Going on a flight can always be a bit tough for many of us. Clearly, there are lots of things that can be an issue thousands of feet in the air. While this is the fastest way to travel and things have gotten much better when it comes to safety, things can still come up. That is why Airlines have proper codes.
These codes help with a lot, but most importantly, they are put into place to allow for people flying to not be scared by anything going on. It could be that there is nothing major going on. But if a flight attendant is randomly overheard talking about something like a clipped wing for example, people might freak out. But if they call this something like a Code Hairclip, that could mean a lot of things. Possibly something for their hair, rather than an issue with the plane.
These codes are mostly meant for both big and small problems, many of which could cause some to go berserk. To avoid panic, we have them. Ultimately, this is useful to everyone involved. It could be that you overheard something a flight attendant said that you thought meant nothing. It could have been pretty big, however. Since we like to make sure you learn as much as possible about traveling, we wanted to inform you on at least twenty codes that you could look out for.
Some of them might be retired or not used on every airline. There could be different codes for certain things on Virgin Airlines that are possibly similar but differing enough from the codes on Southwest Airlines. That said, these are the twenty airline codes that passengers aren't supposed to know about. Not all can be considered an emergency code but may be more than you assume.
20 Mayday Mayday Mayday!
The term Mayday is used as a form of telling people that you and the plane are going down, without a doubt. It is routinely said 3 times so that the airline or base can know for sure that you're going down. Also, if there is an issue with your radio going in and out, the more you say it, the better really.
Usually, this sort of message is used by pilots in the Air Force considering they get shot out of the sky so often. However, this has happened in many charter or private flights. When saying "Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!" it's truly there to be an efficient bit of knowledge that you're being honest about going down. This term is rarely if ever used for pilots who are experiencing a few problems but not going down yet. So, it's a true emergency.
19 Last-minute Paperwork
The code "last-minute paperwork" is one that the airline pilot or a flight attendant will say to passengers and not among themselves. The reason for this is that they don't want to tell them the true meaning, but it's pretty implied if you think about it. The code means that the flight has been delayed due to some random situation. Normal delays, such as some that take place in a storm, will usually openly delay you before you get on a plane. However, delays can be a nightmare.
That said, once you're on a flight, they want to avoid telling you that this is technically just that—a delay. The code usually refers to exactly what it says, and the delay is small more often than not. This could be that there is a change in the flight path or a change in the logbooks from previous flights taken by this pilot. The most common thing is that maintenance has to look over something to make sure the plane is good to go. On top of this, it could very well have to do with the weight and balance record. All are the more common reasons, though, there are more.
18 "Cabin Crew Arm Doors And Cross Check"
Usually, this comes in a quote because it is a directive made by the pilot to his crew of flight attendants. The terminology is simple and makes sense in an emergency situation. Basically, the pilot will say this over the intercom so that his attendants can pretty much prepare you for an emergency landing situation. While this will not always be used for such a purpose, it is often a directive given by the pilot when he believes he will be taking a landing that will require emergency exits.
There are doors for the exit which are all locked. To "arm the door," an attendant is allowing for this to be opened in the event of an emergency exit. The directive is at times given if the pilot feels that he is going down. But at times, the pilot will be perfectly fine in a short period of time. The code is truly there in the event of a possible need to exit quickly or prepare people for it.
17 Code 7600
This is a Code that no pilot wants to hear, but the crew would likely also not be a fan either. The Code is a bit odd to deal with and often not an issue with the plane but rather an issue with some sort of interference. Code 7600 simply means a loss of radio communication. This could mean a complete loss or a lack of signal to a given airport you're nearing. The real issue here is that you have to fly into an airstrip after asking for permission to do so. If you cannot radio the tower to do that, this can force the airplane to circle around until they can get through.
While you can use a cellphone on a plane, the controls have been known to have issues due to them. The biggest being communication with the radio, causing Code 7600 to occur. However, a cell might be the only way to actually get in contact to get in and land at an airport. Overall, this is a Code that may seem bad but it's nothing near the issue of others on this list.
16 Code Crosscheck
The code word of "crosscheck" is quite common, mostly among senior cabin crew members or flight attendants. The reason for not saying the real meaning makes sense, as it could possibly startle people if they overheard the meaning. That said, one would conclude that most now want to know what it means. It's pretty simple. The code word means that the emergency slides that are normally attached to each exit door have been deactivated or are simply not there. This can happen for a number of reasons, of course.
It could be that they were previously used in a recent landing with this plane. It could even mean that this plane was just commissioned and they did not add them or it was recently fixed and didn't. There are several possible reasons, it seems. Senior members of the crew will make sure this is noted because it is assumed that the slides will be there without a doubt. That is why a Code Crosscheck is a very big deal for the crew to know about BEFORE a flight takes off.
15 Code Ground Stop
This is likely one code word that the crew tries to not use around passengers due to the fact that it could be misinterpreted. When you hear it, you'll often wonder why they are saying something about a code ground stop. It makes no sense if you don't think about it, that is. This is normally part of the infamous airline delay system that everyone, including pilots, absolutely hate. Before a pilot can move out and drive down to the major airstrip to take off, he or she has to get permission to do so by the air traffic control center.
These people tell people when they can take off and when they can land. They are to be radioed any time either are going to take place at their airstrip. A code ground stop simply means that we're grounded or kept in place due to the backlog of traffic on the strip. Often, airplanes can be in the way of the plane you're on too. They have to move or be moved in order for you to go, therefore, you are ground-stopped. Basically, anything that seems to delay you from taking off while you're on the plane that is not a normal systems check is typically due to traffic or blockages.
14 X Days In X Country
You ever overheard a flight attendant talk about how they are going to spend "5 days in America" or something like that? Basically, this is a code word or code phrase, truthfully. It is used when someone is talking about a certain passenger that they find attractive. It could also be for a passenger they do not like, but it's truly all depending on the circumstances involved. Each seat has a number and letter assigned to it, just in case you did not pick up how they found the number of seat for the "days" part and a letter for the "country" part of it.
You may hear things like 7 Days in Denmark, 3 Days in Croatia, or something along those lines. The reason for the code is because planes can be small places. In reality, attendants are on these things a long time during a given shift. They may speak too loud or a plane might echo, especially in their normal station on the plane. To avoid people from hearing "hey that guy in seat 7F is cute," they'll just say "I'm spending 7 days in France" to the other flight crew member. That crew member will likely check out the passenger through the curtain or cross by them on the flight to confirm the attractive nature. This happens a lot more than people think, seriously. When they are alerting another attendant of a bad one, they'd simply alter it, saying, "I'm not spending 7 Days in France."
13 Code Blue Juice
Obviously, we cannot ever hate juice, right? Even today as adults, we'll take juice at times. We're not afraid to say we can down some Capri-Suns in our late 20's and 30's without batting an eye. Don't judge us! The real thing about juice is that due to the nature of what it normally is when you hear the code of blue juice, it is not that big of a deal to you. At least, that is the hope of the matter. The code is actually kind of disgusting, depending on how the blue juice came to be, of course.
Blue Juice refers to toilet water on the plane. It could mean a toilet overflowed, and thus got all over the area surrounding the bathroom. It could mean that the toilet, due to the air that can suck a lot of the stuff out, possibly sprayed someone randomly. There's a number of ways toilet water can get on a plane, even if it is clean. To avoid panic and basically an embarrassment to the airline, they gave it a code. Usually, you can hear them mentioning "we're out of blue juice" to the pilot more often than anything else. We cannot say we blame them for this code.
12 Code 7700
Code 7700 is one of those vague codes that can mean a lot of things. The reason for its existence, despite being similar to others, is quite frankly due to the vague nature it happens to be part of. Many like the code as all the codes give specifics. When a pilot, who often will be the one calling this Code, calls out, flight attendants get with the pilot quickly. Code 7700 simply means "emergency." Now, this emergency can mean a lot of things.
If there is an Air Marshall, they will be the first up to find anything in that case. If a Flight Attendant called a Code 7700, it is likely due to an issue with a passenger. This has been called for people randomly seizing. There have even been cases of the bends, which are normally an underwater pressure issue but can happen in the air too. Overall, a Code 7700 is not as bad as other Codes you'll see here. However, it can be worse depending on who is calling it. You'd rather a flight attendant say it than a pilot, though, that is for sure.
11 Sharon Stone Jumpseat
Most know what a jumpseat is by now. The seat is normally used for flight attendants either off or on duty during bad periods in the air, emergency landings, and often take-offs...or simply to rest. Most of the time, the seats they use are inside a cabin of sorts that is typically separated between the classes on planes. You remember seeing those curtains up? They typically are in between the curtain areas. However, not all flights have these or even classes. It could be a smaller plane or possibly an older one. That is where the Sharon Stone Jumpseat code comes into play.
Remember the movie Basic Instinct? There's a part in the movie where actress Sharon Stone is being questioned by a number of men in a darkened room. She decides to adjust the way she is sitting. The code here is when a flight attendant has to sit in a jumpseat that is facing the passengers. Female crew members often have to wear dresses for a uniform. So, you can see how the Basic Instinct thing comes into play here now, right? This isn't an emergency, but for all the female flight attendants who deal with this, we salute you!
10 All-Call Code
The All-Call Code is normally sent out from a pilot to get all of the crew from the entire plane up to the cockpit or in one area. Usually, they are gathered for the pilot to deliver some relatively bad news or some possible bad news. It's not always bad enough to involve a plane crash, but it very well could be an issue that has to be addressed. In the case of an All-Call, they often use it as a chance to take roll or simply gather information on a flight. At least, that is what a flight attendant will tell you if you ask what it was about.
Normally, they'll say that they are learning more about where you're going and the pilot wanted them to be prepared. However, an All-Call Code is never sent out when there is good news. Typically, an All-Call can be called by the Senior Flight Attendant in the case of possible emergency on the plane that they may notice. In the case of such matters, they typically go to meet in the very front to discuss what they can do. Most of the time, this All-Call will result in simple awareness of a problem's existence. They'll likely secretly alert the pilot who will then alert the airline where he or she will be landing if there is a threat upon the plane.
9 Code Red
Likely another we feel you'll know of. Whenever you hear the words "Code Red," it is usually followed by some truly terrible new, such as the fact that you're running into a very bad situation. There are many terms for many things, but Code Red sayings are not just thrown out there for fun. They are there to inform people that there is indeed a true emergency on the plane or with it. This is also commonly used in the airport itself.
In event of a Code Red, the normal directive is to try and land the plane as best you can at the nearest place you can do so. Most of the time, a pilot inside a particular continent is going to have several airstrips to land on. However, if one is traveling overseas, they may have to land on a random bit of ocean. Regardless, a Code Red is quite serious as an emergency and one that should be taken very seriously.
8 Coded Chimes
Do you ever randomly go on a plane and seem to hear chimes go off all throughout the flight? This is by design. Instead of voicing something to you, or to themselves, flight attendants and pilots will use coded chimes to tell what is going on. Sometimes, the chimes could include certain emergency issues. For example, 3 chimes often mean something like turbulence or bad weather ahead. The more chimes may seem to some like conditions are pretty bad. If 3 chimes could mean turbulence, what could 4 or 5 equal, right?
Not to worry. Not all airlines have the same lingo for their chimes, so that means we would have a huge problem trying to inform you on what they all actually mean. Most are light. Also, the number of chimes does not indicate a level of severity. In fact, it's specifically designed by most airlines to be trapped between the shorter or longer chimes to avoid people assuming that something is bad. For example, one chime could just mean seatbelts could come off rather than a Code Red.
7 Code One
Airlines, Trains, and Ships often have a lot of the same codes. This is why you could hear a number of older ship or train codes used on flights, as most of what they do is pretty much the same as what ships and trains used to do more often. The lingo is going to travel over just by natural occurrence. Not all codes have come over from ships and trains, but a number of them have such as the Code One message sent to both crew and pilots alike.
We'll be blunt about it. The Code One situation is more commonly used in Trains and Cruise Ships considering it is far more likely that one would get cut or injured there than on an airplane. Airplanes are commonly not in the air long enough for someone to play around and get hurt enough to get severely injured. Code One is simply what is called so that they can address the injured passenger.
6 Block Time Code
This is a pretty simple one, and most sort of figure it out whenever it is mentioned by a flight attendant. Usually, it can be figured out by hearing how they refer to it. Block Time is a simple code that means the amount of time a person is on the clock. Basically, "block time" for flight attendants is the time in which they are paid, as they do not get paid until the flight begins. It comes from the time in which the airplane leaves the blocks from the gate. How do they properly keep up with who is on a plane and how long the airplane was in the air and not landed?
They do it with a system called ACARS. It stands for ARINC Communication Addressing and Reporting System. It is the tech that keeps up with the time in the air and on the ground, and it goes straight to the airline so that flight attendants don't have to punch in and out. Obviously, proper logs and overall flight data will typically keep up with this too. A younger flight attendant may have up to 5 flights in a given day and go all around the airport on these shorter flights. It takes a higher level to get longer flights, and thus, newbies get paid less due to their shorter flights and lack of block time.
5 Code Airpocket
The code known as "air pocket" is pretty much what it sounds like. When in the air, planes will go through a lot of different conditions. Most of the time, a flight is pretty good with no real problems from take-off to landing. Due to the fact that a lot of things can get in the way of this when you're in the air, such as weather or random winds, sometimes things happen. An air pocket simply refers to turbulence while in the air. Pilots will tell you that passengers worry about turbulence as they feel the plane might have problems or go down.
In reality, turbulence is nothing to a pilot and it often has no real connection to the loss of control of the plane or trouble with it. Pilots are annoyed by it, the same as we are. Most will tell you that they feel the turbulence as well as we do, if not more so. They absolutely hate it, so they try to avoid it at all costs if they see something ahead or a reading gives them something of note. So whenever you hear "Airpocket," just know it is turbulence and the pilot is trying to get out of it. Plus, it's nothing to worry about.
4 Code Bravo
Code Bravo sounds like it could be a pretty serious thing. Think about it. When you hear a Code Bravo, does it not sound official or like a really big deal? It's actually not. In fact, one would even say it's not even a real code. Yet the flight attendants and pilot will assume you are assuming that it is a big deal. It is used to distract you from the actual danger on the flight. Usually, if something is a big deal they will try to make sure you don't know about it until it becomes a significant problem.
Usually, a pilot or flight attendant will make an announcement that a Code Bravo is underway. This could be a big deal or something relatively small but still significant. It could be a lost child, an animal escaping the deck and coming onto the area where the passengers are. It could be a random weapon spotted. The "Code Bravo" is used to make sure that people are thinking about something else while the flight attendant can search or solve the problem without much interference from passengers. Still a significant thing but not as much as others.
3 Code Adam
Code Adam seems like it could be pretty bad, and it lives up to the reputation pretty well we think. Normally, this is not used on a flight, but it can happen and has actually happened before. However, we also see it more often in the airport. Have you ever lost a child or know of someone who did so? In a case like this at an airport or on an airplane, once alerted to this the airport police will be called to help search for the child. In the case of a flight, a flight attendant will mention the Code Adam and they will begin looking for him or her. A Code Adam is not common in airports or on flights as people do tend to take care of their children.
However, it's there for if and when it does happen. The code is well-known for many reasons. A child named Adam Walsh was abducted in a department store in 1981 by a man named Ottis Toole. In honor of him, multiple organizations. including airlines, began to use the Code Adam.
2 Pan-Pan, Pan-Pan, Pan-Pan Code
The Pan-Pan Code is often a known one due to the fact that any three-word usage usually means something bad is upcoming. Typically, one would rather hear this than a Code Red. The Pan Code can mean a few things. Usually, this has to do with the plane. Flight attendants will normally check in with the pilot to see what the issue is and if he uses the Pan Code, it means there very well could be a small issue with the plan itself that is by no means life-threatening but could be if things worsen.
Overall, the Code is used to bring awareness to a problem on board or outside the ship. This could mean the plane was struck by lightning, which happens far more than you think. Planes are equipped to not have many problems with these strikes any longer. Sometimes, that can change and thus, a Pan code will be issued. Sometimes, this will report the loss of an engine or auxiliary power being accessed or lost. Truthfully, it is loaded but not life-threatening like others.
1 Code 7500
Likely the worst of any code on here is the Code simply known as "Code 7500." Few know what it means when they hear it, which is the literal point of the code. However, it means that the plan has been hijacked or is in a threat. Usually, this code is used with the airline or base, which will ultimately do all they can to help the pilot avoid the problem. Whenever a threat seems possible, a flight attendant will hear the code and likely try to make sure any way to get to the pilot is blocked.
He or she will make sure that the door to the pilot or pilots is locked. Often, pilots do have some sort of weapon in the cockpit, but their door is the biggest savior to them. Usually, the cockpit door is lined with material hard to break into. There's no real door handle to mess with. So you have to consistently have someone inside the cockpit to let you in and out of it.