We don’t really think about what goes into travelling by plane when we head abroad. For us, it’s a case of nothing more than hopping aboard and letting the pilot ferry us to our next destination. But what really goes on behind the scenes? Let’s explore five secrets you didn’t know about planes.
1. Electronics can’t crash the plane on their own
Contrary to what you’ve been told, switching on your mobile phone at any point of the journey won’t outright cause the plane to crash. Navigational instruments work on a different frequency to mobile devices, so there shouldn’t be any chance of disrupting them.
They do, however, have the potential to interfere with the signal the pilots are receiving from ground control. This can cause them to miss important information and, as such, have equally deadly consequences. Listen to the warnings and turn off your phones (or at least put them on airplane mode).
2. Dead bodies travel with you
Disturbingly, it’s not totally uncommon for the deceased to travel on commercial flights with you. Some people die very far away from where they’re going to be buried – which means their remains need to be transported overseas.
If you hear a member of staff referring to something as HR on the radios, this quite literally means they’re talking about “human remains”. They’ll be stored safely in the cargo hold in large wooden boxes.
3. Plane staff have codes
When you’re hurtling through the air every day of your life from one destination to the next, it’s hardly a surprise you might start to get a little bored of the same routine. Air hosts and hostesses alleviate this boredom by playing games with passengers.
If you ever hear one of them referring to “Bob in five-delta”, this means they think the passenger sitting in seat 5D is the best-looking on board. This code isn’t just used for fun however, with attentions drawn to passengers who have the potential to cause an incident.
4. Lights dimmed for a reason
You’ve probably noticed the lights inside the cabin dimming shortly before take-off and landing. This is a means of ensuring your eyes are fully adjusted to the conditions in case of an emergency which sees you needing to vacate the plane.
If it’s evening when the incident occurs, you’ll be at a major disadvantage if you need to take some time to accustom yourself to the brightness levels. This step seems simple, but it can save countless lives.
5. Your behaviour decides your seat
If you’re travelling on your own or in a very small group, how you act at check-in will have a huge say in where you eventually find yourself seated on the flight itself.
If you’re rude to the staff working on the desk, there’s a very good chance they’ll purposefully seat you in an area which has been circled to highlight the presence of young children. Expect to be next to a screaming baby if you yourself are acting up before boarding.
Have your eyes been opened to the hidden world of planes? Remember to bear some of these factors in mind when you next take a trip aboard an aircraft. It may change how you perceive your journey.