Collected from loose-lipped pilots, flight attendants and crew members in the business, these “secrets” and tips may shine a new light on flying…
*Pushing that call button for anything short of an emergency will irk the flight attendants. They are constantly running up and down the aisles, try and signal them then if you need something that absolutely can’t wait. For reference, pushing the call button for the attendant to pick up your trash, find out when the plane will land, take your kid’s dirty diaper or ask for seconds on snacks are all no-nos.
*You are a cramped space sharing air with strangers. Sneezing and coughing aren’t the only thing germaphobes should be worried about. Those tray tables are a breeding ground for germs. They do not get wiped down after every flight, but the bathroom does.
*If you are traveling with cranky kids or need extra help, show the crew your appreciation. The Association of Flight Attendants frown on tipping, but discretely insist on slipping him or her a couple bucks. It will be greatly appreciated and may even earn you an extra secret snack, stiff drink or special care. Low on cash? Bring the crew a pre-packaged snack like quality chocolate bars. After boarding is complete, quietly hand the treat to one of the crew members.
*Don’t touch, let alone drink, water on the plane if it didn’t come from a sealed bottle. Tests have repeatedly found that bacteria levels in tap water found on board are higher than U.S. government limits. The holding tanks for water are very rarely cleaned…so that cup of coffee is filled with more than just caffeine.
*The airflow generally moves from front to back. If you want the freshest air, get a seat in the front row.
*Cold? Tell your flight attendant. They are running up and down aisles working up a sweat and are constantly asking for the air to be turned up.
*Those blankets and pillows aren’t the cleanest things on board. After they are used, they get stuffed back in their storage bins.
*On most planes, there is a “secret” way to unlock the lavatory door from the outside. It’s a safety precaution and will catch those people trying to sneak a cigarette or join the Mile High Club.
*Ask, ever so politely with a smile, for that entire can of soda and, usually, the flight attendant will oblige. Just don’t be greedy. If they are running low, don’t be guy who helps himself to two portions of coke.
*Check your seat for the life jacket. They are one of the top things people like to steal as souvenirs.
*Pilots will leave the wing flaps up after landing to signal that the plane is experiencing an emergency.