10 things you wish you didn't know about flying

2014-04-22 15:00
It’s quite strange how you can be one of the most frequent flyers in the world, and still have no idea of all the dirty little secrets airline staff are privy to.  

Huffington Post reports that a curious Reddit user recently decided to get a little insight into all these fascinating behind-the-scenes details by quizzing airline professionals about their jobs.  

We’ve collected 10 of the most shocking (plus a pleasant little bonus) facts revealed by flight attendants, pilots and engineers.

So shocking, in fact, that you will wish you never heard them in the first place. Do you have any of your own to add? Tell us in the comment section below!  

You can unlock the loo from the outside

A little unsettling if you’re just planning on innocently doing your thing in the loo, but also rather comforting if some crazy is plotting destructive plans in there. Or what?  

The lock is apparently located behind the no smoking badge on the door.

Pilots fall asleep while flying

Thank goodness for autopilot! That’s all we can say after more than half of British pilots admitted to having fallen asleep in the cockpit while flying. And we’re sure the Brits aren’t alone in this.  

People actually steal life jackets

Well, apparently some very brave and selfish souls like to nip the lifejackets that are supposedly located under airplane seats as souvenirs. We think that’s pretty weird. But hey! It happens! While the crew does regularly perform a full safety check, the same plane might be used several times in one day with no time for safety checks in between.  

Oxygen masks only give 15 minutes of air

Eeep! But apparently that’s more than enough time for a pilot to drop to a lower altitude where you will be able to breathe normally again.  

Your blanket hasn’t been washed

Unless you’re on the very first, super red-eye flight of the day. Yup. Gross!

You’re breathing in engine air

At least air from the engine’s compressor.  Boeing explains it as follows: “In systems that use air from engines, the air is taken from the engine compressors that are well upstream of any combustion. The air is simply compressed outside air.”   

Even if it’s marked fragile, your baggage may not be treated as you would like it to be

Just watch this video…  

There’s probably poo on your tray table…

Yes, it’s super gross, but many-a desperate parent has changed a baby’s nappy on one of those puppies you eat your dinner on. And, like the blankets, they don’t get sanitized too often.  

The earphones they hand out during flights? No one washes those either 

See the blankets and the tray tables… ain’t no flight attendant got time for that!  

The truth about on board electronics


While you sweetly switch your cell phone to flight mode, flight attendants probably just keep theirs going in normal mode.  

And one you might actually like to know:

You can be upgraded to first class after takeoff

It doesn’t happen very often, but it’s not impossible. But just take note, that if you’re wearing jeans and a hoodie, you probably won’t be the flight attendant’s first choice for this rare move. So, opt for something neat and modest instead. 

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Read more on:    flights  |  air travel  |  travel  |  travel international

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