British Airways A380 First Class Remote Controlled Window Shades

Why You Should Wear Sunscreen on a Plane
Ever since I found out I had a squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer) on my lip, I’ve completely changed the way I spend time in the sun. I no longer play volleyball or hang out with my friends on the beach during peak hours unless I’m completely covered and/or under an umbrella. I put on sunscreen every morning before I go outside. And recently, I read this article in Condé Nast Traveler, which pointed out that “a recent study in JAMA Dermatology found just one hour at 30,000 feet could expose pilots to the same amount of UV radiation as a 20-minute tanning bed session would. But as a passenger, you’re up against a smaller window and far less cumulative exposure. Still, over time, hours in the sun (yes, even by a window) add up, increasing your risk of skin cancer.”

One dermatologist suggests pulling down the shades in the airplane when it’s sunny and another suggests doing so regardless of the weather (cloud cover and snow can reflect UV rays). That same doctor also suggests using a broad-spectrum 30-SPF lotion, which protects against UVA and UVB rays. And don’t forget to reapply a marble-sized amount to your face every two hours and don’t forget often overlooked areas like the back of your hands, forearms and ears.

The most important thing is to be aware, because the consequences of sun exposure can be very serious. For more, see the article.



Tried this tip? Let me know in the comments!
Have your own tip? Email it to [email protected]!
Want to see more tips? Click here for all 647!

Want even more travel tips? Subscribe to the Daily Travel Tip newsletter! All you have to do is sign up for the weekly newsletter by filling in your email address and checking the Daily Travel Tip box in the top-right corner of the homepage.

If you already subscribe to the newsletter, fill in your email and check the Daily Travel Tip box in the same top-right corner of the homepage and you’ll receive an email with a link to update your preferences. On that page, just click the Daily Travel Tip box and Update Profile and you’ll have Johnny’s best tips, straight to your inbox each day. And don’t worry—it’s easier than it sounds!


Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

7 Comments On "Travel Tip of the Day: Why You Should Wear Sunscreen on a Plane"
  1. Laura|


    I just read an actical about sun screen….when exposed to the sun, your risk for skin cancer is HIGHER when you apply sunscreen!!!


    From: EWG environmental working group…why because 75% of sunscreens contain toxic chemicals ….can increase cancer and other health issues

    Laura =.)

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Nancy Reid|

    I never would have thought about this. Thanks for the tip!

  3. Kiera Reilly|

    I could not like this post more! I read about UV exposure on a plane, and now I always apply my usual facial sunscreen while flying. I have skin cancer in my family, and with fair skin, I am always covering up and limit my outdoor activities to after peak sun hours. One caveat though – make sure you take a Vitamin D supplement. I had some terrible colds last year and one doctor suggested I might be Vitamin D deficient, which weakens the immune system. Since I was so diligent about being completely covered whenever I went outside, it made sense to me.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Good advice!

  4. BIO|

    Great advice, sun protection is so important but easy to overlook. Especially in places we might not think about it. UV rays penetrate glass so planes are one of those unexpected places. Driving is too, potential for a ton of sun exposure while driving a car.

  5. Vanessa|

    Interesting fact! I had always wondered how possible it was to get tanned/burned through a window. I must say, sometimes when the sun is beaming through those airplane windows it can feel quite hot, which is sometimes actually quite nice because plane cabins are so cold! But great tip about the sunscreen.

  6. Steve|

    Good advice Johnny. Sun penetrates glass on the ground or in the air.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *