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What You Don't Know About Airlines...

Wed, 04/12/2017
Secrets of the Aviation Industry

Even if you’re a frequent flyer, have collected a lot of air miles and think you know everything there is to know about flying, all the tricks and hacks of the airport and the way things work, there is probably still a lot of things that go on behind the scenes that you aren’t aware of. Airport staff and cabin crew get to see a side that you don’t and there are a lot of secrets about airlines, aircraft and airports that come with the job.

Sometimes some of those secrets get out though, and most of them are rather unpleasant…

The cabin crew will take passengers through the safety procedure before every flight, during which they will tell you to make a note of the nearest exit to you, noting the fact that it may be behind you. What they don’t mention however (perhaps not to alarm anybody too much), is the fact that it is well worth counting how many rows there are between you and the exit because if there’s an emergency it might be dark, there might be smoke and you might not be able to see very well…

Duck & cover situations are rare, but if you are in one remember not to interlock your fingers across the back of your head. If something falls and hits them then both of your hands might be hurt and you want at least one hand in an emergency situation!

Sometimes bodies are transported in the cargo hold along with your luggage. And, apparently, some newer planes have a hold in the cabin to keep things out of sight (like people who die on the flight for example).

“Technical delays” are actually the airline’s polite way of saying delays which are caused by passengers (who get angry, arrive late, argue with staff, drunk and disorderly, and so on…).

The most dangerous thing about turbulence is objects flying around the cabin. It’s actually near enough impossible for turbulence to cause a plane crash. A plane crash mid-flight is actually extremely rare, most crashes happen during take-off and landing.

Commercial aircraft can fly with just one engine. And if an engine catches fire it can either be distinguished mid-flight or it will fall off and burn up, it is designed to do so to stop the fire spreading and damaging the wing.

Most people say that one drink in the air is worth two on the ground, and it’s true, altitude does thin your blood meaning you get drunk quicker when flying.

Passengers tend to (most often) use the tray table for eating, sleeping on, resting a laptop on and changing babies’ nappies. Nice.

‘Ramp rats’ is the derogatory name sometimes used by airport personnel for the baggage handlers.

If a passenger is making a flight attendant feel uncomfortable before take-off then the member of staff can tell the pilot, who can easily decide if the passenger should be removed from the flight.

Keep your shoes on, because the floor is no doubt dirty. The chances someone vomited or spilt something right where you are sitting are quite high… Plus planes often only have a short turnaround time so they don’t really get a thorough cleaning.

No wonder airlines don’t want people to know those things!

Another thing they don’t want getting out, is the fact that for delays to, from and inside the EU passengers have set rights. If you flight arrives more than 3 hours late, or is cancelled , then you are entitled to compensation, the amount depends on your flight distance:

1,500km or less within the EU - 250€
1,500km or more within the EU - 400€

1,500km or less between a non-EU and an EU airport - 250€
1,500 to 3,500 km between a non-EU and an EU airport - 400€
over 3,500km between a non-EU and an EU airport - 600€

If you are delayed for over 5 hours then you are also entitled to a refund.

Get Paid When Delayed has been created to help you understand your rights, help you create your personalized claims letter, get in contact with the airline and with a general interest in the welfare and well being of air passengers within the EU.

It’s completely free. Just click Start Your Claim to begin the process, answer the simple questionnaire and generate your claims letter.

There’s even a section for refunds and claims for lost, delayed and damaged baggage: Lost & Found.