Many of the constant travelers think that they know a lot about flying and think they’ve seen it all in the air. But, even if you feel like an expert when it comes to flying, you should have in mind that there is someone that spends a lot more time in the air than you do. The pilots and the airline flying attendants would know much more about it than you would. Don’t you think? If you’re one of those passengers that would like to know what happens on the planes you are at the right place. We’ve talked to a lot of air personnel and we’ve come up with a lot of things that many people don’t know about flying! In today’s article, we’re going to tell you about some of the best-kept airplane secrets that we’ve uncovered just for you!
Can You Take Down A Plane With Your Cell Phone?
So, why do you need to turn off your phone? No, no, we’re pretty sure that the airplane won’t fall if you forget to turn off your phone. And to be honest with you, there are two main reasons why people should be turning off their electronic devices when they board a plane.
Despite the fact that the signal that your phone emits won’t have a pretty big impact on the plane and its communication gear, the electronic devices can sometimes interfere with the air control frequencies and this is pretty annoying for pilots and air control workers during landing or when they’re taking off. Reason number two would be that your devices might take off into some direction if they’re not properly secured to your seat. How would you feel if you a laptop hits your head? Not safe, am I right?
What Do Upgrades Mean And Can You Get Upgraded?
What do upgrades mean when flying? Well, besides being a frequent flier, you can get an upgrade if you are as decent and as polite as possible. Then, it would totally help you if you are tall, pretty, pregnant, old, nicely clothed, or if you are a close friend or a relative to someone on the crew. Frequent fliers know, getting an upgrade is the jackpot of flying!
An anonymous flying attendant actually said that there have been cases of some people getting upgraded even after the doors are closed. However, don’t wait on it, because it is not really that frequent. This is simply because there’s a lot of documentation that the crew has to file in order to do it.
Why Do They Hate It When You Order Diet Coke?
Well, it is pretty straightforward and simple. And they are not trying to hide it. They simply hate it when you order diet coke on flights. This happens because of the fact that it simply takes too long in order to pour it. The carbonated bubbles take too long to settle even on the ground, let alone on the altitude of 35 thousand feet.
Flight attendants say that it takes them nearly 3 times more the time to pour the carbonated drink in the cup, then when they’re pouring soft drinks. And even though you might see some eye rolls, they’re still going to fill up your cup if you ask them, even if they’re dying of frustration.
Can Passengers Date Crew Members?
The thing is, that back in the days companies had tons of rules about these kinds of things. But, by today’s standard, it’s not something that is forbidden. Companies don’t seem to have any policies on this regard, and I don’t see why they would. I mean, you see fly attendants pushing away the people hitting on them, but they can accept to meet someone if they feel like it!
One thing is for sure! Flight attendants are just women, and they too need some love, just like me and you! But, they won’t put anything in front of their professional requirements. Just thought I would mention that I’ve heard tons and tons of stories of dates happening between passengers and flight attendants.
The ‘Mile-High Club’ is Not an Easy Thing To Achieve
Airplane bathrooms have become notorious for “The Mile-High Club” and it became harder to actually do it in the airplane bathroom especially. And there are some who can say they’ve done it, with the increased attention of the flight attendants it becomes harder and harder.
Yes, it is not illegal to do it, but it also isn’t as comfortable nor as sanitary as I would feel like doing it. And the risks of public humiliation if you get caught in the middle of the act are pretty high. But, if you feel adventurous or brave enough then we’re not the ones that are going to stop you from doing it. And one last tip for those of you who are willing to try it. The lavatory doors can also be opened from the outside (For safety reasons).
What do The Mid-Flight Snacks Consist Of?
Am I the only one who has wondered how those bundled up meals that they give in the airplanes are made? Are they using natural ingredients, and what are the actual ingredients in those? Sometimes, ignorance really is bliss.
And, as a source told us, these snacks that they tend to give us on flights turn out to lack nutrients. They’re simply snacks full of unnecessary carbs, fat, sugar and salt. We would recommend you that you fill up your carry-on bag with snacks, especially if you tend to fly frequently or if you’re trying to be a bit health conscious.
Who is the Air Marshal on Your Flight?
Don’t try and look for the gun of the air marshal on your flight, there’s not any chance of you realizing it. Or better yet, don’t try and look for the air marshal you are never going to recognize them. So just try and let it go.
If you’re feeling threatened and you think there isn’t a marshal on your flight, don’t worry. Marshals have become more common since the 9/11 accident. And even if your flight doesn’t have its air marshal, there are precautions that are to be taken if a terrorist attacks your plane. Namely, not every flight in the US has air marshals. And, on the other side are countries like Israel that require an air marshal for each and every flight!
Liked these couple of secrets? If you answered yes, then keep reading, even better ones are coming!
8. Passenger Greeting or Something Much More?
Even though the greeting that every flight crew tends to do seems just as a kind gesture there is a lot more behind this action. Yes, there might be some truth in the politeness of the flight crew, but this also serves as a time in which the crew evaluates the guests.
This is the time when the flight crew tends to assess passengers and picks out the ones who can possibly be problematic so that they can keep an eye on them during the flight. While they’re doing this, they are also looking for how many people are in the traveling group, is the passenger alone, is somebody physically disabled. They are also looking for intoxicated people and for those who can speak enough English!
9. Safety Before Take Off and While In the Plane
If you’re anything like me then you have surely wondered about the checks that airplanes get before take off and how thorough they actually are… Rest assured, the checks are pretty thorough, and despite the fact that there are some things that can be overlooked or even unattended minor failures, they certainly are not going to affect your flight enough. (At least they shouldn’t affect it)…
And when we’re talking safety while you’re flying, airplanes are built so that they can withstand strong thunderstorms. In fact, airplanes are struck by lightning strikes constantly. The thing is we are not realizing that this is happening outside. Don’t you worry about the weather, because pilots are always aware of the weather when they are flying… Your part is to buckle up your seatbelt as most airplane injuries happen to those that haven’t fastened their seatbelts while the plane is in turbulence so they go flying throughout the cabins.
10. How Fun is it To Fly Around The World and Get Paid?
People think that it is pretty easy flying across the world, and oftentimes underestimate the burden that pilots have on their backs. They are responsible for hundreds of lives. The same goes for the flight attendants, they oftentimes have an overcrowded schedule and they don’t have any time left for themselves. They have a lot of work even when they’re on the ground, and they only get paid for the work they do while the plane is up in the skies!
This means that they don’t get paid for any delays or cancellations. And these things are even more annoying for them then they are for us. However, different airlines have different rules on this, but we’d ask you to have this on your mind the next time you decide to yell at them!
11. Are the “Brace For Impact Position” Myths True?
It is a common safety procedure for a lot of flying companies to tell their passengers to get into the “brace for impact position” well, before an impact. But, conspiracies and speculations have been floating around that this is just going to help you die quicker. Experts and scientists have worked on this for a long time, and have decided that these speculations are just a myth and that the “brace for an impact position” can actually help you in the worst case scenario.
This position is created in order to protect your vital organs. It is also going to channel the force of the impact in the chair in front of you and not throughout your body. If you have any doubt about this position you are free to take a look at the episode of “Myth Busters” that thoroughly explains this position.
12. Can Your Heavy Bag Take The Plane Down?
The pricy taxes that you pay for the overweight bags are not in case your overweight bag crashes the plain. The truth behind this theory is that airplanes are oftentimes designed to hold at least one stowed travel bag for each passenger they can take.
Namely, in order to even out the weight balance in the plane, and in order to get the right power, center of gravity and weight balance they oftentimes stack more than 500 pounds of sandbags in the cargo hold. Have that in mind the next time when you pay the overweight bag fees.
13. Medical Problem on Your Flight? No Worries!
Have you ever wondered what would happen if there some kind of a medical emergency happening on the plane? Well, today we have got the answer for you. All airlines have a similar procedure for when some kind of e medical emergency happens. And that is, that each and every flight attendant is a trained first responder. They know how to administer CPR, the Heimlich maneuver. Every flight has first aid kit, and for the planes that are carrying 30 or more passengers have to be equipped with a defibrillator.
Most times, the cabin crew will page the passengers to see if there’s a doctor onboard. In grave situations, a pilot can decide to divert and ground the plane. This usually takes about 15 minutes on domestic flights but can be more difficult on overseas trips.
14. What Can You Do To Increase Your Comfort?
Flights can be a pretty unpleasant experience. I mean, who loves being squeezed in a pressurized air cabin with a couple hundreds of strangers all around them. And despite the fact that we’ve found a lot of ways that might help us to feel more comfortable while flying, like the neck pillows that had reinvented comfort while flying. There are some things that we should never do while trying to up our comfort.
It’s actually fine to stand up and walk around for a while in order to stretch out your legs. What isn’t right to do is to take off your shoes and socks. I mean, who wants to see a barefoot man/girl on their flight. It might be the grossest thing that I’ve experienced on a flight.
15. Being Nice Always Pays Off
You should always remember that a good deed can go a long way. And, being polite to your flight attendant can also be an appreciated thing. I mean, imagine if you were in their shoes and you were hopping from one flight to another without any sleep whatsoever. And as a cherry on top, you have the safety of hundreds of people in your hands… Not pretty easy, right? Well, that’s why being polite to them means a lot.
Doing something good for the flight attendant can also be great for you, it can even result in you getting the seat you want to get. And, on the opposite side, if you’re being an idiot to the flight attendant you might end up in the area that I like to call the annoying zone. In the middle of all the babies and kids, listening to them crying all the time… Oh my, I hate that area of the plane!
16. Should You Drink The “Drinkable” Airplane Water?
We all know that drinking the water from the airplanes is a big no. But, what about the water used to make coffee and tea? Is that safe to drink? Let us put it this way, a lot of the flight attendants that we’ve talked to said that if they were flying, they would try and stick to the bottled drinks, and satisfy their caffeine needs on the ground. Take that however you want to take it.
Yes, the tanks in which these fluids are kept are cleaned every now and then, but the question remains. How often do they clean the tanks? And the answer that we got, is not the answer we hoped to hear. Let us put it this way, the valve used for eliminating the lavatory garbage is not that far away from the valve used for filling the clean water tanks. I feel sorry for all the people that find themselves on international long flights…
17. What’s the Flight Attendant Lifestyle like?
The movie “View From the Top” might give you some ideas on the lifestyle that flight attendants have. There are a lot of scenes about the ins and the outs of being a part of the flight crew. But, flight attendants don’t agree with the representation in the movie. In fact, they say that they have a much different nine to five job than the one represented in the movie!
They say that they have a pretty demanding job, and given the constant delays and cancellations, end up in a lot of time spent not close to the ones they love. They can get a 4 a.m. call, a sudden weekend on work. They even don’t get the time off on the holidays. And when you realize that the seniority dictates the place and the time of the flights that flight attendants get, you end up with a pretty unpleasant experience.
18. Pilots, They can do Everything While The Plane is in The Sky
If we put it simply, they have a lot of power. They have the last word in each and every situation, and this includes the command decisions. They are the leaders of the crew, but they also get to talk to troubling passengers and emergencies. They can call the authorities who will wait for the plane to land and arrest the troubling passenger.
No, they are not authorized to arrest someone. But, a pilot can give out an order for someone to be handcuffed or restraint while the plane is up in the sky, if that someone is endangering others, or themselves.
19. Are the Planes Really Clean?
We wouldn’t recommend you, the frequent flyers reading this one, but we leave it to you. We’ve decided to put this one in the article. You’ve probably seen the turnover crew taking out the trash, but how thoroughly do they clean the rest of the plain. The armrests, the tray tables etc. We’re just going to tell you that it would be of your best interest if you get some disinfectant wipes and wipe those places yourselves.
Airplanes are used constantly so this means that there is not enough time for the cleaning crew to thoroughly clean the plane. And with the FAA not being in charge of how often the planes get cleaned, the airlines are the ones who decide how often they will clean their planes.
20. What Type of Food the Crew Get?
As the general rule of thumb, the ones in the cockpit don’t eat the same as the ones outside of it. This might seem a bit hypocritical but this is to prevent food poisoning. But, if you really put your mind to it, you wouldn’t want the ones who are flying the plane constantly running in and out of the bathroom, wouldn’t you?
The international flights have crew meals. The main pilot gets a first class meal and the co-pilot gets a business class meal. But, this varies from one airline to another. But, despite these rules, a lot of crew members decide to bring their own food and eat that instead.
21. What’s The Fate of The Leftover Food?
This is decided by the airline, but most of the times, the food leftovers get thrown in the dumpster. And with the questions we’ve had about food on airplanes before, we would like you to know that this is what happens to it. The facts are that most airlines use catering agencies to prepare their food.
An expert on the travel catering topic said that despite the claims that the airlines have that the food is freshly prepared. They prepare the food 12 to 72 hours before the flight. And the international standards claim that the food can be chilled for up to 5 days.
22. How You Should Behave Once You’re Boarded?
The job of the flight attendants extends much more than just the simple food and drink serving. But, keep in mind, they’re not your babysitters, they’re not even there to act as your waiter. As we mentioned earlier, they can do CPR, they are trained for using EpiPens, AEDs, and defibrillators. And they don’t really want to be called stewardesses!
They also have a lot of self-defense training and can solve a situation that includes a problematic traveler. They also know how to perform an emergency evacuation or even an attempt at hijacking. The most important job that they have is to keep an eye on the cockpit, where no one should enter except the pilots of course.
23. Is It Safe To Be Flying?
The riskiest parts of a flight are not the part where the plane flies in the sky, most accidents happen during landing and when the airplane is leaving the runway. These are the only time when the plane is under full control of a human, and the human error factor is real.
If we’re talking facts, flying is much safer than driving. The US government has conducted research where they showed off that the chances of suffering a fatal vehicle are 1/98 and the chances of suffering an airplane crash are 1/7178.
24. Do the Pilots and the Flight Attendants Sleep?
The pilots and the flight attendants have a pretty busy schedule so there isn’t any time for them to be taking a nap before take-off. But, on the longer, international flights, they actually have their own sleeping cabin. In the Boeings 777 or 787, you will see the sleeping cabins without any windows.
The sleeping rooms can usually be found around the galley. And for the pilots on the longer flights, they have their own sleeping room. This room is oftentimes separate from the one in which the flight attendants sleep. When the pilot needs to take a nap, the full control of the plain falls in the hands of the co-pilot.
25. How Much Can You Drink in a Plane?
Despite those small bottles of alcohol looking like a good idea, try and take it easy with them. Getting drunk on a plane is not a good idea. The flight attendant will stop giving them to you if she sees that you’re drunk. In fact, it is illegal for flight attendants to enable the passengers to get drunk, and it is also illegal for passengers to be intoxicated on flights.
There’s even a set sentence for this crime. You can be sentenced for up to 2 years for breaking this law. You should also know that as a result of the pressurized cabin every glass of alcohol would have a bigger impact on you than the same glass of alcohol on land.
26. What are the Weird Containers That get Loaded in the Cargo?
For me, as a person who wants to watch the luggage getting loaded, I’ve sure noticed my fair share of weirdly shaped containers. And I never knew what was in those containers. And once I got the answer to the silly question I was, well amazed.
Not all of the containers that go into the underbelly of the plane are the cargo of the passengers. In fact, in some cases, there are people’s remains being shipped. Namely, when someone dies in another country their remains need to be transported back to their homeland… The more you know…
27. What’s the Reason Behind the Dimming of the Lights?
You may never have asked yourselves this question. But why do they dim down the lights before landing? Well, you may think that this is just some atmospheric thing, but, the lights get dimmed for a more serious reason. And the statistic that planes might run into problems during this time has something to do with it.
Namely, the lights get dimmed down in order to adjust the passengers’ eyes in the case that there is some kind of an emergency situation. The path lighting and the emergency signs get more noticeable this way too! This makes evacuations during accidents much easier and simpler.
28. How Safe is the Air on the Plane?
Each and every one of us has thought about this question when we’ve heard a sudden sneeze or a cough.
If we take out the small number of scary stories, we can breathe safely. As it turns out, the air in the plane is pretty clean and ventilated… What are we breathing while we’re up in the air? Well, to put it simply, you’re breathing the air from the compressors of the engine, no we’re not talking about the exhaust air and some fresh breathable air. This is what most of us are breathing in a small office.
29. What Happens if the Engine Fails?
Well, most modern planes are created in the way that if one of their engines fails, they can work just fine for certain time.
And in some cases, where both of the engines fail, the plane is designed to glide through the air for very long distances. Namely, commercial planes are designed to glide nearly one and a half nautical miles in 1000 feet of altitude. This means that most pilots can find a landing site if your plane experiences engine failure. You won’t even notice that something’s wrong if you aren’t told that you experienced engine failure.
30. Are the Blankets and Pillows in the Planes Clean?
The blankets and the pillows that you find on your flights might not be as dirty as the tray tables, which we discussed are one of the dirtiest parts inside of a plane. But, the blankets, pillows, and headphones get repackaged before every flight. Although you are going to unpack them from a plastic bag they sure aren’t new.
Most of the times, they don’t even wash them. The most cases where you can find fresh new blankets are in the coach class, in morning flights. But, most of the time, they just stiff them in the bins and fold them before each flight.
31. How do Pets Feel when They’re Flying?
You might’ve heard about the years-old debate of what’s the best way for flying with your pet… While every flight is going to be stressful for your furry friend, here’s what most of the pet owners don’t know about flying with their pet.
A fueler for one Airline Company said that in most of the cases airlines will try to handle your pet as best as possible. But, they cannot reduce the noise on the ramp and other factors like this.
32. What Makes Flights That Expensive?
Lots of times you hear flight passengers crying and groaning about the prices of their flights. Namely, in order to make a certain profit, the plane needs to fly at 85% of capacity.
Now when you take into consideration the fact that flying companies make money only after the plane has reached a certain number of passengers, and some of the passengers who miss the flight for whatever reason, you can realize why most of the times flights are overbooked.
33. Should the Flight Attendants look a Certain Way?
The old rules in the airlines used to paint a certain picture that flight attendants should have looked, but this was in the past… Today, most of the airline companies don’t push these strict rules on their workers.
The restrictions that flight attendants had in the past are way gone, and today, the most important thing that every flight attendant has to have is professionalism with the appearance in the second place. The last parameter that stands for flight attendants is height because airlines must assure that their employees can move with ease around the cabin.
34. How Much Oxygen is in the Oxygen Masks?
If you’re a frequent traveler you have heard the oxygen masks speech a lot of times by now. So you can freely tell it. And even though passengers are not in those situations very often (thankfully), you’ve probably asked yourselves, how long can those masks supply you with oxygen?
Well, we asked around, and we’ve got an answer for you. There is only a 15 minute of oxygen supply in those masks. And yeah, I thought that isn’t a lot of air too, but once I come to think of it, by the time I take my last breath the pilot has probably found a way to equalize the pressure in the cabin.
35. Crew Member Relationships
To put it simply, there are a lot of relationships among crew members. There are tons of examples with pilots and flight attendants, pilots and co-pilots, flight attendants and flight attendants being in a relationship. And when you think about it, they probably spend most of the time together anyway, so why wouldn’t they be in a relationship…
This is one picture that is painted well by the movies. Who hasn’t seen the scenes of the pilot blowing some steam with the flight attendant, in the hotel during the layover? This doesn’t happen as much today, it was more common back in the sixties, but it’s still a common practice for the flight crew to be in a relationship.
36. A Secret Way of Communication by the Flight Crew!?
Secret communications between the flight crew are a must because with that much going on, they often times have to find a way to communicate something without the passengers knowing it. And with the ton of beeps and clicks and clacks, there are infinite ways for them to achieve this. Yes, those beeps aren’t a coincidence, and they sure serve a purpose!
According to insiders, the “dings” that sound during the first and last legs of a flight single to the crew that the most dangerous stages are over. There are other bells for an emergency, severe turbulence or when someone tries to get into the cockpit.
37. What does a Cheap Ticket Mean?
No, no, the cheaper ticket never means a less safe flight. Ticket pricing isn’t a simple thing, and there are a lot of factors put into it. So don’t overthink it, if you see a discounted, or a cheaper ticket, buy it immediately.
As we mentioned earlier, there are a lot of factors that play a role in the ticket pricing. Leg room, seat selection, baggage are all aspects that take a role in the ticket pricing scheme. No one can cut safety precautions from their safety procedures. In fact, whit how new, the cheaper, budget options are, I’d say that their planes might even be safer than the more expensive ones!
38. Is there a Safest Seat on the Plane?
Well, if we strictly look at statistics, yes, there are some seats that have higher survival rates than others. A lot of crashes data analyses have shown that the back portion of the plane has bigger survive rates than the front and the middle ones.
And, yes if you fasten your seatbelt, and get an aisle seat, you further increase your chances of survival. But a lot of the chances go to the circumstances of the crash. Luckily the number of fatal crashes is pretty low, so let’s hope that none of us experiences this horror.
39. When do they use the Autopilot?
Well, this might freak you out a bit, but the Autopilot is sure used much more than you would think. In fact, most commercial flights use the autopilot 90% of the trip. So this means that according to the standard procedure, the pilot fully takes the control only when taking off and landing.
Yes, your trips are a thing because of the autopilot. But, this doesn’t mean that the pilot and the co-pilot are just sitting in there doing nothing. This leaves them more space to be focused on navigation, communication and monitoring the systems.
40. When is the Best Time to Fly?
The people on the flight crew are the ones who are constantly flying, so you can rely to them when asking for some tips on when it is the best time to fly. As always, the bad news comes first – Prepare to get early…. REALLY EARLY! And the good news would be that you are going to avoid harsh weather.
People have said that there is less turbulence during the morning time because of the fact that the air is not that bumpy early on. And, thunderstorms are less likely to happen during the AM flights. Don’t worry about your sleep we’ve got you covered there too. You can still nap during the smooth part of the flight.