Whether you are an experienced traveler or not, there are many flight secrets to air travel that you may not know. If you have any questions about how safe or clean planes are, you’ll find everything you need to know in this article. So, keep reading to find out about the ins and outs of flying.
Greetings or more of an assessment
When the flight crew greets you upon entering the aircraft, do you think it is just a polite formality? Well, most people believe this practice is intended to make passengers feel comfortable. It is true, but crew members also use it to assess the passengers.
They use the greeting to get a better idea of passengers who could be problematic. They also look for people who are physically fit or disabled, intoxicated, traveling in a group, or alone.
Think twice before asking for diet coke
Out of all the other things, one thing that flight attendants hate is when passengers order Diet Coke. When one passenger orders it, the beverage cart goes around for others. The carbonated fizz in Diet Coke takes a lot of time to settle at an altitude of 35,000 feet, and it takes the most time to pour Diet Coke compared to other beverages.
Flight attendants also hate to pour this fizzy drink because they have to pay close attention to not overflow a cup, and that’s why it takes three times as long to run this drink compared to other beverages. Nevertheless, they will still serve you even if they despise it.
The job doesn’t pay very high
There is a common opinion that flight attendants live a glamorous lifestyle as they can travel the world as a part of their job and visit different places. However, the truth is that they are almost always busy and have a hectic schedule, which prevents them from exploring other areas.
They are only paid once the main cabin doors are shut. It means that delays and cancellations affect and annoy them as much as the passengers. It affects them more because they don’t get paid unless the plane boards are removed. Although some airlines have relaxed policies regarding it, we have to respect their patience.
How safe are airplanes?
Have you ever wondered if the airplane is thoroughly checked before taking off every time? Although there is an extensive list of constraints that are checked every time a flight takes off, some minor failures are left unattended to ensure that flights are on time and there’s no delay. But don’t worry because these minor failures aren’t supposed to affect safety provisions.
When it comes to in-flight safety, planes are sturdy enough to withstand getting struck by lightning or thunderstorms. However, it is important to buckle up during flight because most turbulence-related injuries happen when some passengers forget or ignore to fasten their seat belts.
Does anyone want an upgrade?
An upgrade is like winning the lottery in the air travel world. No one can tell for sure the proven way to get an upgrade every time. However, it certainly helps your case if you are not a rude person. Things that can strengthen your chances of getting an upgrade are if you are incredibly tall, attractive, well-dressed, pregnant, or a friend of the flight crew. And hey, always try to be nice to the flight crew since now you know one of the best-kept flight secrets.
According to one anonymous flight attendant, getting an upgrade to first or business class is still possible even after the cabin doors close. Unfortunately, however, it doesn’t often happen a lot. Still, who knows, you might hit the jackpot someday.
Handling emergency on a plane
Have you ever wondered what happens if there’s a medical emergency on a plane? The flight attendants are given enough training to act as first responders if there’s a medical emergency, and they can perform the Heimlich maneuver or administer CPR. There are also first aid kits and planes that carry over 30 passengers and have defibrillators.
Also, the cabin crew asks if there’s a doctor on board whenever there’s an emergency. In a grave situation, a pilot can either land a plane or divert it, which usually takes around 15 minutes. However, it becomes more difficult if it is an overseas flight.
Using secret communication code
The flight crew does use a secret communication code because there are certain things that they don’t want the passengers to know. It is entirely understandable because they don’t want to cause any panic among the passengers. So, they use specific codes to indicate what’s going on.
During the flight, you may hear certain beeping sounds, and they are not just some call buttons. According to insiders, the “dings” are used during the takeoff and landing to signal the crew that everything is okay as the most dangerous stages are over. There are other bells for severe turbulence, emergency situations, and if someone tries to enter the cockpit.
Flight crew need to sleep as well
Although the hectic schedule prevents the flight crew from taking a nap to re-energize their bodies, they still have to rest like the rest of us. They mostly don’t have the luxury of sleeping on domestic flights, but they do have special sleeping cabins on long-haul flights. For instance, Boeing 777 and 787 jets have sleeping quarters for the flight crew.
Pilots also have assigned rest periods and sleeping berths, usually in a separate compartment. Then, when the pilot gets some much-needed sleep, the co-pilot takes control of the plane.
Not so clean water
For good reasons, it is recommended not to drink water from lavatory taps on airplanes. But what about the potable water that is used in tea and coffee? Many flight attendants recommend sticking to bottled beverages and not drinking coffee or tea on the plane.
The tanks for the drinks are clean, but still, there are doubts over how often they are cleaned. But we cannot ignore that the valve for filling pure water is quite close to the one for cleaning lavatory waste.
Specific standards for how the flight attendants need to look
Although there are a rigid set of criteria that some airlines follow (e.g., age, weight, personal grooming), there are airlines that don’t make their flight staff follow such strict standards anymore.
However, airlines do emphasize professional presentation and appearance and some of them even have height parameters to ensure that the flight staff can efficiently perform their duties.
They’re not stewardesses anymore
Those days are gone when flight attendants only used to serve food and beverages. Now, they do more than babysit or wait for passengers. The flight attendants are trained to administer CRP, user AEDs, EpiPens, and defibrillators.
They are also trained to handle an unruly passenger, self-defense, emergency evacuation, and attempted hijacking. One of their primary responsibilities is to guard the cockpit so that no one enters it during the flight.
Why do flight attendants turn off the cabin lights during takeoff and landing
No, the lights are not dimmed to create a more relaxing ambiance for the passengers. However, there is a more serious reason behind dimming the cabin lights in commercial flights before takeoff and landing. Here is a hint for you: It has a lot to do with airplanes being prone to problems and accidents during takeoffs and landings.
The main reason behind doing this is to allow the eyes to adjust to the lack of light if there is an emergency. In case of an accident or emergency that requires immediate evacuation, the lit signs become more visible.
Unhealthy airplane food?
Do you believe that ignorance is bliss? For example, you might’ve wondered if the pre-packaged food provided during flights is healthy or not. After all, it could be processed and lack natural ingredients.
It turns out that mid-flight meals are pretty unhealthy for you because they have almost zero nutritional value. They are just loaded with fat, sugar, salt, and carbs. Therefore, we recommend you eat something before you board, especially if you are a frequent flyer or health-conscious.
Busting the brace position myth
Okay, let’s talk about the brace position myth. As the commercial aviation security procedures recommend passengers to adopt a position to brace themselves for impact on water or land, there are many conspiracies about it that it helps with a quicker death. But experts reject these conspiracies.
According to experts, the purpose of the brace position is to compact the body so that your vital organs are protected from injury. This position also helps facilitate a crash’s force to channel into the chair instead of your body. You can also check “MythBusters” to find out more about it.
Getting drunk on a flight
Most of you get excited seeing the mini bottles on your flight, but you know that drinking too much is not the best option. If a flight attendant sees you’re getting too buzzed, she can cut you off. Getting intoxicated on a plane is illegal, and the same goes for flight attendants as they cannot provide more alcohol to passengers to get drunk.
If you get intoxicated on a plane and cause some significant disturbance (which you will once you get too drunk), you can get up to a two-year sentence. However, we also recommend you drink in moderation because the changing cabin pressure increases the impact of each glass of alcohol compared to what it would be on land.
Essential to be nice to flight attendants
Being polite to everyone in life is the best thing you can do to strangers. So if you are polite to your flight attendant, it can certainly go in your favor. Flight attendants work long shifts and even have to run from flight to flight without taking naps.
They deserve your respect and polite behavior. By being polite to a flight attendant, you can get better seating. And if you are rude to them, who knows, you might get a seat in the middle of children and babies. And trust us, they cry a lot to make your journey “super pleasant.”
The unused food question
If you ever wondered what happens to the unused food after every flight, it is best not to find the answer. Some airlines dump new food. But given that many airlines try to save as much money as they can, it would be no surprise if they served you some old food.
Despite what some think that airplanes serve old food to their passengers, one travel catering expert claims that planes only serve fresh food prepared between 12 to 72 hours ahead of time. We’ll let you decide on it.
About those blankets and pillows
According to experts, the dirtiest part of the planes is the tray tables. So, you can get some relief knowing that in-flight pillows and blankets are not as bad as the tray tables. But there is no denying that the pillows, blankets, and headphones are not clean.
Even though they are repackaged with plastic wrap, airlines don’t spend money on providing new amenities to passengers every time. According to sources, these amenities aren’t even washed. On the other hand, you’re more likely to get fresh blankets and pillows in the coach class. So, we would recommend you bring your blanket and pillow.
What about breathing in plane air?
It is best to ignore the possibility of contracting airborne viruses while traveling in a plane. Nevertheless, questions about it do come into our minds. After all, how do we know about the effectiveness of cabin ventilation systems and how they can help if healthy people are traveling in a cramped cabin where someone is coughing and sneezing?
Although there are some rare horror stories of someone contracting an airborne virus, it is safe to say that you can breathe in the plane air without any worry. It is because you are living through the engine’s compressors. It is known as the “bleed air” system, which combines fresh breathable and re-circulated air. In other words, it is similar to an average office air.
Flying with pets
There has been a never-ending debate over the most effective way to travel on planes with pets. When it comes to traveling with pets, it is undoubtedly stressful for those poor souls and their owners as
So, when you are preparing to travel with your beloved pup, you need to know about factors such as noise caused by pets that can’t be avoided. However, you can find some relief knowing that airlines attempt their best to handle pet travel without any incident.
Does less price mean less safety?
If you have ever traveled on a budget airline, you may have wondered whether purchasing a ticket at a discount means you are gambling on safety. Relax because there is no need to worry. Understand that airlines never compromise on safety while determining ticket pricing.
Airlines usually customize certain aspects, such as seat selection, baggage fees, and legroom amenities, for low prices. So, go with a budget airline without concern about your safety.
Oxygen masks are only good for a short time
Frequent travelers may have even remembered the entire speech about oxygen masks. Unfortunately, it is pretty rare for you to use a drop-down oxygen mask in flight, so you may have wondered how they work. The drop-down oxygen mask works for about 15 minutes.
This 15 minutes worth of oxygen may not seem like a lot, but it is enough if you take deep breaths. During the time you are inhaling the oxygen from the mask, the pilot can descend to an altitude where he can equalize the cabin pressure.
Are planes clean?
This is one answer you better not find. Most airplanes are not that clean. Turnover crews vacuum and empty trash from the cabin, but what about the windows, armrests, and tray tables?
Ignorance is bliss. The best you can do is to bring your disinfectant wipes. Moreover, the FAA isn’t in charge of how often planes are cleaned, so the airlines often make their own decisions regarding cleaning.
What if the engine fails in flight?
If the engine fails in flight, you probably won’t even notice it. Unfortunately, although it is pretty rare to experience an engine failure in flight, there are cases where it has happened. Thankfully, present-day passenger jets are equipped enough to fly even if one of the engines fails safely.
In the case both engines fail, the plane can glide at approx. 1.5 nautical miles for every 1,000 feet of altitude. So, there is no need to worry because pilots are specifically trained to handle this kind of situation.
The best time to travel by plane
As flight crews travel the most, they are the ones who know about the best time to fly (of course). They have a few helpful tips for you when choosing the best time and day to fly. But first, the bad news for you is that you’ll have to wake up early. The good news for you is that waking up early and taking a flight will help avoid inclement weather.
Although there is no guarantee, it is said that morning flights have less turbulence as compared to flights earlier in the day. So, we would recommend you take early morning flights as there will be less hassle at the airport and also your plane is also less likely to run into thunderstorms.
If you’ve had ever wondered how often the autopilot feature is used during fights, you’d be surprised to know that pilots activate autopilots for almost 90% of commercial flights. But there is no need to freak out. The human touch is vital for the critical moments of the flight: the takeoff, landing, and taxing to the gate.
The autopilot is only used for the cruising period. But it doesn’t mean that the pilot sits and watches a movie as the autopilot does everything. Instead, autopilot allows the pilot to focus on other communication operations and navigation tasks.