In a Reddit thread one person asked, “People who work for airlines, what are secrets passengers don’t know?”
Below are some of the best revelations about the airline industry from flight attendants, pilots and other that have worked for the airline industry.
Check them out below, and prepare to be quite surprised…
“The drinking water, that used for making coffee, tea, etc., should NEVER be consumed. The holding tanks in these sometimes 60 year old planes are never cleaned. They have accumulated so much greenish grime on the walls that in some places it can be inches thick. This one is very known by all airline employees.”
“I used to work for warehouse that supplied a certain airline with items. The headsets that are given to you are not new, despite being wrapped up. They are taken off the flight, “cleaned”, and then packaged again.”
“Former Lufthansa cargo agent here. Do not EVER drink water on an aircraft that did not come from a bottle. Don’t even TOUCH IT. The reason being the ports to purge lavatory shit and refill the aircraft with potable water are within feet from each other and sometimes serviced all at once by the same guy. Not always, but if you’re not on the ramp watching, you’ll never know.”
“A pilot told me if both engines fail, a plane can glide 6 nautical miles for every 5000 feet. So at 35,000 feet, a plane can glide about 42 miles without power. Its why most accidents happen landing or taking off.”
“Regional airline pilot here. You may have bought a ticket on Delta, United, or American, but chances are you’ll be flying on a subcontractor. That means the pilots have a fraction of the experience, training, and pay of the big mainline carrier.
Also, I don’t get paid enough to care if you make your connection. Most of the time we fly slower than normal to make more money. The only time we fly fast is if ATC tells us to or if it’s the go home leg.”
“When you experience a hard landing in bad weather it wasn’t because of a lack of pilot skills but it is in fact intentional. If the runway is covered in water the airplane has to touch down hard in order to puncture the water layer and prevent aqua planing. “Landings are nothing more than controlled crashes.” Pilot friend quote.
“The majority of domestic flights have human remains or organs on them. I work below wing as a baggage handler. Watch out the window for long boxes that say, “Head” at one end… Oh, and I can fit 150 bags in bin 3 of a Boeing 737-300.”
My dad works for a large airline, he told me a few little things:
“2 Pilots are served different meals and cannot share, this is done in case of food poisoning. Stealing food, even if they are going to throw it out can get you fired instantly. You can ask your supervisor, but you cannot take food. They don’t want people messing with it. Most large commercial planes can fly with 1 engine if needed.”
“Pilot here. Having to turn off electronics on a plane is totally useless. “Mobile electronic devices won’t really bring an airplane down but they can be really annoying to pilots. Just imagine sitting in the flightdeck descending to your destination and hearing the interference of a 100+ cellphones picking up a signal. I have missed a clearance or 2 that way.”
“That if the oxygen masks drop down, you only have about 15 minutes of oxygen from the point of pulling them down. However, that is more than enough time for the pilot to take us to a lower altitude where you can breathe normally.
More important – at altitude, you have 15-20 seconds before you pass out. Put yours on first, then do your kids. Passing out for a few seconds won’t harm the kids.”
“When a plane is landing at night, they dim the interior lights in case you need to evacuate upon landing… your eyes are already adjusted to the darkness so you’ll be able to see better once outside the plane.”
“My dad works for a large airline, he told me a few little things ◾ 2 pilots are served different meals and cannot share, this is done in case of food poisoning. ◾ Stealing food, even if they are going to throw it out can get you fired instantly. You can ask your supervisor, but you cannot take food. They don’t want people messing with it.”
“I am an aircraft fueler. One thing I cannot stress enough is how your pets are treated. While your airline will take the best possible actions, some things cannot be avoided, like the noise on the ramp.
I cannot stand out there without ear protection, and imagine your pet sitting out there on the ramp waiting to be loaded onto the plane being exposed to the same amount of noise I am. Please people, think twice before flying your pets.”
“1/2 of pilots sleep while flying and 1/3 of the time they wake up to find their partner asleep.”
“You can almost always gate check baggage (unless it’s abnormally large) take two large carry-ons and ask then to gate check one. It’s free and I never pay fees.”
“My dad’s been an airline pilot for almost 20 years, and apparently planes get struck by lightning all the time. Also if a passenger is causing a scene in the jetway he can refuse to let them on and take off without them. The captain has almost limitless authority when the doors are closed. He is allowed to arrest people, write fines and even take the will of a dying passenger.”
“My sister is a flight attendant, she says after she tells everyone to turn off all electronics, she goes to the back and pulls out her phone and starts texting.”
“If it says “fragile,” it’s getting thrown harder. If it’s says this side up, it’s going to be upside down. We have to fit freight and 100+ bags in a cargo pit. It has to fit how it’s going to fit…I will tell you that when we see “I heart baggage handlers” bag tags…We take special care of your sh*t.”
“I worked for Southwest as a flight attendant. Those blankets and pillows? Yeah, those just get refolded and stuffed back in the bins between flights. Only fresh ones I ever saw were on an originating first flight in the morning in a provisioning city.
Also, if you have ever spread your peanuts on your tray and eaten, or really just touched your tray at all, you have more than likely ingested baby poo. I saw more dirty diapers laid out on those trays than food. And those trays, yeah, never saw them cleaned or sanitized once.”
If you want to read even more into some of these you can check out the entire thread here.