10 things you probably didn’t know about Airlines

Jumping into an airplane is always an exciting experience. A few decades ago, flying was not as common as it is today, but leaving the earth and conquering the sky always fascinates people. When we fly, there are a lot of quirks that we notice in the Airbus, and a lot of rituals of the cabin crew. Why do cabin crew dim the lights when an airplane lands? Why does the food on the plane taste so bad? These are just a few of the questions you've probably asked yourself while on a plane. Let's find out the answers to a few secrets you probably didn't know about airlines.

What Airlines don

1What Airlines don't tell you

1. Pilots and flight crew may not eat the same meal

Pilots ready for take off

2Pilots ready for take off

When you fly, your life depends largely on the responsibility of the crew, and it is reasonable that they must be protected from all hazards. Although not an official rule, many airlines use this practice to prevent food poisoning. The flight crew on your flight does not eat the same meal and usually not at the same time to ensure mutual safety, because if a meal were contaminated, at least only one pilot would be incapacitated at any time.

2. Why does airplane food taste so bad?

Cabin crew serving meals

3Cabin crew serving meals

Airplane food has a bad reputation, but the food itself isn't entirely to blame. Rather, the real fault lies with the aircraft itself. The environment on an airplane actually alters the taste of food and drink. The dry, recycled air in the airplane cabin doesn't help either, as the low humidity can further dull taste and smell, making everything on a plane seem bland. As a result, sweet foods taste less sweet, while salty flavors are more prominent. Perhaps that's why tomato juice is the second most requested beverage by passengers on board, after water. It may not taste as good on the ground, but since we lose a third of our taste buds in the air, tomato juice (also called Bloody Mary) becomes very sweet and flavorful.

3. Airlines regularly, and intentionally, overbook flights



The very first reason airlines overbook seats on flights is to ensure that every flight is as full as possible to maximise their profits. Overselling their seats allows to recoup the costs of cancelling flights and travellers who do not show up for the flight, and ensure that every seat on the plane is profitable. On the other hand, overselling airline tickets allows travellers who buy last-minute tickets to benefit from discounted prices on seats that companies would otherwise lose.

4. Cabin crew only get paid starting from the closing of the doors

Flight attendant ready for closing the gate

5Flight attendant ready for closing the gate

If you have ever been on an airplane, you may have noticed that the doors were shut way too early. You may have also thought that the stewardesses were so afraid to forget to close the doors before takeoff that they did it much further in advance. Although, it sounds funny, that's not the answer. The real reason is much more practical: they close the doors prematurely because that's when they start to get paid. This means that a flight attendant is only paid for the duration of the flight.

5. The duration of oxygen masks lasts only 15 minutes

Safety first

6Safety first

The safety instructions on most flights include the use of the oxygen masks, but the flight attendants don't tell you that the oxygen masks are only good for about 15 minutes of oxygen. Don't panic. We realise that sounds like a frighteningly short amount of time, but in reality, that's usually more than enough. In fact, the oxygen masks only drop when the aircraft cabin loses pressure. When such a situation occurs, the pilot reacts immediately by donning an oxygen mask and bringing the plane down to an altitude below 3,000 meters, where the passengers don't need extra oxygen to breathe, but can do so normally. This rapid descent usually takes far less than 15 minutes, so the oxygen masks have more than enough air to protect the passengers.

6 . Planes are struck by lightning all the time

Lightning spotted from the aircraft

7Lightning spotted from the aircraft

You're sitting in the window seat and are blown away from your safe and comfortable seat by a bright flash of light in the distance. Actually, airplanes get hit by lightning all the time, but don't be alarmed because airplanes are actually designed to withstand lightning strikes. Thanks to careful engineering that allows a lightning bolt's electrical charge to flow through and out of the aircraft, no lightning has crashed an airplane since 1963.

7. That tiny hole in the airplane window can save your life

From the airplane window

8From the airplane window

What does this thing do? It regulates cabin pressure. Most airplane windows are made of three panels of acrylic. The outer window works as you would expect, keeping the elements out and maintaining cabin pressure. In the unlikely event that something happens to the outer window, the second panel acts as a fail-safe. The tiny hole in the inner window serves to regulate air pressure, keeping the center pane intact and unharmed until called into action.

8. Lavatory locks are actually never really locked

Lavatory free to use

9Lavatory free to use

You can never lock yourself in the toilet. When an emergency occurs, the cabin crew know that there is a hidden button they can press to open the door immediately.

9. Why the cabin crew dims the lights, asks you to keep the blinds open and lock your tray on landing/takeoff?

Ready for landing

10Ready for landing

Cabin crew dims the cabin lights on a night landing to ensure your eyes get used to the dark in case you need to find a way out. Also, keep the shutters open so the crew can see that everything is okay outside the aircraft and firefighters can see inside in case of a crash. You also need to lock your tray table and move your seat to the upright position so that the passengers next to you can escape if necessary.

10. Why there are ashtrays in airplane lavatories?

Smoking is not allowed

11Smoking is not allowed

Although smoking on airplanes was banned years ago, attentive passengers know that there are still ashtrays in airplane lavatories. The reason for this is that airlines and aircraft designers assume that, despite the heavy fines for smokers and the countless no-smoking signs posted on planes, someone will eventually smoke. An ashtray is designed to safely put out the cigarette, not as litter that could theoretically cause a fire.

The next time you book a flight, you will not have to wonder what all these quirks mean, and you'll know some little secrets that airlines are hiding. Next time you book a flight, remember to book your safe ride to the airport with GoOpti.

At your doorstep. At your preferred time. Directly to the airport.

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