The Huffington Post has managed the tedious task of interviewing a number of pilots and flight attendants who have very generously ‘spilled the beans’ on a number of quirky little airline secrets. So here goes:
1. You Don’t Always Have to Suffer Economy Class:
Once the flight takes-off the crew can decide if you are worthy of an upgrade to Business or First class! No, it’s not done often, reports need to filed on why you were upgraded and also there should be a meal allocated to you, after all who needs first class travel without a meal! The crew have a very simple criteria for selecting the lucky passenger. You have to be very nice, extremely good looking, well dressed or very tall! Sorry, no slobs are up-graded.
2. In-Flight the Captain Has Sole Authority:
That’s right! Once the flight takes off the captain is in charge. This interesting tit bit reveals the captain can take the will of a dying passenger and write fines. While he legally cannot ‘arrest’ passengers anyone being unruly can be detained and handed over to the authorities. Who will be waiting at the required destination on the captains orders.
3. Stolen Naps are Common Amongst Pilots:
Over 40%-50% of pilots surveyed from countries like UK, Norway and Sweden admitted to taking a nap mid-flight. Not as alarming as it sounds. Pilots are allocated rest periods in-between long flights where the co-pilot takes over. However some did admit to some un-scheduled napping!
4. Hey! Those Lavatories are Not so Private:
Don’t ever think of barricading yourself in the lavatory mid-flight. There’s a lock on the outside of the lavatory door! On most planes it’s hidden under the No-Smoking sign. Simply move the sign and slide the latch to open, oops!
5. Someone Else Has Used Your Blanket:
It’s true, the blankets and pillows are not always fresh. They were with the initial flight of the day. However on corresponding flights they are simply re-bagged and put in the bin. This fact is not as shocking as the revelation that the food tray only gets wiped down once a day! That’s right never place your food directly on the tray which most likely had a used diaper sitting on it before.
6. Quench Your Thirst:
Half a glass of cola is just not enough to quench your parched throat? Go ahead ask the flight attendant for the whole can of soda, in most cases they will be happy to oblige. Probably saves them the task of refilling your glass.
7. Only Water from a Bottle, Please!
A rather disturbing fact, Wall Street Journal conducted a test in 2002, in which the on-board water of over 14 various airlines was tested and found to have bacteria levels way over the US Government standards. This shocking revelation is partly attributed to the fact that some airlines have the lavatory disposal valve and fresh water valves close to each other and are sometimes serviced by the same person.
Stick to only bottled water please!
8. Pilots Don’t Eat the Same Meals:
Although it’s not regulation most airlines practice the policy of serving the pilots two different meals. This is in case one causes food poisoning, so no sharing please. This is quite a comforting fact to know that both pilots are not going to be taken down by one hard-core meal!
9. Only 15 minutes of Oxygen, folks!
Once that oxygen mask drops down you have just 15 minutes of air. Don’t panic, because that’s all the time the pilot needs to get the aircraft to a lower altitude where the air is breathable. Regulations stipulate that as soon as the mask comes down the pilot must descend to lower altitudes and generally 10 to 20 minutes is all it takes depending on the planes altitude and depressurising.
10. Hey, Sleepy-Head No Meals for You!
A rather sneaky revelation, some flight attendants admitted to holding-off meal services until some passengers have fallen asleep. The simple reason being, that they then have less running around during meal times.