TORONTO – Sometimes ignorance is bliss. But for those who prefer to know the ins and outs of flying, Ask Reddit has compiled a list of top secrets confessed by pilots and flight staff that may make travellers think twice before boarding a plane again.
Here are our favourite confessions:
1. Everything old is NOT new again. The in-flight headphones that were given to you at the start of the flight were probably already worn by another passenger. Said one Ask Reddit user: “I used to work for a warehouse that supplied a certain airline with items. The headsets that are given to you are not new, despite being wrapped up. They are taken off the flight, ‘cleaned’ and then packaged again.”
2. Sleeping on the job. Here’s something truly horrifying: it’s been found that 50% of pilots sleep while flying, and that 1/3 of the time one has even woken up to find that their co-pilot is also catching some ZZZ’s.
3. The most important 15 minutes of your life. Once oxygen masks are dropped down, you only have about 15 minutes of oxygen supply. But here’s the good news: 15 minutes is more than enough time for the pilot to descend the plane to a lower altitude with breathable air. However, at the typical flying altitude, passengers pass out in about 15-20 seconds.
4. Why so dim in here? The lights are dimmed during night landings so that in case of an emergency evacuation, your eyes will more easily adjust to the darkness. As such, you’ll be better equipped to collect your bearings once outside of the plane.
5. No food sharing. Pilots are served different meals and are not allowed to swap food items to prevent the unlikely event of food poisoning.
6. Pilots have total control. According to one Ask Reddit confessor, the pilot has almost limitless authority as soon as the aircraft doors are closed. “He is allowed to arrest people, write fines and even take the will of a dying passenger.”
7. Don’t drink the water. A former Lufthansa cargo agent urged passengers to never, EVER drink water on an aircraft that did not come for a bottle. “Don’t even TOUCH IT,” the agent wrote, “the reason being the ports to purge lavatory sh*t and refill the aircraft with potable water are within feet from each other, and sometimes serviced all at once by the same guy.”