With the borders fully opening and the world slowly recovering from the pandemic, more and more New Zealanders are keen to start traveling again. In this post, we want to share some practical advice on how to take care of your hearing during flights and make sure that discomfort in your ears won’t ruin your long-anticipated holidays.

Traveling takes a lot of preparation, from choosing the right seats to organising your carry-on luggage. However, one thing often gets forgotten: protection of your hearing. 

During the flight, we are constantly exposed to noise. According to the NIOSH, the noise level on the plane can reach up to 140dB during takeoffs and landings. It stays around 80-85 dBA during the flight. The recommended safe level of noise is below 85 dB. Considering that most international flights from New Zealand are long hauls, taking measures to protect your hearing from temporary or permanent noise damage is crucial.

These four simple tips can not only protect your health but also make the flight more comfortable.

Seat Selection

As much as enjoying the beautiful views from the cabin sounds tempting, it’s better to choose aisle seats since the noise levels there are generally 10 dB lower than at the window seats. Also, the closer you are to the nose of the plane, the further you are from the engines, which makes it a quieter area.


Earplugs are probably the most reliable and affordable way of protecting your hearing on the plane. While a wise seat selection might help you avoid the mechanical noises of the plane, it can’t protect your ears from the noises other people and cabin crew make during the flight. Earplugs can. Big international airlines usually provide their passengers with earplugs, but you can also get them at your nearest chemist before departure.

Noise-Cancelling Headphones

You can buy noise-cancelling headphones if you want to take the extra step to protect your ears. Unlike the earplugs, they can be connected to your phone or onboard entertainment set so you can listen to music, watch movies, and play games while enjoying the block of external sounds. The other good thing about the headphones is that they are available in all sizes, including children-friendly ones, and provide you with more comfort.

Taking Care of your Hearing Aids

If you already use hearing aids, you are allowed to wear them on the plane but make sure to take proper care of them. Moisture and hearing aids do not mingle well. Make sure to have a dry kit or a soft towel in your carry-on luggage. If your hearing aids got wet because of sweat, water spillage, or other reasons, dry it gently and don’t forget to open the case and check the battery. More information about caring for your hearing aid is here.

We hope these tips will help you to avoid tinnitus (ringing in the ears) after a long flight and keep your hearing safe. If you have questions about hearing aids or you want to get one before the departure, get in touch with us today. We can make sure you get it quickly with all the necessary information.