Flight Crews Share Industry Secrets Passengers Likely Aren't Aware Of

Kasia Mikolajczak
plane in the air
Unsplash | John McArthur

If you're an avid flyer I bet you know a thing or two about the process. However, I'm sure there are secrets from industry professionals that many of us would be interested to find out. That's why somebody recently asked that question on Reddit.

The inquiry was "People who work in the airline industry, what are some things you think everyone should know about flying?" And to be honest, the answers were pretty interesting. Let's check them out.

This Reassuring Fact

Pilots inside the cockpit
Pexels | Pexels

"Both pilots are equally qualified — the captain just has more responsibility and more experience (usually). We trade off who is flying and who is monitoring the radios every other flight (sometimes every two flights)."

That's reassuring, right?

This Annoying Fact

clock
Unsplash | AgĂȘ Barros

"There is very little we can actually do to 'make-up time.' The longer the flight, the more we can do, but still, we're talking 5-10 minutes, not an hour."

Hmm, that sucks. I always thought they can make up a lot more time, ha, ha.

This Interesting Question

Person in a parachute
Unsplash | Pavel Anoshin

"There are no parachutes on commercial flights, so please stop asking. Parachutes require training on how to use [them]. Accidents rarely happen mid-air. Therefore, having them wouldn't make sense/be practical."

I can totally understand that. No wonder people take skydiving lessons.

This Comforting Answer

Passengers on an airplane
Pexels | Pexels

"Former pilot here — turbulence will break your nose or your neck before it knocks the plane out of the sky. Buckle up when the light is on and take comfort in the fact that turbulence hasn’t crashed a plane since the 1970s."

Phew, that's good to know. Am I right?

This Stern Warning

Flight attendant inside of a plane
Unsplash | Lukas Souza

"Interfering with the aircrew is a felony. If you have grievances, you can address them with the airline after you disembark."

Oh, yeah. Don't do that. That's never turned out for other passengers so why stir the pot?

This Important Safety Info

life vests
Unsplash | Miguel A. Amutio

"The reason you are supposed to open your life vest outside the aircraft in case of an emergency ditching is so that you don't float upwards while still inside the plane. This will trap you and increase your risk of drowning. Always open them outside or immediately before you leave the aircraft, should you need to evacuate on water."

Wow, good to know.

This Food Fact

Waffle sandwich and tea
Pexels | Pexels

"Your tastebuds are reduced by 30-60% on flights. So more salt and seasoning are added to the food so it doesn't seem bland. Might also be the reason so many people crave tomato juice or bloody mary mix ONLY on planes."

That makes sense, no?

This Interesting Request

person with luggage
Unsplash | ConvertKit

"I want people to put their names, addresses, and destinations on their luggage. If the tag comes off and you didn't give any other info, we're just relying on how well you remember the look and the contents and how well the person who ends up with your bag documents all that [info]."

Oh, no!

This Bag Issue

Open luggage on the bed
Pexels | Pexels

"Your bag is more likely to break flying on a narrow-body aircraft, especially 737s. They don’t have containers, so the ramp crew is most likely throwing your bags 30 feet underneath the plane. Every bag gets thrown. The sorting system isn’t soft. Containers get filled by thrown bags. Get a good bag and stop worrying."

Time to upgrade our luggage!

This Annoying Question

Flight attendant with pilot
Pexels | Pexels

"We are there for your safety first, your drinks second. Also: We don't turn right back around after a 14-hour flight. How would that even work? I've been asked that so many times."

Ha, ha. Why would people ask that?

This Comforting Fact

wing of a plane in the clouds
Unsplash | Ross Parmly

"Flying is hands-down safer than driving."

You must've heard that before. Am I right? Well, apparently you are 19 times safer in a plane than in a car. I like that statistic. How about you? And of course, there are car accidents every day, too.

This Shocking Fact

James Belushi surprised
Giphy | Laff

"We fly with broken [stuff] on the airplane all the time. We have a list that tells us what can be broken and still be able to fly safely and legally."

OMG, what? I don't like the sound of that.

This Safety Mechanism

airplane window
Unsplash | Rudy Dong

"No one is physically capable of opening the cabin door while in flight because of the aircraft pressurization. So take comfort in knowing that if a crazy person gets up and starts frantically trying to open the door in the middle of a flight, they're not going to be able to do it at all. You could sit in your seat and watch them work on it for hours and it still won't happen."

Phew, that's a relief, huh?

This Small Airport Fact

plane taxing
Unsplash | Pascal Meier

"If you're flying from a small airport, it may be convenient, but it's also more limited on resources. That means if it delays, there's not much to mitigate it. Could go on for quite some time."

Oh, shucks!

This Business Class Trick

airport lounge
Unsplash | Max Harlynking

"In most European airports, you can enter the business class security lane with any ticket, not just business. The code scans anyway."

So now you know how you can enjoy more luxury, hee-hee. I bet you're happy about this little secret.

This Patience Request

man waiting to board plane
Unsplash | JESHOOTS.COM

"Every aspect of the industry is highly regulated, from aircraft maintenance, to air traffic control, to crew duty restrictions, and more. Please be patient with delays, especially around holidays and storms. It is an extremely delicate juggle with all of these challenges to avoid any delays."

I can totally understand that.

This Smart Idea

flight board
Unsplash | Matthew Smith

"If you don't want to be delayed, take the earliest flight. There's a bit of a "reset" overnight each night to start with a clean slate but late in the day, the chances are your plane has done multiple flights already. If any of those are delayed, yours is likely to delay, too."

Hmm, I can see how this reasoning works here.

This Hard Truth

glass of water with plane in the background
Unsplash | Ellen Jenni

"Alcohol has a greater effect on people in higher altitudes so know your limits and don’t push them. Even if you have had a drink in the airport it can still affect you during the flight."

Yeah, that means just don't get drunk, okay? Have some water instead.

Whoa, did you learn something new here?

Man saying "Ohh, interesting."
Giphy | CBS

I have to say a few of these answers have given me additional comfort. For example, now I can rest assured that nobody will open the cabin door during a flight, ha, ha. I bet that's a relief for you too, huh? What was the most surprising thing for you?

Survey
Diply | Diply