The Truth About Flying

Pilots and airline employees confess their dark secrets about flying and the airline industry

Pilots are sleeping most of the time
Sleeping airline pilots
1/2 of pilots sleep while flying and 1/3 of the time they wake up to find their partner asleep

The story behind those oxygen masks
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 the plane to a lower altitude where you can breathe normally. 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 them.

The real reason the lights on the airplane dim when landing
When a plane is landing at night, they din 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.

Food on a plane
Gross airline food
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.

Lightning and the power of a pilot
My dad’s been an airline pilot for almost 20 years, and apparently planes get struck by lightning all the time. Also, if a passenger is causing a scene in the jetway he can refuse to let them on and take off without them. 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.

Don’t drink water on a plane that didn’t come from a bottle
Former Lufthansa cargo agent- 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.

The drinking water used for coffee and tea is filthy
The drinking water that is used for making coffee, tea, etc should NEVER be consumed. The holding tanks on those4 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. The water tanks are sanitized at selected maintenance intervals, but parasites build tolerances to the cleaners and will still be around. This one is very well known by all airline employees

Those lavatories 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 sign on the door. Just lift the flap up and slide the bolt to unlock

How checked bags are really treated
If it says “fragile”, it’s getting thrown harder. If it says “this side up” it’s going to be upside down. Loaders have to fit freight and 100+ bags in the cargo pit. It has to fit how it’s going to fit.

Why the hard landing
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 plane has to touch down hard in order to puncture the water layer and prevent hydroplaning.

Tipping 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 most likely drink free the rest of the flight.

Why it’s always easier to just take the batteries out
Women: If you pack your favorite 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 people and TSA

Just because you’re flying with a big airline, it doesn’t mean the pilots are experienced
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 mainline carriers. 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 going home leg

The truth behind turning off electronics
Pilot here: Having to turn off electronics on a plane is totally useless. Mobile electronic devices won’t really bring an airplane down and if they could, do you think they would be allowed on the plane? You have to turn them off during take off and landing because they can be a distraction if there was an emergency. You won’t hear emergency announcements like ‘brace for impact’ if you have your headphones on.

Planes without engines can still glide for a really long time
If both engines fail, a plane can glide 6 nautical miles for every 5,000ft. So at 35,000ft, a plane can glide about 42 miles without power. That’s why most accidents happen during landing or take off.

The reason there are still ashtrays in the lavatories
Ashtrays in the lavatories are mandatory equipment even though the FAA banned smoking on all 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.

How dirty is everything?
dirty airline seats
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 table and eaten them or really just touched the 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.

Now remember these next time you have to fly somewhere and enjoy the trip 😉

Via: Ask Reddit

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