Airport Spas – Not The Answer To Jet Lag But They Might Help

When your flight is cancelled or delayed, there’s no better way to de-stress than hitting the spa. Airport spas are becoming more common,whether accessible to the general public or part of a first-class lounge.Treatment options are often tailored to people in transit-chair massages and other abbreviated treatments for travellers in a hurry, though some airport spas offer full spa menus – so says a prominent UK wellness and spa website. While airport spas may be great to help you on your way or help you de-stress from a gruelling journey they deflect from the fact that they offer no real answer to jet lag and frequent flier fatigue.


Preflight or post flight pampering, getting the glow how, escaping into a tranquil oasis are great stop gaps but they melt away in the face of the fierceness of frequent flying. If you take the subjects of jet lag and flier fatigue and break them down to their brass tacks it is nothing more than the body’s inability to deal with stress. In which case going to a spa is a good thing because spas help you de-stress BUT not all stress is the same. There are 2 types of stress. The chronic and the acute. Acute stress is what you are immediately aware of while chronic stress is what you might call background stress, you might not be aware of it immediately but its long term effects are damaging, sometimes irreparable. While a spa treatment may well help you get over acute symptoms it does not help you deal with the ongoing chronic stress frequent flying exacts week in week out. This is part of the reason my popular refrain is “jet lag needs a new conversation and it needs it now!”

The truth of the matter is most people and quite a few frequent fliers only think of jet lag when they arrive at the airport or when it disrupts their routine. To my thinking this is like an astronaut attempting to take off for Space without realising he’s going to need oxygen – he’s not really going to be at his best when he gets there. Airport spas can be a nice stop gap but they don’t face down the insidious issues around flying like dehydration, the harsh aircraft cabin, cosmic radiation exposure and a lack of oxygen.

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