Flight Secrets Airlines Don’t Want You to Know

Traveling by plane saves a lot of time. Today, this mode of transport has become as familiar as cars and trains. However, even those who fly almost weekly, not always know all the secrets of airports and airlines. Everything to do with aircraft and flights seems to be shrouded in mystery for many of us, but some questions imply surprisingly simple answers.

Streak of lightning

Lightning is not terrible for an airliner. During most flights, lightning strikes planes, but the people inside do not feel anything. This is because modern models are designed so that a lightning strike is not dangerous for them.

Oxygen masks

Oxygen masks provide breathing for only 10-15 minutes. It is believed that during this time, the pilot will be able to descend to an altitude at which he can breathe already without a mask.

Pre-flight inspection: not all malfunctions are fixed

There is a huge list of things that are subject to mandatory inspection before a particular airplane is allowed to take off. Minor malfunctions sometimes can be untouched. This is only possible if they will not affect the safety of the passengers and pilots during the flight. If, however, technicians discover serious malfunctions, the flight may be delayed or rescheduled. In some cases you can change an aircraft: safety is more important than the troubles with passengers, who will be unhappy with the delay, or the downgrading of the aircraft.

Pilots never eat the same food

International aviation rules require that first and co-pilots receive different meals. This is to eliminate the possibility of two pilots being dispatched or poisoned at once if the food is of poor quality. In modern airlines, this rule is sometimes found to be broken.

Suitcase zipper locks are an illusion of security

Woman locked her luggage in the orange suitcase.

This preventative measure will only stop a child from opening a zipper. Everyone else can do it very easily with an ordinary pencil or pen. It is important to remember that the air carrier is responsible for damaged luggage during the flight. If your bag is dented or scratched after delivery, don’t hesitate to ask for compensation.

Why is it really forbidden to smoke onboard?

Munich, Germany — Germany, Munich, Bavaria, Man smoking and women getting annoyed in economy class airliner — Image by © WESTEND61/Westend61/Corbis

The main reason for the ban is not at all sanitary, as many people think: although, of course, the harm of second-hand smoking is obvious. It is not very profitable for air companies to change cabin filters often – because of cigarette smoke they get out of order quickly. The upholstery also has to be replaced more often after smoking, and plastic parts have to be cleaned from soot and specific odor.

How to fly first-class if your ticket is in economy class?

You may simply ask the flight attendant to transfer you to first-class when the seating is finished. Of course, you should have a good reason, for example, if you are too tall and your feet do not fit into space in front of the seat or if you have no other option but to sit next to your small child during the flight. The cabin crew knows perfectly well that problems can vary and will usually try to accommodate passengers’ requests to make them feel as comfortable as possible. But it should be a request, not a demand.

Why do they ask you to turn off your phones during take-off and landing?

A switched-on cellular phone will not interfere with the operation of instruments, but it may interfere with communication with ground services. Incorrectly understood command of the dispatcher may cost too much – it is possible if the communication wave is clogged by “white noise”, which is produced by working telephones nearby.

When is the best time to buy tickets?

Buying tickets in advance does not automatically mean that they will be cheaper. You can try to buy tickets on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday – according to statistics, these are the days when fares tend to be a little lower.

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