There is a considerable amount of preparation and protocol that goes into plane travel, both for the passengers and flight crew. If you are a nervous traveler, your main goal is most likely to arrive at your gate as quickly as possible and to sleep on the flight until landing. For those who actually enjoy flying, you probably spend the flight staring out the window or following the interactive flight route on your TV monitor. Regardless of whether you are a traveler who disdains flying or if you try to observe and relish in every small detail on a flight, there are many things travelers miss while on a plane.
It is safe to say that just about everything you see on a plane has a distinct purpose, ultimately to keep all passengers onboard comfortable and safe. From secret bedrooms to things you wish you didn't know about airline food, the hidden details that can be found on airplanes may both shock and intrigue you. We have compiled this list of 25 hidden details that you probably have never noticed during your flight. Next time you find yourself traveling via plane, keep a look-out for these hidden details and see how many you can spot.
25 Black Triangle Above Window
Travelers often have a preference of window seat versus aisle seat. Those who prefer the window seat may enjoy the incredible views of cities and clouds offered throughout the flight. Despite the unparalleled views that windows boast, pleasing passengers is not their sole purpose.
If you have ever seen a black triangle above your window, it is no coincidence. The black triangle is to let the flight crew know which window provides the best view of the wing. If there is ever something wrong with the wing, the captain or crew can look out this window for the best view.
24 Is There A Hole In Your Window? Don't Panic!
Have you ever noticed the small hole in the window next to you? Don't be alarmed - this small hole is there on purpose to benefit all on board. These holes are actually called 'bleed holes' and are wedged between two other panes of acrylic material, explains Science Alert.
As many already know, the cabin air is pressurized to keep passengers from passing out. The bleed hole relieves the pressure that the middle and outer pane have to take. This hole also stops the windows from fogging up, says Telegraph. So you can enjoy the views from take-off to landing.
23 The Secret Bedroom...Flight Attendants Need Their Sleep, Too!
Although sleeping on a plane is not very comfortable, it is necessary to ensure that you don't arrive at your destination completely exhausted. This stands true for flight attendants too, especially those who sometimes are required to work incredibly long flights 16. As it turns out, the flight attendants can sleep on planes and probably more comfortably than sleeping passengers.
According to Business Insider, most Boeing 777 and 787 airplanes have a secret bedroom for the cabin crew to get some shut-eye or rest during long international flights. If only we all had secret bedrooms to escape to on long trips!
22 You Probably Wish You Knew This Sooner...A Button To Give You More Space
This may be the most frustrating hidden detail to discover so late in the game. Almost everyone could do with a little more space on a flight to stretch their legs out. Well, if you are sitting in an aisle seat, you are in luck!
According to Travel + Leisure, there is a magical button on the underside of the outer most armrest. Simply press the button and move the armrest up to eliminate the annoying jabbing into your side and gain a little more legroom.
21 Good News: It's Impossible To Lock Yourself In The Bathroom!
If you have ever feared accidentally locking yourself in an airplane lavatory, you are in luck. It is actually impossible to lock oneself in the plane's bathroom due to the secret button that the flight crew can use if need be.
The metal plate labeled 'lavatory' is not just there to direct the more oblivious passengers to the plane's bathroom. According to Travel Update, this metal plate is actually a hinged panel that can be lifted up to reveal a secret button that can lock and unlock the door from the outside.
20 Hold On To The Hidden Hand Rail Next Time There's Turbulence
This hidden feature will definitely come in handy during a bumpy ride. There is nothing more annoying than being woken up by a stumbling passenger clinging to your headrest for balance in the middle of turbulence. Well, it turns out that the overhead storage area is for more than just holding your carry-on items.
According to Conde Nast, underneath the overhead storage area is actually a secret handrail for when there is intense turbulence. Next time you need to get up during turbulence, you can remember this hidden handrail to avoid accidentally waking up a fellow passenger.
19 Hooks On The Plane's Wings
For those accustomed to window seating, you may have noticed small hooks on the wings of the plane. Although they are tiny physical details, these hooks could actually save your life in the event of an emergency. According to Travel + Leisure, these small hooks are there to help passengers safely exit the aircraft during a water landing.
If the wing is too slippery to walk across during an emergency evacuation, the flight crew will attach rope from the plane to the hooks so that passengers may safely make their way across the wing to the inflatable exit slide.
18 What Really Comes Out of Oxygen Masks
Oxygen masks are designed to provide passengers with oxygen in the event that cabin pressure drops during a flight. This sounds reassuring! But if passengers knew exactly what comes out of these masks, they may not be so at ease.
According to The Telegraph, oxygen masks do not exactly supply oxygen. Since oxygen tanks are heavy, there is a different system used to provide oxygen to passengers. Above each seat is a "cocktail of chemicals" that releases oxygen when burned, says The Telegraph. This is just another reason to hope the masks don't need to be used during the flight!
17 Ashtrays On Planes…Where Smoking Isn’t Allowed?
Have you ever noticed ashtrays in your plane's bathroom? If you have, maybe you were too tired to realize that this is contradictory to the no-smoking rule on flights. It turns out that airplanes still have ashtrays to deal with those who disobey the no-smoking policy.
According to The Telegraph, the FAA says that lavatories must have ashtrays so that there is a place to safely dispose of a cigarette in case someone is caught smoking on board. After all, you never know when you may have a rule-breaker on board!
16 Your Plane May Have Just Been Struck By Lightning
The idea of having your plane struck by lightning mid-flight is perhaps one of the scariest things to imagine while flying. As it turns out, however, a plane being struck by lightning is actually more common than most people would think.
According to The Telegraph, planes are designed to experience lightning strikes and many times, passengers do not even notice when it occurs. Every now and then, there may be exterior damage to the aircraft. But more often than not there is little to no evidence that lightning just hit the plane.
15 Emotions Are Heightened On Airplanes
Do you ever feel like you are more prone to crying while flying? If so, you are not alone. Aside from the stress and overwhelm that traveling by air can cause, there is actually a scientific reason for heightened emotions while flying.
According to The Telegraph, the high altitude increases the chance of crying because tear ducts are more sensitive in the air than on the ground. Mixed with the low oxygen levels and the stress of surrendering all control while flying, it makes sense that there would be a few teary-eyed passengers on board.
14 There Are Handcuffs For Unruly Passengers
Babies are not the only ones who can become unruly on long flights. In the rare event that a passenger becomes irate or aggressive on a flight, there are usually handcuffs on board to deal with such a situation.
Screaming children and crying babies are a nuisance by themselves, without adding an unruly adult to the mix. If handcuffs are ever used on a flight, they are only to ensure a smooth flight for the passengers and flight crew.
13 Pilots And Co-pilots Eat Different Meals
The flight crew has to eat too, especially during those long international flights. But did you know that the pilot and co-pilot are required to eat different meals? As odd as this may sound, it actually is for the well-being of everyone on board.
According to Business Insider, pilots and co-pilots are advised not to eat the same meals in case one has food poisoning. If one of the pilots becomes sick from their food, the other can take over. While this rarely happens, travelers can feel better knowing that all measures are being taken to ensure passenger safety.
12 The Toilets Are Basically Vacuums
For those who are startled by the sudden vacuum-like sound that the flushing of airplane toilets makes, you are completely justified. Unlike the standard toilet at your home or a restaurant, which siphons water down into the sewer, airplane toilets basically work like a vacuum.
According to Thrillist Travel, a valve opens up in a plane toilet and the pressure creates a strong suction that then stores the bowl's contents in a tank located in the back of the plane. This definitely beats older airlines whose outdated systems sent sewage falling from the sky.
11 Average Boeing 747 Has 150-175 Miles Of Wiring In It...That's A Lot Of Wiring
While you are enjoying a relaxing flight, you probably aren't thinking about what your aircraft is physically made up of. When you think about it, it is actually incredible what goes into the design of an airplane. One of the most fascinating facts that many don't know is that the average Boeing 747 has 150-175 miles of wiring in it...
10 A Red Light On The Left Wing, A Green Light On The Right?
If you have ever been on an overnight flight, you may notice flashing lights on the wings of the plane. But did you know that there is a red light on the left wing and a green light on the right for a very specific purpose?
According to Thrillist Travel, it is very difficult for pilots to see other aircrafts at night. The green and red light are there to help pilots determine which direction a plane is facing and moving towards.
9 Don't Ever Worry About Running Out Of Fuel...Your Plane Has A Lot
Whether it be a joke played on a gullible sibling or a serious worry for the anxious flyer, we have all contemplated the idea of a flight running out of fuel mid-flight. While most of us can naturally comfort ourselves out of this silly idea, others may need more facts to realize the impossibility of a plane running out of fuel.
8 The Dim Lighting During Landing Is Not To Set The Mood
Despite what many travelers may think, the dimmed lighting during take-off and landing is not mood lighting. The flight crew is actually required to dim the interior lights as a safety measure in the unlikely event that the take-off or landing is not successful.
Perhaps you are wondering how dimmed lighting could possibly help in an evacuation situation. According to Travel + Leisure, the lighting is dimmed so that passengers' eyes are already adjusted to the darkness if they have to quickly exit the aircraft.
7 Airplanes Are The Culprit For Horrible Tasting Food And Drink
Airplane food has always had a reputation for being unappetizing. Travelers often try to purchase a meal before boarding their flight and for good reason. Airline food truly is bad for you, which is why flight crew are even advised to consider other food options for frequent travel, says Best Life.
Aside from the fact that airline food contains unhealthy preservatives, it also tastes bad due to high altitude. According to Thrillest Travel, about a third of your taste buds are numbed at this altitude. You may want to think twice before ordering that chicken dish on your next flight!
6 Don't Drink The Coffee On The Plane!
While nothing sounds better than a cup of coffee to wake you up before arriving at your destination, you may be better off avoiding the coffee served on flights. In fact, anything that doesn't come from a bottle or a can should be avoided while flying.
According to Best Life, while the water on planes isn't necessarily bad, it is unlikely that the tanks are often cleaned. Try to stick to bottled water or soda until you arrive at your destination and can locate the nearest cafe.
5 Undercover Sky Marshals On Board
If you have ever seen the movie Get Smart, you may be wondering if there are any undercover spies or secret escape hatches on flights. If there is not a secret agent on your flight, there may instead be an undercover sky marshal on board.
According to Daily Mail, if you spot someone in an aisle seat who never naps and is not dressed for the weather, you probably have located an air marshal. If you do happen to see one, rest assured that they are there to prevent any crime from occurring on board.
4 There Is A Hidden Defibrillator
Perhaps you have been on a flight and wondered what would happen in the unfortunate event that someone goes into cardiac arrest mid-flight. While going to the hospital is not an option when you are flying above the Atlantic, there are actually defibrillators on flights to deal with situations like this.
You and any family or friends on board can rest assured that the plane is stocked with a defibrillator, which the flight crew is prepared to use it if need be.
3 Surveillance Cameras Aren't Just At Security...
Airport security is fully equipped with all the technology and machinery needed to ensure safety both in the airport and onboard the aircraft. While we can spot the many surveillance cameras that are scattered across airports, many are unaware of the surveillance cameras that may be hidden on the plane.
According to Cheat Sheet, the first airline to install surveillance cameras on board was JetBlue. While some of these cameras may be visible, there are also some that are hidden, all with the intention of maintaining passenger safety.
2 There Is An Axe On Board But You Couldn't Even Bring Your Face Wash...What Gives?
Airports have extremely strict rules when it comes to what you may and may not bring on board a flight. Despite these rules and regulations, there is an ax that is secretly stowed on most aircrafts.
So, what is the reason for having an ax on board a flight? According to Cheat Sheet, an ax is used in the event that the crew needs to break through the aircraft panels to fight an electrical fire. While most airlines now use crowbars, there still may be planes that have an ax hidden somewhere on board.
1 Rest Assured There Are Fire Extinguishers On Board
Fire distinguishers seem to be standard safety protocol for any public transportation. So it seems only right that there would be a fire extinguisher onboard an aircraft, right? Despite this logic, you may be wondering why you have never seen a fire extinguisher onboard.
According to Boeing, fire extinguishers are strategically located throughout the aircraft in the event of a fire. If an engine fire occurs, pilots are able to activate the engine's built-in extinguishers from the cockpit. So do not worry if you have never seen a fire extinguisher onboard - they are there!
Sources: travelandleisure.com ; trillist.com ; contravener.com ; bestlifeonline.com ; dailymail.co.uk