No matter what industry you work in, it has its secrets. Supermarkets know how to make it so consumers might not notice a price increase. Retail stores know how to get people to buy more than they originally intended. Car rental companies have small print up the ying yang that makes you not even realize all the add-ons they’ve snuck in. And, of course, never drink from a hotel glass if it smells lemony fresh.
Speaking of hotels, we’ve posted a few articles with industry secrets from housekeeping and other hotel staff:
- Confessions of a hotel housekeeper
- Hotel workers come clean on dirty industry secrets (Part 1)
- Hotel workers come clean on dirty industry secrets (Part 2)
Not surprisingly, the airlines have plenty of secrets, too. Someone on Reddit asked airline workers to share some things the airlines might not want us to know. Of course, there’s no proof that the people who replied actually DO work for the airlines. But I took the ones that sounded the most interesting yet plausible.
All replies are as they were posted; only editing was for adult language. Here’s the original link and nearly 3,000 replies:
Airline workers of Reddit: What are some secrets that airlines don’t want the rest of us to know?
— That if the cabin were to depressurise, there is only 12min of oxygen available from the masks, this needs to last for the descent from the depressurisation (usually flying at just under 40k feet altitude) to a ‘safe’ altitude of 10k feet, this time includes a hold at 14k feet of around 7 and a half minutes. Also, the reason why they tell you to put your oxygen masks first and then assist children is because at an altitude of 40k feet you will only have 12-20 seconds of breathing normal air before you become unconscious. There is no problem if a child becomes unconscious for a few seconds as they will regain consciousness when the oxygen mask is put on. – Jayqualeh
— Windows have to be up during take off and landing so emergency personnel can see into the aircraft if it crashes. – middayramadanbuffet (I know this one is true. The bottom of this post goes into specifics as to why the flight attendants may specifically want the windows open or closed)
— Airplanes getting hit by lightning is more common than one would think. On average each commercial air plane gets hit at least one time per year. It’s not something really that terrible or a secret, but I think if more people knew how often it really happened it’d make people more uneasy about flying (even though the last time a plane crashed due to lightning was in 1967). – smallz5000 (another one we know is true. Here’s more about what happens if lightning hits a plane)
–Planes hit birds so often that there is a dedicated form for it called a bird strike. – vtc88 (I love DCA’s attempt to decrease bird strikes)
— I’m not an airline worker, but my mom is. One time she booked herself to be on my flight. Anyway, apparently flight attendants are allowed to give free booze to patrons (you still probably won’t get free booze next time you fly, unless the flight attendant likes you) but aren’t allowed to take it for themselves.
So the captain gives the “flight attendants prepare for landing” announcement, my mom finds me, hands me a giant heavy-ass bag, and tells me to put it in my backpack. I get off the plane, my mom takes me over to a quiet corner of the airport. The flight attendants from my flight appear around me like townspeople all in on a murder conspiracy, and divvy up the liquor I drug-muled off the plane.
My mom doesn’t even drink alcohol. I got her take of the bounty. – ESeeDoubleU
— Putting “fragile” on your luggage means nothing – Deleted (I think most of already know this one LOL)
— lace up your shoes tight. Loose shoes will slip off in a crash and do you really want to run through burning hot lakes of jet fuel in bare feet? No, no you don’t. – octopodo
— The stress on an aircraft’s tires is much greater on takeoff than landing. Mostly because the plane is then at or near it’s maximum weight due to fuel. Landing is no problem, even though the tires screech and smoke as they accelerate very rapidly, as the overall weight is much lower. Second fun fact: MOST of the tires planes are running on (maybe 70-80%) are NOT new but have been retreaded, many several times. The carcasses are strong, the treads wear away quickly. Source: self, worked in the aviation tire business long ago. – winkelschleifer
— The little No Smoking sign on the bathroom door is itself a little door and has a latch inside that allows you to unlock/lock the door from outside. – Casper042
— Brother-in-law is a pilot. He always says that if the passengers knew how much of the flight was computer-controlled/automated, they’d never fly again. – somanytictoc (Confirmed. We have friends who own a plane. theirs isn’t even a commercial plane and yeah, SO MUCH is automated and controlled by computer)
— It’s been a few years (worked as a ground stewardess while at uni): That flight you missed because your luggage was already being offloaded as you took too long to get from security to the gate and you somehow missed the first two calls? If we see you’re a frequent flyer we’ll wait longer for you. If you’re being an ass there’s a chance we’ll tell you we already started offloading even though it isn’t true, same goes if you arrive at the gate with XX shopping bags. And on rare occasions when you are late and really rude and didn’t have any luggage to get offloaded we’ll tell you we already took your name of the passenger lists even if we didn’t (Btw: This “being late without any checked baggage” is the riskiest type of being late, because offloading takes way more time and manpower. Scratching your name can be done in a heartbeat, so we tend to do it faster). Be friendly, nice and smiling (but not slimy) and your chances to board said flight have exponentially increased. Just to add this is the case with smaller plaines, the bigger (intercontinental) ones are a whole different ball game. – Dutchdachshund (Note: posted may be European. Don’t know if the system is the same in the U.S.)
— Not an airline employee but I am a frequent traveler. If you miss your flight and its completely your fault, be nice to the rep you talk to to reschedule. They have the power to reschedule your flight with no extra charges if you are nice and catch someone in a good mood. (bugalou)
— Tear off your old bag tags. Ive caught a few going to the wrong place because of this. – opticbit
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