How to Uncover the Things Airlines Don’t Want Us To Know


Sure! Ever wondered how often planes get cleaned inside or where the food really comes from? Well, flight attendants have tons of experience and they’re finally sharing all the secrets they’ve learned over the years. Flying should be enjoyable, right? So, it’s time to get ready and know what’s really going on behind the scenes in the airline world. If you’re curious and want to uncover all the stuff that’s been kept secret, here’s a sneak peek into how airlines really work.

Think Twice Before Asking For Diet Coke

It might sound odd, but flight attendants get a bit annoyed when passengers order Diet Coke during the drink service. Why? Well, the fizz in Diet Coke takes longer to settle at high altitudes, like 35,000 feet. So, it actually takes more time to pour Diet Coke compared to other drinks on the plane!

Despite the flight attendant’s preference, you’ll still get your Diet Coke if you ask for it. It’s just a quirky fact to keep in mind next time you order your soda while flying.

Flight Attendants Are Assessing You Once You Step Foot on the Plane

When the flight crew welcomes you as you board the plane, it might seem like a polite gesture, right? Well, while it does aim to make passengers feel at ease and highlight the friendly nature of the flight attendants, there’s more to it. The crew also uses this moment to check passengers out, keeping an eye out for anything unusual or suspicious. It’s a bit of both—a welcoming gesture and a subtle assessment.

The greeting helps in identifying passengers who might pose an issue or could potentially be intoxicated.

There Are Policies Against Dating Passengers

It might surprise you, but lots of major airlines don’t actually have a strict rule against flight attendants getting involved with passengers. Sadly, it’s more frequent for attendants to encounter uncomfortable situations with creepy passengers. However, once in a blue moon, a connection forms, and there’s no policy stopping a flight attendant from meeting a potential partner or even someone they might fall in love with.

Many big airlines allow flight attendants to mingle with passengers, despite no official policy. While attendants often dodge unwanted attention, sometimes they find a special connection, as there’s no rule against meeting potential partners onboard.

Your Pets Can Fly Too

People argue a lot about the best way to fly with pets. Taking your furry pals on a plane is super stressful. Make sure your airline can take care of your dog by checking first. Some planes have a special spot in the cargo that’s just like the cabin in terms of temperature and pressure, perfect for pets.

No sweat! If your dog is small enough, it’s totally normal to have them on your lap or in the seat next to you during the flight.

The Water Is Not as Clean as You’d Think

Researchers say it’s not a good idea to drink water on planes. But what about the water used for tea and coffee? Lots of flight attendants suggest sticking to bottled drinks for safety. That’s because the water used for coffee and tea comes from tanks that don’t get cleaned often. Some big airlines tested their water and found germs like E. coli and coliform bacteria in there.

Asking for a water bottle is a good move when you’re feeling thirsty on a flight!

The Airplane Food Can Be Very Unhealthy

Ever thought about the healthiness of the pre-packaged food on flights? Turns out, these meals are often not very healthy. They’re processed and lack fresh ingredients that don’t keep well during long flights. These mid-air munchies are usually loaded with fat, sugar, salt, and carbs, and they’re not always the yummiest or healthiest options around.

It’s a good idea to grab a bite before your flight, especially if you fly a lot or care about staying healthy.

The Job Doesn’t Pay Very Well

Many think flight attendants live a glamorous life, traveling, exploring, and dining worldwide as part of their job. But the reality is different—they’re often super busy with hectic schedules. Rumor has it they only get paid after the main cabin doors close, so delays and cancellations affect them too!

Flight attendants get paid based on scheduled flight times. So, if a five-hour flight gets delayed by five hours, they’re only paid for the actual five hours they spend on board!

Everyone Wants an Upgrade, but Not Everyone Gets It

Getting an upgrade on a flight feels like winning a jackpot. While there’s no guaranteed way to snag an upgrade every time, here’s a tip on how it happens. Sometimes, flight attendants have to shuffle passengers for weight balance. They might move people from the back to the front of the plane for this. So, the trick is to book seats at the back—you might just get lucky!

If there’s a need to move folks to first class, you’ll be the first to find out!

Turning Off Your Cell Phone Isn’t That Necessary

Here’s the deal: leaving your phone on won’t make the plane suddenly nosedive. Flight attendants ask you to switch off electronic devices because they might mess with the frequencies used for air control. That’s why it’s especially important to power them down during take-off and landing.

Even if it’s your aunt calling or that one last TikTok video, it can likely wait until later.

Those Blankets and Pillows On-Board Aren’t as Clean as You Think

The pillows, blankets, and headphones on planes aren’t always cleaned after each use, despite being wrapped in plastic again. Airlines tend to reuse them instead of providing new ones each time. Surprisingly, experts say the tray tables are the dirtiest part of the plane. So, while what you’re using to sleep might not be too bad, what you’re eating on could be worse!

In coach class, it’s rare to get fresh blankets and pillows. Bringing your own is likely the safest bet!

You Can Tip Your Flight Attendant

Many folks don’t realize you can tip flight attendants! It’s not obligatory, but they’re happy to accept tips. One attendant said, “Whether it’s a gift or even your old magazines, it’s appreciated, and I’ll do my best to look out for you!” It’s the gesture that matters and can make a big difference. Who knows, maybe they’ll even toss in some extra snacks!

Just like other service workers, why not share tips with those looking after you on your next flight?

There’s a Reason Safety Protocols Are Demonstrated Each Flight

You might have noticed the same safety instructions at the start of each flight, and that’s because they really work! Even though people often nap or listen to music during these explanations, knowing how to brace for a crash or use an oxygen mask is crucial for your safety. These tactics are super important—they’ve actually saved lives!

Ever wondered if turbulence during a flight is risky? It’s actually pretty common and won’t harm the plane. Just buckle up and relax until it passes!

Flight Attendants Are Trained for Any Emergency

Ever thought about what happens during a medical emergency on a plane? Flight attendants are trained as first responders! They can do things like the Heimlich maneuver or CPR if necessary. Plus, there are first aid kits on board, and planes with over thirty passengers usually have defibrillators too. Some even have ‘MedLink,’ connecting the crew directly to a ground-based medical pro for advice.

During emergencies, cabin crews ask for doctors onboard. Studies suggest about 70% of flights have a doctor present, so chances are good.

Think Twice Before Getting Drunk on a Flight

Those tiny alcohol bottles on flights can be exciting, but too much drinking isn’t allowed. If a flight attendant thinks you’re getting too buzzed, they can stop serving you, no questions. Getting drunk on a plane is illegal! Flight attendants can’t give more alcohol to already drunk passengers, and if they do, there are serious consequences for them.

Getting too drunk on a plane and causing trouble can lead to criminal charges and a long federal prison sentence. Plus, due to changing cabin pressure, each drink hits you harder than on the ground.

Undercover Air Marshals Are Real

Air marshals safeguard passengers and crew from criminal or terrorist threats on civil aircraft. In the movie “Non-Stop,” a US air marshal faces threats demanding money. Like the character portrayed by Liam Neeson, air marshals aim to blend in, and ideally, you shouldn’t be able to identify them during your flight.

It might seem like there’s an air marshal on every flight, but they’re actually only present on about 5% of flights.

Flight Attendants Must Meet Certain Beauty Standards

Flight attendants mentioned strict criteria they must adhere to in terms of appearance, both before each flight and during the hiring process. Requirements such as age, weight, personal grooming, makeup, and attire are carefully evaluated. While some airlines have relaxed these beauty standards, they used to be a dominant aspect of the industry.

Airlines still stress the importance of a professional appearance for flight attendants. They also set height requirements to ensure the staff can efficiently carry out their duties.

Plane Seats Really Are Getting Smaller

Lots of folks gripe about airplane seats being too small, and it feels like they’re shrinking over time. That’s not far from the truth. Legroom has decreased from an average of 35 inches to just 31 inches nowadays, and seat widths have gone from about 18 inches to 16 inches. Airlines are cramming more seats onto planes to boost profits.

It won’t be long before airlines start requesting height and weight because seats keep shrinking. It’s getting tough for people to book and fit into smaller seats.

Here’s the Safest Place to Sit on a Plane

Studies on aircraft crashes indicate that seats at the rear of the plane have the highest survival rates. Surprisingly, the data even highlights that those in the last third of the plane, especially the rear rows, have the best odds compared to the front or middle rows. Additionally, sitting on the aisle or near an exit can further increase your chances of survival.

No matter where you sit, if you don’t buckle up, your survival odds plummet. While it’s unsettling, the US government suggests that most airplane accidents are actually survivable.

Planes All Over the World Get Struck by Lightning Almost Daily

Planes being struck by lightning is quite common! But don’t worry, your flight crew is well-prepared for it. Modern aircraft are built to handle lightning strikes and undergo rigorous testing to ensure they can endure them. You might notice a brief flicker in the lights, but generally, everything’s okay. So, if the weather’s rough, there’s no need to be too frightened of flying!

After a plane gets struck, it undergoes thorough inspections to ensure everything’s in perfect shape upon reaching its destination.

Pilots Have The Ultimate Authority

Pilots wield immense authority on an airplane, leading the crew and making crucial decisions. They even have the power to handle troublesome passengers. Despite an urban legend suggesting otherwise, pilots can actually make mid-flight arrests. They can contact authorities and have someone arrested upon landing.

Pilots undergo extensive training to qualify for their role. They’re responsible for communicating with air traffic control and monitoring the safety of the plane, bearing the weight of hundreds of lives.

This Is the Best Time to Travel By Plane

Flight crews, being frequent travelers, know the best times to fly. The catch? You might have to rise early. Morning flights tend to have less turbulence, resulting in fewer cancellations or delays. Airports are usually less chaotic in the morning, and there’s a lower chance of encountering thunderstorms or weather-related problems.

For the best day to fly, the general rule is Tuesday or Wednesday. With fewer travelers aiming for mid-week flights, these days often end up being the most affordable and least crowded.

Airplanes might seem like they need loads of fuel for long flights, but they’re only allowed to carry about 45 minutes of extra fuel. Carrying more would make the plane heavier and emit more carbon, so they stick to the minimum to reduce emissions and refuel more often instead.

Thankfully, running out of fuel isn’t a frequent issue, so there’s no need to worry. You can keep flying worry-free in the friendly skies.

The Crew Members Usually Skip the Airplane Food

In the cockpit, pilots and co-pilots often have different meals. Airlines do this just in case one gets sick from the food. They want at least one healthy pilot flying the plane. Flight attendants usually get the same food as passengers, but they often bring their own food instead.

Considering airplane food isn’t top-notch, bringing your own food for your next trip isn’t such a bad plan.

Flight Attendants Go Through Extensive Training

In the past, flight attendants mainly served food and drinks, but times have changed. Now, they’re extensively trained to handle safety issues and medical emergencies. They’re equipped to administer CPR, AEDs, EpiPens, and defibrillators. Knowing they’re prepared for any onboard medical emergency is reassuring.

Flight attendants undergo self-defense training to manage disruptive passengers and receive training for emergency evacuations or potential hijacking situations to ensure they’re prepared for any scenario.

The Brace Position Myth

Sure! There’s this myth about the brace position in airplanes—bending over with your head between your legs and hands on your neck. Security procedures always advise this position for impact on water or land. Some conspiracies claim it leads to a quicker death, but experts dismiss these claims, assuring it’s a safe position to adopt during emergencies.

Experts explain that the brace position is meant to compress the body, safeguarding vital organs from potential injuries.

The Most Stolen Item From Airplanes

It’s surprising, but the most commonly stolen item from airplanes is the life vests! During pre-flight demonstrations, flight attendants show how to use these jackets for flotation. However, they’re disappearing from flights more frequently, so it’s a good idea to ensure your flotation device is there before takeoff next time!

Please avoid taking one! These are strictly for emergencies. Imagine if there weren’t enough when a real crisis occurred—that would be awful!

Budget-Friendly Airlines Are Just as Safe

When flying with a budget airline, you might wonder if the cheaper ticket means compromising safety. Rest assured, airlines never compromise on safety based on ticket prices. Your safety is guaranteed, just like with a full-price ticket.

With affordable plane tickets, airlines often adjust additional features like seat choices, baggage fees, and amenities to increase revenue.

Do Not Lean on the Window

Window seats are a favorite for many, but here’s a heads-up: flight attendants mention that windows are rarely cleaned and can be germ hotspots. Many passengers lean on them, and kids often touch them, spreading germs. It might be best to reconsider resting your head on the window from now on.

Even better, pack disinfectant wipes and give your seating area a quick wipe as soon as you board the plane!

You’re Mostly Flying on Autopilot

Ever wondered how much pilots use autopilot? It’s on for almost 90% of commercial flights! But no need to worry, pilots are always there. They take charge during the most crucial parts: takeoff, landing, and guiding the plane to the gate.

Autopilot gets used during the cruising part of the flight, letting the pilot concentrate on tasks like communication and navigation.

Here’s Where All the Unused Food Goes

Unused food after flights often ends up getting thrown away, which is quite wasteful. It could easily go to food banks or shelters, but some airlines opt to discard it. This cost-saving approach might lead to serving older food sometimes.

According to a travel catering expert, airplanes serve food prepared between 12 to 72 hours before the flight. Despite being fresh, bringing your own food onboard might not be a bad idea after all.

It’s Hard to Get Comfortable

For some, the idea of being in a pressurized cabin with many strangers can be a nightmare, making air travel less than enjoyable. The industry does its best to improve comfort with inventions like neck pillows and eye masks. However, unless you’re in first class, flying is rarely comfortable enough.

You can stand up to stretch now and then, but it’s generally a tight space. While some prefer taking off their shoes and socks for comfort, we find it a bit unsanitary, so maybe reconsider.

There’s a Secret Code the Crew Uses to Communicate

Flight attendants don’t really read minds, but they do have a secret communication code. They use it to discreetly communicate important things among themselves without alarming passengers. It helps them convey messages without causing any panic or concern among travelers.

During your flight, you might notice specific beeping sounds, and they’re not just random buttons. These “dings” signal to the crew during takeoff and landing that the most critical parts of the flight are done and everything’s okay. Other tones signify severe turbulence, medical emergencies, or attempts to access the cockpit.

Breathing the Plane Air May Seem Concerning

Many of us worry about getting sick on a plane, especially with airborne viruses. It’s tough to know if the ventilation actually helps in crowded cabins when someone’s coughing or sneezing. But here’s the thing: the air you breathe comes from the engine compressors, a mix of fresh and recirculated air called the “bleed air” system. Think of it like the air in a regular office.

You can generally breathe the air on a plane without worrying too much.

Why Flight Attendants Turn Off The Cabin Lights During Takeoff and Landing

The dimming of cabin lights during flights might seem like it’s for a cozy atmosphere, but there’s a more serious reason behind it. It’s actually connected to the fact that most accidents or issues occur during takeoffs and landings.

The primary purpose is to help your eyes adjust to low light in case of an emergency. When there’s a need for quick evacuation, the exit signs and emergency lights become more visible and easier to spot.

Sometimes Relationships Between Crew Members Brew

Relationships between crew members do happen quite often. Flight attendants and pilots have been known to form romantic connections because they spend extended periods together—long hours and multiple days in a row. With so much time spent together, it’s not surprising they find comfort in each other’s company.

A love story between a pilot and a flight attendant would definitely be adorable!

The Reason Behind Expensive Flights

Passengers often complain about rising flight costs, and it’s understandable. Airlines seem to charge fees for almost everything these days. Surprisingly, most of the profit airlines make comes from baggage and seat fees. To turn a profit from a ticket, an airplane needs to fly at least 85% full.

Furthermore, airlines frequently overbook flights to secure the required number of passengers for profitability. This helps ensure they meet their threshold even if some passengers don’t show up for their flight.

The Flight Crew Has a Hidden Sleeping Area

Flight crews often have busy schedules and might not get the chance to take a nap despite needing rest. On shorter domestic flights, napping might not be feasible. However, on longer flights, like those on a Boeing 777 or 787 jet, there are dedicated sleeping cabins designed for the flight crew.

Certainly! Pilots are allocated specific rest times and provided designated sleeping areas typically situated apart from the cockpit. When a pilot requires essential rest, the co-pilot assumes control of the aircraft.

Extra Luggage Doesn’t Make A Difference

It can be frustrating for frequent flyers to deal with baggage restrictions and extra fees. However, the reality is that a few extra pounds won’t jeopardize the plane’s safety. In fact, most planes are built to easily accommodate an additional bag per passenger without any risk.

The aviation industry must maintain proper weight balance on planes for the correct center of gravity during takeoff. To achieve this, they load sandbags into the cargo area to balance out the weight distribution.

It’s Important to Be Nice to the Flight Attendants

Being kind to others is important, whether they’re strangers or not. This especially holds true for flight attendants who work long shifts and often move from one flight to another without breaks. A polite passenger can truly brighten their day, and sometimes, it might even lead to unexpected perks like a free upgrade.

When requesting a change in your flight seating, being exceptionally friendly and polite with the flight attendants is your best bet. However, being rude might lead to a seat surrounded by children or crying babies.

Planes Are Not Very Clean

It might surprise you, but most airplanes aren’t as clean as you’d expect. While turnover crews handle vacuuming and trash removal after each flight, areas like windows, armrests, and tray tables are often neglected and not thoroughly cleaned. As a result, they can harbor a lot of bacteria. Bringing your own disinfectant wipes is a good idea to tackle this issue.

Furthermore, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) isn’t responsible for cleaning protocols. Airlines typically make their own decisions about cleaning, leading to planes that aren’t as clean as one might expect.

Let’s Talk About Flight Safety

No matter the flight duration, the most critical moments are during takeoff and landing. These phases rely entirely on the pilots’ control, making them potentially risky due to the possibility of human error. However, pilots undergo extensive training with thousands of hours of practice before becoming qualified, which should reassure passengers.

Statistically, flying is significantly safer than driving. Research conducted by the US government reveals that the chances of being in an airplane crash in a lifetime are 1 in 7,178, whereas the odds of being in a fatal motor vehicle accident are 1 in 98.

Oxygen Masks Are Only Good For A Short Time

For frequent travelers, the safety instructions by flight attendants often cover the use of oxygen masks. While it’s rare to use these masks during a flight, it’s crucial to understand their purpose. When using the mask and inhaling oxygen, the pilot can descend to an altitude where they can adjust and stabilize the cabin pressure.

The use of an oxygen mask in an emergency can truly be a lifesaving measure for yourself or others.

Don’t Be Too Alarmed if an Engine Fails in Flight

Engine failures during flights are uncommon, but they have occurred. However, passengers might not even notice if it happens. Modern passenger jets are designed to safely continue flying even if one engine fails. In a situation where both engines fail, the plane can glide about 1.5 nautical miles for every 1,000 feet of altitude.

No need to fret—pilots undergo specific training to effectively manage such situations.

Being a Flight Attendant May Seem Glamorous but It’s Not

Absolutely, “View from the Top” does romanticize the flight attendant lifestyle, depicting it as adventurous and endlessly thrilling. However, the reality is quite different. Their job is demanding and far from a typical 9-to-5 routine.

Flight attendants and pilots often spend extended periods away from their families. Their schedules involve early mornings, and they might even work on weekends and holidays, making the job challenging at times.

What Really Goes On In The Baggage Compartment

Have you ever noticed those peculiar-shaped containers being loaded into the airplane’s cargo and wondered about them? Well, they don’t just hold passenger baggage! Commercial planes transport various items, including human remains. If someone passes away abroad, their remains might need transportation back to their home country. So, there’s a possibility of human remains being transported alongside your luggage!

Luggage handlers have a tough job—lifting heavy suitcases and skillfully fitting them into planes. It’s physically demanding and requires precision and strength.

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