I just made two cross-country flights to visit my friend, and unfortunately came down with cough and fever during my visit. I suspect I had already caught whatever it was before I stepped on the plane.
Anyway, I’ve written before about the important of good hydration during airplane flights.
But this time, in addition to drinking lots of water, I did an experiment in steaming myself, because my throat and upper respiratory/chest area was hurting.
I did this before I got on the plane. I boiled a pot of water and put it on the kitchen table, then carefully leaned over it with a towel over my head–to create a little steam room–and inhaled the soothing steam.
Be careful that the water is not too hot! And of course, always supervise if kids are doing this or if you kids around.
And then on the plane, I asked for a cup of hot water–which they were happy to give me–and I cupped my hand around it to create a tiny sauna between the cup and my face, and breathed in the steam. Of course the water was not as hot as direct-from the kettle, and it cooled pretty quickly, but in the context of the desert-dry airplane air, it felt great.