How much do you actually know about traveling by plane? What can the cabin crew do if someone locks themselves in the bathroom? Here are 9 remarkable secrets about flying that are only known to the cabin crew:
#1 Two pilots, two meals
Imagine you have a long flight from Amsterdam to New York, there's a good chance that there will be two (or sometimes even more!) pilots on the plane. Both pilots receive a separate meal. It is strictly forbidden for the pilots to share these meals with each other. The reason behind this practise is to prevent the small chance that both pilots will get food poisoning from dinner at the same time.
#2 'Miracle flights'
Cabin crews have something they call a 'miracle flight' every once in a while. These flights are called that because more people board the plane in a wheelchair than get off in one at the other end. These passengers take advantage of the fact that wheelchair users are the first to enter the aircraft. They often forget that they 'couldn't walk' and then walk off the plane with the other passengers upon arrival.
If you don't like flying, I advise you to skip this little secret. Planes have a Minimum Equipment List (M.E.L.). This is a list of parts of the aircraft that may break during a flight. If a part that is on this list breaks, the aircraft may take off as normal. Parts on this list include headlights. If they are broken, the flight is only used as a 'daytime flight'.
#4 Missing baggage
You sometimes hear that a suitcase or bag has not been checked in correctly for a flight. This is (more often than you think) due to old travel tags that are still attached to the luggage. A scanner reads the old tag and sends the case to the destination on it. It is often too late by the time the suitcase is determined to be missing. Tip from flight crew: make sure your suitcase has no old tags attached before you check it in.
#5 Great urgency
A member of a flight crew told the story of a traveler who tried to reserve the bathroom as a private cabin. He stayed in the bathroom for a very long time and did not respond to knocking on the door. Fortunately, there is an additional small door handle located inside the toilet sign that the cabin crew can use to open the door. Locking yourself in the bathroom is not a suitable way to get away from your traveling companions.
#6 Duct tape
Duct tape is very useful. It is water-resistant and sticks to almost everything. Aircraft engineers have a special type of duct tape that they can use to make minor repairs to the aircraft. If you see an employee with a roll of silver duct tape, don't worry. This tape is used to make the aircraft more aerodynamic or to perform minor repairs. The tape has been specially developed for aviation.
Did you know that if your European flight is delayed by more than 3 hours, you are entitled to compensation? In fact, after 5 hours the airline must offer you a free meal, and after 8 hours, free accommodation and transport to your destination. Read more about the right to compensation for delays.
#8 Guard channel
Aircraft pilots are constantly connected via radio. This is necessary to have direct contact with air traffic controllers. There is also something called the 'guard channel'. This channel is intended to send emergency calls to all aircraft and air traffic controllers, and is, therefore, always open. However, this channel is rarely ever used today. This is why some pilots use it a little more creatively. If you listen to this channel, you can sometimes hear pilots joking and laughing with each other. Sometimes a pilot makes a mistake and uses this channel to communicate before landing. In the video below you can see what happens:
#9 Cabin crew cabin
Staff have their own cabin on longer flights where they can retreat. In this cabin, you will find a queen bed, a sink to freshen up and extra seats. This cabin is located above the cabin where the passengers sit and is always out of sight of travelers.
So, we have learned more about flying! It is, of course, possible that some of these facts do not apply to all airlines.
Do you want to travel by plane? Book your flight today and amaze your fellow travelers your new knowledge!