“My sister is a flight attendant, she says after she tells everyone to turn off all electronics, she goes to the back and pulls out her phone and starts texting.”
“Pilot here. Having to turn off electronics on a plane is totally useless.”
“Mobile electronic devices won’t really bring an airplane down but they can be really annoying to pilots. Just imagine sitting in the flight deck descending to your destination and hearing the interference of a 100+ cellphones picking up a signal. I have missed a clearance or 2 that way.”
“Whatever you do, do not drink the water in the lav. It is bad enough to “wash” your hands in it. We sanitize the water tank at selected maintenance intervals, however parasites build tolerances to these cleaners. Check the outside of the aircraft when walking in. If the paint is crappy shape, the plane is in crappy shape. Skydrol (hydraulic fluid) is a nasty fluid and will dissolve everything. So if the paint is missing, it’s probably from a Skydrol leak. No one wants a hydraulic leak at 35,000 ft in the air. As you can’t just pull over and top the reservoir off.”
Blankets & Headphones
“I worked for Southwest as a flight attendant. Those blankets and pillows? Yeah, those just get refolded and stuffed back in the bins between flights. Only fresh ones I ever saw were on an originating first flight in the morning in a provisioning city. Also, if you have ever spread your peanuts on your tray and eaten, or really just touched your tray at all, you have more than likely ingested baby poo. I saw more dirty diapers laid out on those trays than food. And those trays, yeah, never saw them cleaned or sanitized once.”
“I used to work for warehouse that supplied a certain airline with items. The headsets that are given to you are not new, despite being wrapped up. They are taken off the flight, ‘cleaned’, and then packaged again.”
Getting More Room
“Arm rests – aisle and window seat: Run your hand along the underside of the armrest, just shy of the joint you’ll feel a button. Push it, and it will lift up. Adds a ton of room to the window seat and makes getting out of the aisle a helluva lot easier.”
“Also if a passenger is causing a scene in the jetway he can refuse to let them on and take off without them.
The captain has almost limitless authority when the doors are closed. He is allowed to arrest people, write fines and even take the will of a passenger.”
In Case Of Emergencies
“That if the oxygen masks drop down, you only have about 15 minutes of oxygen from the point of pulling them down. However, that is more than enough time for the pilot to take us to a lower altitude where you can breathe normally.”
“Turns out 15 mins is the minimum set out by the FAA. Bonus: Most systems generate oxygen through a chemical reaction – this can cause a burning smell in the cabin, however it is normal and to be expected.”
“The air you breathe on an airplane is actually compressed air taken from the engines. A large portion (25% to 50%) is blown in the flightdeck, the rest is for the passengers. The air leaves the airplane via a small hole in the back of the fuselage.”
Perks On Traveling
“I work Revenue Management for an airline. On average, the cheapest time to BUY a ticket is Tuesday afternoon. The cheapest time to FLY is Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday. This applies to US flights in my experience.”
“When the drink cart is coming through, you can ask for a full can of pop instead of the tiny little cup filled with mostly ice.”
“The little roller coaster cars have RFID tags in them. There are scanners everywhere to hit the baggage tags for updates. With this, the bags are tracked in real time. It’s not 100% effective but it works pretty well.”
“My partner worked for Delta for about 4 years as one of the guys who loads and unloads your luggage and waves wands. Nothing is safe in those bags. They pop open all the time and your [expletive] just gets haphazardly shoved back in. They get tossed around like volleyballs. TSA is a lie. A lot of decisions about boarding or switching flights, etc., are at employees discretion.”
Closing The Doors
“You know all that preflight time where we’re cramming bags into overhead bins? None of that shows up in our paychecks. Flight attendants get paid for “flight hours only.” Translation: The clock doesn’t start until the craft pushes away from the gate. Flight delays, cancellations, and layovers affect us just as much as they do passengers—maybe even more.
Airlines aren’t completely heartless, though. From the time we sign in at the airport until the plane slides back into the gate at our home base, we get an expense allowance of $1.50 an hour. It’s not much, but it helps pay the rent.”
Tipping Your Stewardess
“Airlines and the Association of Flight Attendants discourage tipping, so when you offer a tip it is very likely your flight attendant will turn you down. But if you offer a second time, or slip a few bills into his or her hand, it will usually be greatly appreciated–and may earn you a free snack or even an extra-stiff Bloody Mary (if you’re into that kind of thing). When you receive truly extraordinary service, though, a letter or email to the airline praising the work of a specific flight attendant or crew is most appreciated and can sincerely help a flight attendant’s career.”
Sit In The Front…
There is one thing that many airlines do that most passengers do not know which I learned from a pilot friend. Even if the service standards are getting lower and lower most airlines will still be nice enough to let you check the cockpit cabin if you ask politely. The trick to getting this insider tour is asking to the crew once the airplane has landed and the pilots are not rushing to get ready for take off. Next time you fly, ask nicely and you might be surprised!
Sit In The Back
There are certain places you can sit that increases your chances of survival if the plane were to crash. According to both TIME magazine and Popular mechanics data, sitting at the back of the airplane, particularly in the middle seats, will increase your survival rate if the plane were to crash. Thus I always try to sit in the back, even if it is more inconvenient in terms of boarding and disembarking from the plane. It also allows for much easier access to the restroom, if the need arises.
“My dad works for a large airline, he told me a few little things. Pilots are served different meals and cannot share, this is done in case of food poisoning. Stealing food, even if they are going to throw it out, can get you fired instantly. You can ask your supervisor, but you cannot take food. They don’t want people messing with it.”
“I have a friend who’s a commercial pilot. Around five years ago he was doing a flight from LA to Tokyo when an anonymous caller phoned in a bomb threat while they were over the middle of the Pacific. Apparently they have procedures for this kind of thing, but there was nothing anyone could do in this situation except stay calm and not alert the passengers (obviously). He said for the rest of the flight every bump of turbulence made his adrenaline spike. They took this case especially seriously because there was a group of foreign dignitaries sitting in the first class cabin.”
“If the plane is being highjacked when the pilot lands they will leave the wing flaps up that slow the plane down, this is to signal the airport that there is something happening in the plane.”
The thing most people don’t realize about flying on an airplane is that it’s one of the safest ways to travel. During takeoff, pretty much everyone I know says a prayer and grips the hand of their loved ones tightly – which is understandable considering you are on a massive pile of metal which by some feat of engineering seems to get and stay airborne. Statistically there is a very low risk of a life threatening situation in a plane because there are strict standards in place to ensure the safety of air travel. We should be more worried about who we have to sit next to than a plane crash!