Last Updated on January 14, 2020
You can be one of those persons that spend half of their life doing flight bookings, but even if you are an expert flyer, there are still some secrets you will probably not know. But don’t worry, this is what we are here for, to provide you with all the things that flight attendants and industry experts know, but the general public doesn’t.
#1 – Emergency oxygen mask will only last 15 minutes
We bet this is one of the travel secrets you didn’t see coming, and it might sound terrifying that those first-aid oxygen masks only last for as little as 15 minutes, but truly, you have nothing to worry about. A pilot will take less than 15 minutes to drop the plane to a safe altitude, so the real concern if you ever have to use a plane oxygen mask is to make sure that you get the mask on as soon as you can, because cabin air can drop to unsafe levels in 30 seconds. These situations are rare, but just in case, it is always good to have travel insurance.
#2 – There are secret codes
It might sound like something from a movie, but it’s not. Sometimes you will hear chimes or bells during your flight, and this is actually a secret code the crew uses to communicate across the cabin. They can be referring to simple things like lack of snacks or turbulence, or something more serious like the need for a route change.
#3 – You can’t, technically, die on a flight
Flight attendant programs include first aid and resuscitation training, but the vast majority of flights won’t have anyone qualified to declare time of death during the flight. So, technically, there is no way, in the legal sense, anyone can have a mid-flight death. If someone dies, according to BBC, their death will only be official once the plane lands.
#4 – A dead person on a plane will remain on their seat
If someone dies in an overbooked flight and there is no empty row in which the crew can lay down the body, the dead person will have to be sat and belted into their designated seat and remain there until the end of the trip. However, the deceased passenger will be covered with a blanket.
#5 – Airplane bathrooms can be unlocked from the outside
Don’t fool yourself if you think you can have all the privacy when using an airplane bathroom. Hidden beneath the no smoking sign there are usually an external locking mechanism that will allow the cabin crew to unlock the bathroom door from the outside. This can seem invasive, but it happens for safety reasons.
#6 – You shouldn’t be drinking plane water
The tap water from planes can be harmful to your health since it will come from a stagnated tank that had the time to grow all sorts of dangerous bacteria. So, the same rule applies to flight coffee – avoid it, as it is made from tap water. Nowadays, with cheap flight tickets, you will surely have money left for a bottle of water.
#7 – Light dimming is meant to prepare your eyes for a potential evacuation
When they turn down the interior lights, this is an effort to get passengers’ eyes adjusted to darkness in case something doesn’t go according to plan during takeoff or landing. So, unlike what you might think, the cabin crew is not trying to get you to take a nap.
#8 – Flight attendants won’t get paid until the plane doors close
If a flight attendant is paid by the hour, they won’t start getting paid until the plane doors closed. After the plane doors open, they will also stop getting paid. So, passenger boarding, safety inspections and getting everyone into the right sit is an unpaid job, which is actually kind of unfair.
#9 – You can actually ask a can of soda
If you ask for soda on a plane, some airlines will simply pour the liquid from a normal can into a plastic cup that is smaller. But you can actually request the entire soda can and in most cases the flight attendants will answer your request without any extra cost.
#10 – A plane captain actually has authority
The pilot in command has the authority, according to federal regulations, to take a will, write fines and even refuse the entry to a passenger that looks sick, making the PIC the ultimate authority inside the airplane.
#11 – There is hidden information on your boarding pass
If you look at the text on your boarding pass, it will probably not make a lot of sense to you at first, but the truth is that there is a lot of information gathered on that piece of paper and can even be sensitive information, so keep it safe.
#12 – The first two letters before the flight number refer to the airline
Your flight number also has a hidden meaning – and it refers to the direction you are flying in: odd numbers are for planes that are flying south and even numbers fly west. The six-character segment on the boarding pass is the passenger name record, and you can use it to look up anything regarding your flight information online.
#13 – The plane tray tables can be the dirtiest thing
Planes and airports are dirty places, and we are all fully aware of that fact. What you probably didn’t know is that the tray tables can be the dirtiest parts on a plane. Flight crews have seen people changing diapers on the trays or simply using them to rest their feet. It is disgusting, and we would advise you against eating from a tray – ever.
#14 – Flight crews don’t go to parties in between trips
People have the wrong misconception that people who are part of flight crews go around the world living their best lives, but this isn’t quite true. During layovers, flight crew members can’t go to parties and get drunk, since airline rules can be really strict when it comes to this issue and there are severe penalties involved. So, cabin members will usually just eat and get some rest before the next flight.
#15 – Flight attendants know how to deliver a baby in an emergency
Flight attendants training is extensive and prepares them to deal with various emergency situations, but are flight attendants trained to deliver babies?
Yes. This can be included in some flight attendants training programs, and don’t be mistaken, some of these programs are really demanding and hard do get into. So, flight attendants in most cases can be ready to splint broken limbs, administrating CPR and also be the person who delivers babies.
It is no one’s dream to have a baby during a flight, especially with all the airplane cabin pollution, but an emergency is an emergency, so let’s get that surgical mask on and get it done, shall we?