16 Airline Secrets That Will Completely Transform Your Perception of Flying

Ephraim Obare
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Fasten your seatbelts, folks! We’re about to embark on a turbulent journey that will forever change how you view those silver birds in the sky.

Behind the enticing allure of jet-setting life, there’s a world of secrets airlines wouldn’t want you to know – and we’re not talking about the extra peanuts they stash for friendly passengers. Here are 16 alarming airline secrets sure to give you a bit of turbulence.

The Unhygienic Tray Tables

The Unhygienic Tray Tables
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Did you know the tray tables you eat on during flights have more germs than the lavatory flush buttons? Yes, it’s a petri dish at 30,000 feet.

Simple Flying says, “Numerous studies have found that these tables are swarmed with bacteria – which isn’t very assuring, given that we have our meals on this surface. Studies have alarmingly found that tray tables contain up to eight times more bacteria than lavatory flush buttons!”

Oxygen Masks Have a Limited Supply

Oxygen Masks Have Limited Supply
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Those oxygen masks that drop in case of a pressure drop? They only carry about 15 minutes of oxygen. (Don’t panic; it’s enough time for the pilot to descend to a safer altitude).

According to Airbus, if a plane loses pressure at 40,000 feet, passengers have 18 seconds of consciousness to locate and fix their masks. In an emergency, pilots swiftly descend to around 10,000 feet, where oxygen isn’t necessary. And, in the event of a fire on board, rest assured the aircraft masks won’t be deployed.

Two Pilots, Different Meals

Locked Cockpit Doors Can Be Bypassed
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Pilots are served different meals to avoid food poisoning and cannot share their food. According to an Aeroflot spokesperson, “Meals for captains differ from those for the rest of the crew, as stipulated by sanitary regulations – this is a precaution against possible accidental food poisoning.”

Buckle Up for Safety

Buckle Up for Safety
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Despite the calm skies, keep your seat belt on. Turbulence can happen out of nowhere and is the leading cause of in-flight injuries.

Pilots Nap Too

Pilots Nap Too
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Flight crews are also required to take regular rest breaks. Autopilot and auto-thrust systems allow the crew to get well-deserved shut-eye during long flights. Pilots, too, can take short naps in the cockpit on long-haul flights.

Sick Bags Aren’t Just for Show

Sick Bags Aren’t Just for Show
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Are you feeling queasy? Reach for that sick bag in the seat pocket. They’re there for a reason and are used more than you think.

They also serve as a precaution against possible accidental food poisoning. So, always keep one handy, and don’t be afraid to use it.

Distressingly Dirty Pillows & Blankets

Distressingly Dirty Pillows & Blankets
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Those comfy airline blankets and pillows? They’re not washed between every flight. An active flight attendant and HuffPost blogger, Sara Keagle, says, “Freshly washed blankets are only supplied to the first flights of the day. On subsequent flights, the blankets are re-folded and reused.

The Seatback Pocket Surprise

The Seatback Pocket Surprise
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The seatback pocket is a catch-all for everything from used tissues to dirty diapers. It’s best not to rummage around in there.

Coffee? Maybe Not

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The coffee and tea onboard water isn’t always fresher and might contain coliform bacteria. You might want to stick to bottled beverages.

Aircraft Maintenance Mistakes

Aircraft Maintenance Mistakes
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Despite strict safety regulations, human error can still occur during aircraft maintenance. Always trust your gut and report any concerns to the flight crew.

Dimming Windows Isn’t Just Atmosphere

Dimming Windows Isn’t Just Atmosphere
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The cabin lights are dimmed during takeoff and landing, so your eyes adjust to the outside light in case of an evacuation or a crash.

The Secret Ashtrays

The Secret Ashtrays
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Despite smoking being banned on flights, the lavatories still have ashtrays. This is a safety measure for those who decide to flout the rules.

Flotation Devices as Seats

Using Mobile Devices on Flights
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Your seat cushion is also a flotation device in case of an emergency water landing. They are there for emergencies as well as comfort.

No Cellphones, But Wi-Fi Is Okay

No Cellphones, But Wi-Fi Is Okay
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You may not make calls from your cellphone during flight, but you can certainly use the onboard Wi-Fi for messaging and browsing. Just watch out for those expensive data charges.

Hidden Cameras Are Everywhere

Hidden Cameras Are Everywhere
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Airlines may have hidden cameras in various plane areas for security purposes. So be on your best behavior!

The Truth About Overbooking

The Truth About Overbooking
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Yes, airlines do overbook flights, often to compensate for no-show passengers. But don’t worry; there are rules in place to protect you from being bumped off your flight.

According to AmTrav, “Airlines analyze past flight data to predict the likelihood of passengers not showing up for their flights. If the data suggests that, on average, 5% of passengers don’t show up, the airline may overbook the flight by that percentage to compensate for the anticipated no-shows.”

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Author

  • Ephraim Obare

    Ephraim Obare is a versatile member of the Frenz Hub writing team, bringing a rich background in economics to his work. An avid swimmer, reader, and cyclist, Ephraim blends analytical insights with his diverse interests.

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