Last updated: 07:00 AM ET, Thu November 05 2015

More Secrets From The Airline And Airport World

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | November 05, 2015

More Secrets From The Airline And Airport World

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

We’re baaaaaaaaaack … with more tips and secrets about how best to navigate airports and airlines to make the travel experience less stressful and, dare we say, more enjoyable?

Eariler this year, TravelPulse brought you 5 Secrets and Tips about airline travel, and it was so much fun and so well-received we did it again with 5 More Secrets.

But you know there are more than just 10 secrets and tips about flying, right?

So here are a few more you should know. Maybe they’ll help you on your next trip or, maybe, like staying at a Holiday Inn, it will just make you smarter in general.

5) NO TAKEOFF, NO PAY. Flight attendants get a bad rep sometimes for being indifferent, but that’s really not true. You need to look at it from their perspective. They are part babysitter, part security, in charge of taking care of hundreds of people in cramped quarters flying six to seven miles in the sky.

And know this about your flight attendant – he or she is not getting paid until that plane is in the air. That’s right, for every greeting when you step onboard, for every cold drink, for every bit of help with finding your seat or a spot in the overhead bins, the flight attendant doesn’t get paid until the aircraft pulls away from the gate.

4) NOT ALL SEATS ARE CREATED EQUAL. Leg room – we all want it, we all crave it. Not all of us get it. Unless, of course, you want to pay extra for the privilege (but even then it’s not guaranteed). Not all seats are created equal, so if this is important to you – and it should be – do your homework. As this Wall Street Journal video shows, even the seats on the same type of plan are not always configured the same.

3) YOU HAVE 15 MINUTES OF AIR. If, for some reason, the air masks need to deploy on a plane, you have 15 minutes of oxygen. That’s it; 15 minutes from the moment they are pulled down and activated. The good news is, that’s more than enough time for the pilot to put the aircraft into a slow descent and guide it to a safe altitude where everybody can breathe normally on their own.

2) LONG FLIGHT? CATCHING SOME Z’s? SO IS YOUR PILOT. For many people, the constant hum of the engines on an airplane is like white noise – it lulls them to sleep. For pilots, catching a few Z’s while turning over the controls to the other pilot in the cockpit is all part of a long day.

“Our work rules allow us to be on duty 16 hours without a break. That's many more hours than a truck driver. And unlike a truck driver, who can pull over at the next rest stop, we can't pull over at the next cloud,” a captain at a major airline told Reader’s Digest. Said John reaves, airline accident lawyer and former airline captain: “Do pilots sleep in (the cockpit)? Definitely. Sometimes it's just a ten-minute catnap, but it happens.”

1) SHIP THAT BAG. Especially around the holidays, the last thing you want to do is suffer through an interminable wait at the luggage carousel and then lug all those bags. Ever think about shipping ahead? Especially if you’re going to a private home – friends, relatives, etc.) and someone can accept the bags as shipment, you can definitely find some reputable shipping companies who specialize in taking care of your luggage for you. A little more expensive, but it might be worth it. 


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