31 Confessions About Flying You Didn’t Know. These Pilots And Flight Attendants Will Shock You!

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes in an airplane? For example, what is the real reason behind passengers having to turn off our phones during a flight? (Unnamed persons such as myself have accidentally-ok-maybe-on-purpose left a cellphone on and nothing happened. As far as I know. No one died, there was no terrorist attack, and we landed just fine.)

Well, this question was posted on Reddit:

“Flight Attendants, pilots, or engineers, what are some secrets that passengers don’t know when you ride on planes?”

Here are the top 31 most interesting answers given by flight attendants, pilots, baggage handlers, and other in flight personnel. Be warned though: These answers may make you never want to fly again.

1. The Real Story Behind The Oxygen Masks

“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.”

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“More important – at altitude, you have 15-20 seconds before you pass out. Put yours on first, then do your kids. Passing out for a few seconds won’t harm the kids.”

2. Airline Food

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“My dad works for a large airline, he told me a few little things

  • 2 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.”
3. The Water In The Lavatories Is Super Dirty

“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.”

4. The Real Reason Why They Dim The Lights On The Airplane While Landing

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“When a plane is landing at night, they dim the interior lights in case you need to evacuate upon landing… your eyes are already adjusted to the darkness so you’ll be able to see better once outside the plane.”

5. Pilots Are Actually Pretty Powerful People

“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 dying passenger.”

“Also if a passenger is causing a scene in the jetway he can refuse to let them on and take off without them.”

6. Lightning

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“My dad’s been an airline pilot for almost 20 years, and apparently planes get struck by lightning all the time.”

7. Lavatories Actually Unlock From The Outside

“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.”

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8. What Your Pet Goes Through While Flying

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“I am an aircraft fueler.

One thing I cannot 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 cannot 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.

Please people, think twice before flying your pets.”

9. This Is What Flight Attendants Really Do After Telling Everyone To Shut Off Their Phones

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“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.”

10. What Could Happen If You Don’t Lock Your Bag

“Lock your bags, carry-on bags included.”

“Look online or in a travel store for TSA-approved locks. The TSA has keys to open those locks in case they need to further inspect them (and hopefully not steal from them). And most people don’t think to lock their carry-on, but especially now with load factors very high, more and more people are having to gate check bags. Once you drop your bag at the end of the jetway for gate-checking, anyone from a fellow passenger, to a gate agent, to a ramp agent has access to your bag.”

11. An Airline Trick To Making More Space for Yourself In Those Minuscule Seats

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“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.”

12. Do NOT Drink Any Water On A Plane Unless It’s Bottled

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“Former Lufthansa cargo agent here. Do not EVER drink water on an aircraft that did not come from a bottle. Don’t even TOUCH IT. The reason being the ports to purge lavatory shit and refill the aircraft with potable water are within feet from each other and sometimes serviced all at once by the same guy. Not always, but if you’re not on the ramp watching, you’ll never know.”

13. How a Pilot Lands

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“When you experience a hard landing in bad weather it wasn’t because of a lack of pilot skills but it is in fact intentional. If the runway is covered in water the airplane has to touch down hard in order to puncture the water layer and prevent aqua planing.”

“Landings are nothing more than controlled crashes – Pilot friend quote.”

14. Sky Mall Should Be Called Scam Mall: It’s A Giant Rip-Off

“Secret: All of the stuff in Sky Mall can be purchased on the internet for much less money.”

15. Tipping Your Flight Attendant Could Go A Long Way

“My girlfriend is a flight attendant. NO ONE tips flight attendants. If you give your FA a fiver with your first drink you’ll probably drink for free the rest of the flight.”

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16. Pilots Are Sleeping On The Job Most Of The Time

“1/2 of pilots sleep while flying and 1/3 of the time they wake up to find their partner asleep.”

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17. The Honest Truth Behind Turning Off Electronics In-Flight

“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 flightdeck 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.”

18. How Your Checked Bags Are Actually Treated

“If it says “fragile,” it’s getting thrown harder. If it’s says this side up, it’s going to be upside down. We have to fit freight and 100+ bags in a cargo pit. It has to fit how it’s going to fit…I will tell you that when we see “I heart baggage handlers” bag tags…We take special care of your shit.”

19. Everyone On An Airplane Is Filthy

“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.”

20. You Think Your Pilot’s Experienced Because Your Flying With A Big Airline? Think Again.

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“Regional airline pilot here. You may have bought a ticket on Delta, United, or American, but chances are you’ll be flying on a subcontractor. That means the pilots have a fraction of the experience, training, and pay of the big mainline carrier. Also, I don’t get paid enough to care if you make your connection. Most of the time we fly slower than normal to make more money. The only time we fly fast is if ATC tells us to or if it’s the go home leg.”

21. Most Flights Carry Human Organs

“The majority of domestic flights have human remains or organs on them. I work below wing as a baggage handler. Watch out the window for long boxes that say, “Head” at one end… Oh, and I can fit 150 bags in bin 3 of a Boeing 737-300.”

22. Airport Security Isn’t So Secure

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“There are actually legitimate security loopholes that, if widely known, would let average citizens get right next to airliners, runways, and taxiways. Like any system, if you know how it works, you know where the cracks are.”

23. A Loophole That Gives You Free Checked Bags

“You can almost always gate check baggage (unless it’s abnormally large) take two large carry-ons and ask then to gate check one. It’s free and I never pay fees.”

24. If It’s A Hot Day, It’s Difficult For A Plane To Fly

“I worked the ramp in Phoenix. On especially hot days, we had to offload cargo because planes struggled to take off in the thin air.”

25. Planes Without Engine Power Can Keep Gliding For A Long Time

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“A pilot told me if both engines fail, a plane can glide 6 nautical miles for every 5000 feet. So at 35,000 feet, a plane can glide about 42 miles without power. Its why most accidents happen landing or taking off.”

26. The “Drinking” Water For Coffee And Tea Is Filthy

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“The drinking water, that used for making coffee, tea, etc., should NEVER be consumed. The holding tanks in these sometimes 60 year old planes are never cleaned. They have accumulated so much greenish grime on the walls that in some places it can be inches thick. This one is very known by all airline employees.”

27. Just Take Those Batteries Out

“Women: if you pack a toy in your bag, take the batteries out. Because if I’m loading your bag, and I hear it vibrating I have to tell my lead. Then my lead has to come pull you off the aircraft and you have to open your bag and turn off your toy in front of a bunch of giggling grown ass men.”

28. Those Wrapped Headphones Aren’t Even New

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“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.”

29. The Truth Behind Why There Are Still Ashtrays In The Lavatories

“Here’s one: ashtrays in the lavatories are mandatory equipment even though the FAA banned smoking on flights years ago. The reasoning is that if people do decide to smoke, they want them to have a place other than the trash can to throw the butt.”

30. How To Tell From The Ground If A Plane Is Being Hijacked

“If the plane is being hijacked 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.”

31. A True Bomb Threat Story

“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.”

Source via Viralquake

Crazy, huh? Now that you know, Share these secrets about flying with your fellow travelers!

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