For obvious reasons, some airline policies aren’t disclosed – none the less there is an intent to make certain internal rules of organizing the flight known to the passengers or the general public. Is it now known that some airlines do not count the time which a crew spends performing their duties – regarding the preparation for the flight till the moment of the take-off – as working hours? Both the pilots and the flight attendants are only starting getting paid when the plane is in the air. While that practice does not occur in the European Union, it is very common in the United States. So don’t be surprised when you’ll experience a third delayed flight in a row while traveling across America – depending on the airline, the flight crew is often paid extra if their flight is delayed – that’s why sometimes they will do anything to make your arrival to the terminal as late as possible, just to compensate themselves for the hours they were working for free.
But of course, that’s not the only thing which could explain some strange occurrences which happened during your last flight. And it’s the reason why we gathered some more unknown facts that you probably would want to be aware of before your next flight.
If the bomb threat occurs while flying far offshore… you won’t know about it
In fact, when a major security threat occurs on a plane, flying high above the ocean – and far from any inhabited land – notifying the passengers about the incident isn’t a common practice, to say the least. That is because in such a situation there’s – obviously – no possibility to make an emergency landing. What’s more, it could be hours before there would be hope to reach the nearest airport or even a single suitable airstrip. So here we are in the situation when posing any additional panic in the plane cabin really would not make any sense.
Sometimes you are expected to miss your meal
On long-haul overnight flights, the attendants often try to delay meal service as long as they can, hoping that more passengers will fall asleep so they won’t need to be served. If you have recently overslept your late inflight dinner a couple of times in a row, you might think that there is an unfortunate coincidence involved, but that’s not necessarily true. This not-widely-documented flight crew’s hack is obviously very easy to perform and while some of us already experienced something like that while using other transport facilities – such as trains or ferry service – recent testimonies made by anonymous or already retired flight attendants confirm that the alleged trick we previously only suspected of, is, in fact, applied as a common practice.
If you hear somebody mentioning Jim Wilson… it’s most probably a dead passenger they are talking about
It’s been reported that at least a few airlines have their personnel agreed to use nickname Jim Wilson for the dead body that is carried onboard. And the dead body is not necessarily located in a secured casked designated for transportation of human remains somewhere in a cargo hold. With the number of mid-flight deaths related to natural causes inevitably increasing due to the rising amount of air travel and even more elder travelers for years to come, there already are in-house policies regarding how the cabin crew should act in the event of a passenger death mid-flight. While there’s no genuine official policy on such matter that already has been leaked, some actual accounts state that the body of the deceased is moved to the first or business class – which is often less crowded – covered in a blanket or is left in the initial place while passengers occupying adjacent seats are reseated or offered an upgrade.
Some air carriers – such as Singapore Airlines – formerly even had so-called ‘corpse cupboards’ – designated lockers where the body of suddenly deceased passenger could be stored until landing. But such ‘cupboards’ are long gone – along with airline’s A340-500 planes which were one of the few passenger jets truly able to accommodate such ‘facility’.
Oxygen masks are designated to provide the flow only for about 15 minutes
If you thought that in case of emergency – such as cabin depressurization – you’ll fly with the oxygen mask on up to the point of landing, well, you’re wrong. As a matter of fact, in most cases where the need for an aircraft emergency oxygen system arises, you can leave your mask on till the long-awaited touchdown. But by that time there certainly wouldn’t be any oxygen flow anymore. That’s because the system is designed only to supply the oxygen for about 15 minutes – quite often, even less.
Theoretically, it’s the time which should be enough for the pilots to reach the safe altitude where the air is not that thin and oxygen levels are high enough to breathe normally without any additional help. Usually, it means that the crew needs to descend to the altitude of 2,400 m while initially cruising above 11 000 m. Such time is surely enough for a maneuver like that, but of course, the descent will be rapid. So do not be afraid because the plane is literally falling from the sky – because, in fact, it is – but the whole tumble is under control and is happening just because the pilots are doing their job.
Nobody washes pillows or blankets – no matter how fresh they look
The majority of air carriers who serve the Transatlantic route or the patch across Eurasia – and most probably the one you will choose on your next long-haul flight – will hand you a blanket and probably even a pillow to make your lengthy trip at least a little bit more comfortable. But unless you travel first-class with one of the five-star airlines, do not expect that any of the amenities will be in the form of a fresh and new item – no matter how it looks.
It’s an even worse story with shorter flights when a single plane can perform three, four or even more flights per day. There is a basic practice for cleaning an interior of the airplane between each flight, but it usually only involves collecting rubbish and – unless you are dealing with some ultra-low-cost carrier – a vacuum cleaning. So if you want to be the first one who touches that blanket today – better choose the earliest flight in the morning: this will make the necessity of waking up so early at least a bit more rewarding.
A lavatory door can be easily unlocked from the outside
For obvious security reasons, the restroom on every plane is designed in such a way that the lavatory door can be opened by unlocking it from the outside. That, of course, may seem completely reasonable – but the really surprising thing here is that you may unlock the lavatory door on almost every plane more easily than you think. The fact is, it usually doesn’t require a key or any kind of tools – just look for the lock mechanism which is usually not-too-well hidden behind the no smoking badge. It should let you unlock the door simply by sliding the bolt after lifting the flap. While there is a reason for you not to know about it, in some situations this information might be really helpful. Just don’t forget to be a good passenger and avoid misuse of such knowledge.
First aid kit in your car can not compare with those onboard the airplanes
Probably no one will be surprised to learn that the cabin crew serving your flight consists of real first-aid experts – in all likelihood, even better than you. But there usually is much more basic medicines stored onboard than one can expect. From a wide range of painkillers to even antacids in case you will need to quench your lingering airport heartburn – or acid reflux. And if you ever get hurt during a mid-aisle accident or severe turbulence, flight attendants are also really good at making ice packs for injuries. You’ll be surprised how good.
Short-term babysitting is usually included in your ticket price
No airline will ever try to deny that passengers traveling with small children need to use the lavatory – no less than others. Luckily, most flight attendants are more than happy to assist parents in need when such situations occur. That also applies when – especially on a longer flight – a parent, holding a baby on their lap needs to stretch his or her legs at least for a short period of time. A former flight attendant Beth Blair once stated, that watching children was one of her favorite things to do during the whole flight, adding that “For safety reasons, most airlines ask flight attendants to sit in the aisle passenger seat so they’re not standing and holding a baby.”
What else? There used to be a nice tradition in the West when the little ones were given wing pins to commemorate their flight. It is now a faded tradition, but while traveling somewhere in the United States with one of the major airlines which are known to be proud of their decades-long heritage, you can still try to ask if a flight attendant has one to award your child. While no new wing pins are issued nowadays without a very special occasion, it is known that they still could be stashed somewhere – probably even near the airplane models for on-board sale.
Pilots can not share their meals with each other
It is quite a wide-known fact now that on most longer flights pilots and co-pilot are served different meals in case one of them would experience any kind of food poisoning. That way the other would still be able to safely operate the aircraft. What is more, these rules often state that a pilot can not even give co-pilot a bite of their snack to taste – and vise Versa. And while a lot of major airlines, in fact, take security seriously and do really follow this guideline, some air carriers find it impossible to string along with it – mainly due to operational reasons. United Airlines captain Laura Russo once stated that while such precept is an obviously clever idea, “meals between pilots are often identical, and there is no stipulation otherwise.”
After asking you to turn the flight mode on, the flight attendant will still use his phone
There is more than one reason for not using your phone during the flight. While the primary cause for the mobile phone ban onboard obviously relates to security concerns, it is well known that no small personal electronic device can do any significant harm to the sophisticated plane communication equipment or whichever onboard hardware can react inappropriately to electromagnetic effects all of us experience on the ground.
That’s why nowadays air travelers are complaining about the ban louder and louder, stating that it’s basically just the way airlines are trying to earn more from paid onboard services like in-flight wi-fi or other means of communication for use of which air carrier charges you five to twenty percent above you ticket price – or sometimes even more. And it’s another reason for such dissatisfied passengers to grumble at the flight attendants who continue texting after telling the whole cabin to ‘turn on flight mode now’ – because, yes, they usually are not obliged to do the same.
You can get the compensation up to €600 for a delayed, cancelled or overbooked flight
But there is still one more thing that airlines sometimes won’t tell you about. When you experience a disruption in your journey due to flight delay, cancellation or overbooking, the air carrier is obliged to provide you the assistance along with a clear statement of your rights – including the right to claim compensation for a flight disruption from the airline. Such air passenger rights and the obligations of airlines are set in EU law by Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004. It applies to all passengers who departed from any airport within the EU or arrived in the EU with an airline registered in the European Union.
The document details the rules on flight compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding, cancellation or lengthy delays. The compensation for a disrupted flight ranges from €250 to €600 per passenger. The amount depends on the flight distance – the longer the distance, the higher the compensation amount. The shorter flights which do not exceed a distance of 1500 km are worth €250 while those ranging from 1500 km to 3500 km are the subject of compensation in the amount of €400. And if the flight distance was over 3500 km in length, the compensation can be up to €600.
So if you recently experienced a flight delay, cancellation or overbooking, contact flight compensation company Skycop, which is dedicated to helping every passenger who faced a flight disruption get the compensation they deserve. Fill our claim form now to find out if your flight is eligible for compensation – it’s completely free.