While airports, flight delays, and sitting in a cramped seat for long periods of time might not be the best way to start a holiday, it’s always worth it in the end. The experiences you cherish, the new sites you will get to see, and the pictures that now live on your Instagram grid forever make long-haul flights seem a lot less challenging than they really are.
Although, there is no denying the excitement that comes with stepping onto the plane and settling in to enjoy a fair few hours of snacks, drinks, and inflight entertainment. What actually goes on behind the scenes of an aircraft? Let’s take a look at some of the most surprising facts about commercial flights:
Pilots have plenty of power
While pilots are obviously the ones making sure that everyone arrives safely at their destinations, pilots also have a fair bit of legal power-up in the sky. International travel regulations give the pilot in command (the PIC) a lot of authority while the plane’s doors are closed. The PIC can put an unruly passenger who presents as a threat to themselves and those around them in restraints. Second, PICs are authorized to issue fines, take a will, and even refuse entry to passengers who look sick. They hold all of the power in the aircraft. Whatever the PIC says must be followed – it is the law.
Your boarding pass contains a lot of information about you
While you know that you need your boarding pass to get through security checks and to eventually board the plane, did you know that it contains quite a bit of information about you? The first two letters before the flight number refer to the airline. The numerical part of the flight number hints at the direction in which you will be flying.
If your flight number is odd, you will be flying north, while even numbers will fly south. Furthermore, the six-character segment of text on your boarding pass is your booking reference. This can be used to recall all of your information, including your age, your destination, and perhaps even your credit card details.
Don’t sit at the back if you’re a nervous flyer
Sitting at the back of the plane is the absolute worst place to be if you are a nervous flyer and you want to play online now to relax. This is because airflow goes from front to back. The chances are likely that if you are seated towards the back, you will feel every little bit of turbulence significantly more so than if you were seated elsewhere. However, if you sit in the middle over the wing, the plane ride with be smoother. A plane is similar to a seesaw, so if you are in the middle, you won’t feel as much.
Pilots must eat different meals
While there are very strict rules with regards to airline food safety it can be hit or miss. Sometimes you feel like you’ve hit the jackpot with a delicious dish – or lost out entirely. Because of the variables, each pilot on the flight needs to eat a different meal in case one of them gets food poisoning. This is to ensure that they don’t fall ill at the same time so that someone is always fully able to operate the aircraft.