The travel industry is full of people that make visiting the world possible, and it all starts with getting there! One of the biggest aspects of traveling is the mode of transportation, and for the most part, that usually involves taking a plane. Although flying to a destination may seem exciting, you soon learn that airports, lengthy plane rides and the cost of flying alone are not nearly as fun as you'd like. With that being said, flying is an operation that takes countless people to manage, from baggage handlers, customer service reps, runway workers and of course, the people we see the most, flight attendants and pilots.
Considering most of our time getting to where we're trying to go is spent on the plane, it's important we know just about everything we can on the people who are ensuring we get to our destination safe and sound. Although being a flight attendant or a pilot seems pretty straightforward, there is a lot more to the job than just flying a plane, or pouring drinks. Flight crew certainly know a lot more about what's going on than we do, which is probably for the best. With that being said, here are the 15 things only pilots know, and the 15 that flight attendants keep secret!
30 Engines Fail More Than You Think
Believe it or not, things can go wrong during a flight, however, pilots have their own way of making you think otherwise. According to Express UK, plane engines fail a lot more than we think, and although one faulty engine during a flight isn't too big of a deal, planes sometimes have issues with both! In this case, pilots will often head onto the speaker system and say something such as: "one of our engines is indicating an improper functionality", says the source, when they really mean that it is no longer functioning. This is definitely not something to worry about, considering planes can glide and land without an engine, and how skilled pilots are to deal with these types of situations.
29 Pilots & Co-Pilots Are Equals
Each and every flight has both a pilot and a co-pilot, and although the titles may differ, and their roles are not entirely the same, they are held to the same standard and seen as completely equal during a flight. According to Travel + Leisure, a captain and their co-pilot are at par during a flight in regards to their importance of arriving at a destination safely. If anything were to go wrong, they are both trained equally in order to handle any unforeseen situation. In some cases, a co-pilot will take full control of the flight while the captain simply overseers everything, stepping in only when need be, says the source.
28 under wraps: There Are Secret Areas For Them
Flight attendants work endlessly, especially during long-haul flights! It goes without saying that being on your feet isn't always easy, so in this case, flight attendants have a secret cabin of their own, where they too can rest up and relax! According to Business Insider, most planes that operate long-haul flights have an area for flight attendants equipped with beds and lounge areas to allow them to sleep, rest, and relax! Although this isn't such a big secret, it is not something flight attendants share, however, if you realize things have quieted down, and you aren't seeing as many of the cabin crew, chances are they're resting or sleeping.
27 They Take Selfies During Flights
This happens a lot more than you'd think! Although pilots' main task is to fly a plane to and from a destination safely, they've got some other things to do as well. Believe it or not, pilots need to keep their social media feeds fresh and relevant too! According to BoredPanda, pilots do take photos in the cockpit while flying the plane. Although they are not permitted to do this at low altitudes, or during turbulence and severe weather conditions, taking a selfie or two is totally legal. This is why a lot of the time you will see some amazingly lit selfies on social media of pilots doing what they do best!
26 Turbulence Is Not A Safety Issue
Turbulence can certainly be one rollercoaster ride you did not sign up for, however, it's important to know that some shakiness and sudden drops during your flight, are not something to be alarmed over. According to The Telegraph, pilots regard turbulence are more of a "comfort" than a safety issue. In any case, where a flight experiences even the most severe turbulence, it is no cause for panic, considering how turbulence cannot in any way break or cause any malfunction to the exterior of a plane. In rare instants, passengers can only get injured during turbulence if they have ignored the "fasten seatbelt" indication, claims the source. If you experience some turbulence during your flight, relax and remain calm, and always fasten that seatbelt.
25 They Nap On The Job
Whether you'd like to believe it or not, pilots do in fact take naps or full-on sleep during flights! According to Science Direct, pilots do take short naps while on the job and take short periods of sleep during long-haul flights that can last up to 15 or more hours. In this case, due to the grueling and long hours that pilots work through, it only makes sense that they would require some downtime in order to rest and relax. Although the idea of a pilot sleeping on the job may sound scary, it's important to know that this poses no risk to the safety of your flight! Pilots may be removed from the duties for a short period of time, but with a co-pilot, and advanced auto-pilot technologies, the plane is always in a controlled state.
24 The Best Spot To Sit On A Plane
Flying can be quite scary at times, making people worried to even step foot on a plane out of fear of enduring a turbulent flight, however, we've got you covered! According to the Huffington Post, travelers who are afraid of shaky and bumpy moments during a flight should always opt for a wing window seat! This ensures the smoothest ride, especially during some iffy times. The front and back of the plane tend to bounce more than the wing area of the plane would, allowing any anxiety ridden passengers to feel less turbulence, keeping them at ease, says the source!
23 Under wraps: Pilots Receive Different Meals
When it comes to the food on the plane, chances are you won't be eating 5-star quality food, that's for sure, however, believe it or not, not everyone on the plane is allowed to eat the same food. Flight attendants take food requirements quite seriously on flights, especially when it comes to the pilots. According to Traveller, pilots cannot eat the same food as one another, or the same food as any of the passengers. This is done in order to avoid any chance of a pilot getting ill from the food, claims the source. This is taken quite far, as flight attendants are even required to inform the pilots if they both ordered the same meal to avoid any chance of them both getting ill from the same thing!
22 Where The Worst Airports Are In The U.S.
If there is anyone seeing more airports in their lifetime than the traveler themselves, it's definitely the pilots! Having to maneuver an aircraft through runways and gates isn't always easy, however, when certain airports have runways that make the task only harder, it only makes sense as to why a pilot will turn to absolutely disliking a certain airport! According to Business Insider, airports such as Laughlin, Newark, and Aspen, all either have tricky runways, are surrounded by high mountains, or have sound limitations requiring limited noise landings, making it quite the tedious task for a pilot! As if the job wasn't hard enough, it appears certain airport layouts decide to toss in a few more roadblocks to give the pilots an extra challenge.
21 under wraps: The Food Is As Bad For You As It Looks
Unless you're flying on Air Gordon Ramsay, chances are the food you will be served is nothing great! In addition to the lack of appetizing food most airlines offer, chances are the food you are eating isn't all that healthy either. According to Business Insider UK, flight attendants have admitted to the fact that airplane food is quite "unhealthy" for passengers to consume. The food is usually prepared and stored days prior to a flight, and is at times, pumped with preservatives to keep it as fresh as possible, for as long as possible. Most choices are also not the healthiest choices either, so if you're hoping for a yummy garden salad with house dressing, you're better off waiting until you get to your destination.
20 Morning Flights Are The Smoothest
If you're looking to book a trip, it's best to grab a flight that takes off in the morning, as those are known to be the smoothest. According to Travel + Leisure, morning flights are the least likely to be delayed! Not only does this make your travel experience far easier, but it also allows you to travel with ease, knowing that you can get to where you need to be at the time promised. In addition, weather conditions in most cases tend to be most calm in the morning time, as opposed to afternoons and nights, when good conditions tend to decrease, says the source. Although waking up earlier may not seem appealing, the easy and breezy flight will make up for it!
19 under wraps: Germs Are Everywhere On The Aircraft
Airplanes are breeding zones for an endless amount of bacteria! Whether this is something you want to hear or not, it's true! Flight attendants know this far too well, however, it's best you do too. According to View From The Wings, a plane is deep-cleaned roughly once per month and is only quickly cleaned between back to back flights. This means that your headrests, tray tables, and armrests are not cleaned if the aircraft is being used for a back to back flight, meaning you are sharing the same germs as whoever was on that flight prior to you. This is why flight attendants encourage passengers to always clean down their area while boarding, to ensure that you have a clean and germ-free seat to enjoy during your flight.
18 Planes Do Get Struck By Lightning
It's safe to say that a large metal aircraft flying thousands of feet in the air throughout vastly different weather conditions is bound to get struck by lightning! Although passengers would not be able to tell in the slightest, planes do, in fact, get hit by lightning. According to Condé Nast Traveler, every single airplane gets struck by lightning at least once per year, however, they are constructed in order to withstand it. Due to the aircrafts aluminum exterior, which is an obvious electrical conductor, lightning is bound to hit planes, but passengers will never know considering the shock is discharged overboard and never reaches the cabin!
17 under wraps: They Notice Everything
If you think you can pull a fast one on a flight attendant, you are sorely mistaken! Flight attendants see, hear and know just about everything when it comes to the passengers onboard. If you're trying to sneak into the lavatory with your significant other, the flight attendant will notice, if you're on your sixth glass of white wine, the flight attendant will notice, and most importantly if you are in coach, and find sneaking yourself into first class, the flight attendant will know! According to Insider, flight attendants see a lot of curious business happen on-board, which is why they are constantly alert and aware of everything going on.
16 Bumpy Landings Are Done On Purpose
Landing a plane isn't an easy job, however, most pilots know how to do it with ease! In some cases, you will experience a landing that has a far greater amount of bumpiness and shakiness than normal, however, this is done totally on purpose! According to LifeHacker, pilots will perform a bumpy landing on purpose when weather conditions are not ideal. In rainy, icy or snowy conditions, the aircraft is more susceptible to sliding on the runway, however, if a pilot were to perform a bumpy landing, this eliminates the chances of sliding, and provides more traction on the ground! Although it may seem like the pilot is performing poorly, they are actually landing the plane in a far more safe manner than if they were to simply let the plane touch down and slide.
15 They Have To Carry As Little Fuel As Possible
This may sound odd, considering fuel is an imperative part of staying in the air, however, countless sources claim that pilots are required to fly an aircraft with as little fuel needed as possible. Although airlines deny these claims, NBC News shares how pilots are forced to fly with the bare minimum at times in order to conserve as much fuel as possible. Considering the travel industry and airlines are a massive business, cutting costs is a big must, and in this case, a plane that carries excess fuel burns through it at a much faster rate, increasing their fuel costs annually. In this case, airlines will implement a minimum fuel requirement in order to keep their fuel supplies lasting longer and keeping costs down.
14 Some Planes Are Too Old To Fly
Flying an aircraft is hard enough as is, however, flying one that is far past its expiration date can only make things even harder. According to CNTraveler, pilots anonymously confessed to flying planes that were far too old to be 30,000 feet in the air. With certain parts needing repair, engines reaching their end or simply cabin interiors that date back decades, there are some planes that are still in use that should have retired long ago! Although chances of finding yourself on an older aircraft for your trip to Bali is unlikely, the source claims that they are often times used for short-haul flights flying to and from nearby cities.
13 Airlines Do Manipulate Flight Times
Although this may sound like common knowledge, airlines have a trick they use in order to save themselves from any form of compensations due to delays or time discrepancies. According to Live & Lets Fly, airlines will often use a tactic referred to as "schedule padding", which allows more time for a flight than required, in order to save themselves from any complaints if a flight takes longer than expected. In this case, a flight may be scheduled for 5 hours, when it really only takes 3.5 hours to get to the destination. Airlines, although denying doing this, have increased their flight times tenfold in the last decade, says the source, giving them a lot more extra time for any unforeseen issues on their end to avoid delayed flight compensation!
12 Using a phone Won't Actually Crash The Plane
We have all been there before when we are asked to power off our electronic devices, or switch to "airplane mode" while flying. Many travelers are under the impression that using your electronic devices without disconnecting from a network will lead a plane to impending doom, however, that is not the case whatsoever. According to Vector News, no such case has ever even happened! The reason we are asked to shut off our devices is not to avoid a crash, but simply to avoid any signaling interference, which may cause issues for pilot communication, but by no means will your phone connected to 3G bring down the whole electronic system!
11 An Engine or Wheels Aren't Necessary For Landing
Although a situation like so may sound incredibly scary, planes and pilots are very well equipped to perform a landing without an engine, or wheels! Landing on the belly of the plane straight onto the tarmac is a safe procedure if done correctly, and has been done many times in the past if a plane undergoes a malfunction of sorts. According to The Telegraph, a landing like this works the same way as if landing on water, and if a plane provides ample warning to runway crew, they can spray foam onto the tarmac in order to eliminate any friction, allowing the plane to land as smoothly as possible!