Pulling back the curtain on the airline industry: Plane secrets!
Flying has been a dream for many humans since antiquity, and now that we know how, it's usually the fastest way to reach a business conference or well-deserved vacation. Thanks to budget airlines, it's affordable for nearly everyone. But be warned, not everything is as it seems on the plane.
Anonymous pilots and flight attendants have finally revealed some of the secrets of airlines on an Online-Forum. If they're true, some of the details are quite shocking...
1. Parched? Don’t touch the water on the airplane.
“The drinking water that is used to make coffee, tea, and so forth should NEVER be consumed. The water tanks on planes, that are sometimes 60 years or so old, are never cleaned. They are sometimes full of slime. All airplane workers know about this.”
2. Is it just a legend that cell phones will cause the plane to crash?
“Mobile electronic devices won't bring an airplane down but they can be really annoying to pilots. Just imagine sitting in the cockpit, descending to your destination and hearing the interference of a 100+ cellphones picking up a signal. I have missed a landing clearance or 2 that way.”
3. Is that snoring coming from the cockpit?
“Half of all pilots sleep during a flight. When they wake up, a third of them also see their co-pilots sleeping.”
4. You want to fly with your pet? You might want to reconsider!
“One thing I can not stress enough is how your pets are treated. While your airline will take the best possible actions, some things cannot be avoided, like the noise on the ramp. I can not stand out there without ear protection, and imagine your pet sitting out there on the ramp waiting to be loaded onto the plane being exposed to the same amount of noise I am.”
5. Bring some sanitary wipes with you. Airplanes are breeding grounds for germs!
“You know these blankets and pillows? Yeah, they are simply folded up and put into plastic bags. The only freshly washed pillows that I have ever seen were from the plane’s first flight. If you have ever laid a few peanuts on the folding tray, or even if you’ve even just touched it, then you have eaten some baby poop. I’ve seen more dirty baby diapers on these trays than food. And the trays, well, I’ve never seen how they are cleaned or disinfected.”
6. Suitcases aren’t the only thing in the luggage compartment. I’m shuddering!
“The majority of domestic flights have human remains or organs in the hold. I work beneath the cabin as a luggage manager. I’m always on the lookout for long boxes which have ‘Head’ written on the end.”
7. “They always come down…” Why a crash is actually highly unlikely.
“A pilot told me once that even if both engines fail, a plan can stay in the air for awhile. If it’s flying at 30,000 feet, then it can stay in the air for up to 40 miles without engines. That’s why most accidents happen when the plane takes off or lands.”
8. When the plane rattles and shakes, don’t go crazy. It’s supposed to!
"Any plane you fly on is broken. Without any doubt. Something on the plane is broken. Planes are large, complex machines, and something is always broken onboard. The good news is that if something important breaks then there are always one or two (or three!) replacement parts and if damaged a message is sent to the cockpit so that crew members can take the appropriate action (like redirecting lines, switching to manual backups, or informing the maintenance crew if the plane hasn’t taken off yet). Most of the time it's trivial things like reading lights, coffee machines, or cabin lighting. That doesn’t stop you from flying. Air planes are unbelievably safe machines. Even when serious mechanical errors happen, they can normally still land."
9. Never feel too safe. Even when the latch is on red.
“You are able to unlock airplane lavatories from the outside. There is usually a lock mechanism concealed behind the no smoking badge on the door. Just lift the flap up and slide the bolt to unlock.”
10. Is the plane lurching and hopping during a landing? Close your eyes and hold on!
“If the plane lands roughly in bad weather, it is not because the pilot is flying poorly. It’s actually on purpose. If the runway is covered in water, then the plane has to land hard to break the water plane so it doesn’t hydroplane.”
11. Have you ever heard of a Faraday cage? Me neither, but I feel better now!
“My father has been an airline pilot for almost 20 years and he says that planes are hit by lightning pretty often.”
12. A flight is not a walk in the park. Never forget that!
“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 flight deck, the rest is for the passengers. The air leaves the airplane via a small hole in the back of the fuselage.
P.S.: the air that you breathe can be contaminated by engine oil. The engines work with synthetic oil that’s poisonous to humans. If a seal starts leaking, engine oil can bleed into the air supply. That can lead to fatigue, nausea, and even death. The existence of aerotoxic syndrome has remained mostly unexplored.”
It's a totally different view of flying — hearing what pilots, flight attendants, and even mechanics and baggage handlers see behind the scenes. And it sounds like you should definitely bring sanitizing hand wipes and buy your own water for your next flight!