anything about it and even if DVT does occur it can be cured with simple remedies if the symptoms are recognised and reported.
There is currently no scientific evidence that will tell us how common the problem is but we do know that DVT can occur if you sit still for long periods and the circulation slows down. This can happen in an aircraft, a car or even, as was reported recently, sitting in front of a computer.
Most people can fly with no worries but passengers who suffer from heart or lung disease, cancer, have a family history of DVT, or are recovering from a recent operation should consult their doctor prior to any flight.
In the unlikely event of a blood clot occurring during a flight, symptoms may not appear until between five and seven days later. If swelling in the leg does happen after a flight, then consult a doctor as soon as possible. If a clot has formed, a simple course of bloodthinning tablets or injections is the remedy. Please don't worry if your legs and ankles swell during a flight. This happens to most people and the more you can move your feet up and down, the less is the swelling.
The fact is that the risk of developing DVT remains extremely low and by following a few simple guidelines the problem can be virtually eliminated:
One tablet of aspirin on the morning of the flight helps reduce the stickiness of the blood and decreases the risk of a clot developing but do consult your doctor before taking aspirin or any drugs. On board, there are a few simple exercises you can do in your seat to promote the flow of blood.
Drink plenty of water during the flight to dilute the risk of a clot developing. Don't drink too much alcohol. Remember that at altitude the effects of alcohol are also heightened.
Keep fit with Dr Chris Steele
Dr Chris Steele from ITV's popular This Morning programme gives you his tips to ensure a healthy, happy journey.These exercises are exactly what he and his family do whenever they fly.
Sitting still for long periods of time, be it on an airline flight or even a train journey, could also increase your risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis. DVT is a clot of blood (a thrombosis) in the veins situated deep inside the calf muscles of the lower leg, or those veins deep inside the muscles of the thighs. If this blood clot becomes dislodged and travels into the lungs, it could produce a lifethreatening event. To reassure you, this condition is rare, but we want to ensure that you know exactly the exercises that will drastically reduce your risk of this problem.
So, to promote your in-flight well-being and to ensure that you arrive at your destination feeling fresh, lively and raring to go, we have devised a sequence of simple exercises that can be performed whilst sitting in your seat.
With your shoulders relaxed, turn your head slowly to the right as far as you can. Aim to get the chin close to the right shoulder, then hold it for a count of three seconds. Now turn your head slowly to look straight ahead of you for a count of three and repeat to your left.
With shoulders and arms relaxed, look straight ahead and slowly raise your chin so that you finish looking up at the ceiling directly above you. Hold this for three seconds then slowly bring the head back into the facing forward position. Rest for three seconds. Now slowly bring the chin down to the chest so that you end up pushing against the upper end of your breast-bone and hold for a count of three.
It is important for those of you aged over 40 to perform these movements slowly and gracefully as rapid movements of the head might cause dizziness. Only do these exercises whilst sitting.
Lift the right shoulder as high as possible, trying to get as close to the right ear as possible. Hold for three seconds, relax and then repeat with your left.
This exercise not only stimulates the muscles around the chest wall but also promotes slow, deep breathing to help relax you and expand the lungs fully, boosting your oxygen levels and giving you more energy.
With hands resting on your thighs, close your eyes and inhale deeply for five seconds, filling your lungs as much as possible. Now hold that breath in the lungs for three seconds and breathe out fully as you count to five. Then start all over again and do three repetitions of this deep breathing.
Whilst sitting, squeeze your knees together as tightly as possible, holding for three seconds then let the legs go limp for three seconds. Repeat this three times, squeezing those knees together as tight as you can. Now with your feet flat on the floor, and your feet and knees together, place your hands against the outsides of your knees and push your knees outwards against your hands. Allow the knees to separate by about six inches, still pushing against the hands, and hold for three seconds, now relax.
Heels And Toes
Whilst sitting in your seat, raise your heels as high as possible, keeping your toes on the floor. Pushing those heels up, pushes the knees up and pumps the veins, hence preventing DVT. Try to do 10 heel lifts each time, whenever you can, ideally every couple of minutes.
Bring your toes up, as high as you can, whilst keeping your heels on the floor. Your in-flight leg exercises could be as simple as 10 heel lifts then 10 toe lifts, each time pushing up the heels as high as possible, and then pushing up the toes as high as possible.
Please note, Thomas Cook Airlines does not operate a connecting flight service and is therefore not liable for any losses or expenses arising out of any failure to achieved a planned connection as a result of delay or cancellation of a Thomas Cook Airlines flight. We strongly advise all passengers to take out suitable travel insurance that includes cover for missed departures.