Every profession has its dirty secrets, things that will change the way you look at it. For instance, the "daily specials" at restaurants are often things that would have gone bad had they not been used that day.
Airlines are no exception - they've got plenty of things they'd prefer for customers not to know. Here are 12 of those closely guarded secrets.
1. Minor failures aren't always repaired right away.
That's not to say that the plane will take off if it's unsafe. The list of things to check before takeoff is actually incredibly extensive. Still, there are little things that don't necessarily affect the safety of the craft and can be resolved after the flight so as not to cause delay.
2. Why there are hand grips inside the plane.
You may have noticed these handles and wondered why they're there. It's for the flight crew in the event of an emergency. As the crew member prepares the emergency exit, people on board can sometimes panic and knock them down or even out of the aircraft. The handles help keep them upright.
3. The captain and the co-pilot get different meals.
This isn't because the captain's "better" than his/her co-pilots. It's because in the event that one of them is poisoned through their food, the other can still take over.
4. Locks don't always protect your luggage.
You might think you're being secure by putting one of those little combo locks on your suitcase, but it can actually be picked pretty easily with a pen or pencil.
5. Why smoking is prohibited.
You may think that smoking was prohibited from planes to prevent the dangers of second-hand smoke and/or fire in the cabin, but that's not actually the case. Smoking was previously allowed onboard and there were no issues of fires.
The actual reason is purely economical - the air onboard is constantly being filtered, and smoke and resin wear out the filters a lot faster.
6. The 7 common reasons luggage gets lost.
- It got detained for additional checks and wasn't loaded onto the plane on time.
- A novice employee put the luggage on the wrong trolley and it was flown to a different destination.
- An airline employee accidentally put the wrong sticker on it.
- The passenger left their older airline stickers on their bag and it confused the airline.
- The suitcase got stuck on the belt or went the wrong way. This often happens during connecting flights.
- The bag fell off the trolley on the way to the plane and nobody noticed. This is quite rare, though.
- The luggage recognition system made a mistake and/or the label got lost. That's why it's advised that you leave your name and contact info where it can be seen clearly.
7. Why you have to turn your phones off.
It's a myth that your cell phone can cause a critical malfunction. It can, however, create static on the radio signal, potentially causing the pilots to miss important information from dispatchers.
8. Family members of airline employees get discounts on airfare.
A lot of airline employees provide employees with heavily discounted air tickets for themselves and their families. Sometimes the trips are even free!
9. The lavatory can actually be easily opened up from the outside.
There's actually a little hidden switch under the "No Smoking" or "Lavatory" sign. This, of course, isn't intended to infringe on people's privacy - it's in case of an emergency.
10. The armrest on the aisle and window seats can be raised.
A lot of people get irritated that aisle and window seats have armrests that appear to be fixed in place. However, it is indeed possible to raise them by pushing the small button hidden towards the back of the armrest. You will have to return them back into the initial position for takeoff and landing, however.
11. The best time to buy tickets.
It's commonly believed that you get the best price for your ticket the earlier you buy it. This isn't strictly accurate, however, as cheap tickets are also bought out first. However, one thing that's definitely true is that tickets tend to be cheaper on Tuesdays.
12. Politeness pays.
Flight attendants confessed that the more respectful you are to them, the more they'll be willing to do for you. Not enough meat in your entree? Ask nicely and you might get hooked up with the filet mignon from first class. Noisy neighbor? Asking calmly and politely can get you a new seat, maybe even an upgrade! Troublemakers, however, will only receive the bare minimum.
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H/T: Bright Side