11 Secrets About Flying Revealed by Pilots


Flying is one of the most convenient ways to travel, especially if you are going any amount of distance. Perhaps that is why almost 1 million people fly on a daily basis. Although you may love to fly and enjoy the fact that you are getting from here to there quickly, there are also many things about flying that you may not be aware of.

In this post, there are 11 secrets about flying that have been revealed by flight attendants and pilots. Understanding what truly goes on behind the scenes can help put your mind at ease but there are also some shocking things that take place as well.


1. Pilots Get Different Meals – If two pilots are on the flight, they are each going to get a different meal so that food poisoning is avoided. As long as one pilot is healthy, they can land the plane safely. Pilots are not even allowed to share food from each others meal!

2. Tip the Flight Attendant – Most people don’t consider tipping the flight attendant and some flight attendant say that they have never been tipped. If you slip them a tip before the flight, however, it is likely that you will be treated differently than the person sitting next to you.

3. Additional Arm Room – If you are somebody that enjoys sitting in the window seat, you may feel somewhat restricted by the armrest under the window. If you feel underneath the armrest, however, you will find a button near the joint of the arm. Push it and lift up and the arm will be out of your way.

4. Planes Only Need One Engine – Large commercial airplanes typically have multiple engines but it only takes one engine to fly the plane and to land safely. This may either be comforting or terrifying to you, but if all the engines go out except one, you should be fine.

5. Pilots Take Naps – This may sound a little disconcerting, but it is true. Approximately 50% of all pilots admit that they have taken a nap while flying and some do it on a regular basis. Don’t worry, however, that is why the copilot is there.

6. Choose Bottled Water – If you are going to opt for any drink while on the flight, ask for a bottled water. A glass of water or anything made with water, including tea and coffee may not be the best idea. Flight attendants have stated that water for the flight typically comes from an older holding tank and may not be the cleanest option available.

7. Checked Bags Get Beat up – On a large commercial flight, baggage handlers may have to pick up more than 100 bags and put them under the plane. This may require that they, at times, try to put a “round peg in a square hole.” It doesn’t matter how fragile your baggage is, it is going to get beat up when it is put under the plane. If you want your bag to be handled kindly, buy a baggage tag that says “I Love Baggage Handlers.”

8. Hand Sanitizer Is a Must – Although we often see planes being cleaned between flights, they are essentially dirty areas. Anything you touch has already been touched by many people before you so wipe everything down with hand sanitizers, especially the tray, before you use it.

9. Something Will Be Broken – Like any machine, there are going to be some broken parts from time to time and it is likely that something will be broken on the plane during flight. What you may not know is that there are spares for most of the larger pieces and at times, multiple spares. Most of the things that will be broken are everyday items, such as your reading light or a coffee maker.

10. What You Need to Know about Oxygen Masks – Oxygen masks are a temporary fix but fortunately, there is approximately 15 minutes worth of oxygen available for every mask. 15 minutes is plenty of time for a pilot to get the plane down to a lower altitude. You should also know that you have about 20 seconds before you pass out, which is why you put your mask on first and then worry about your child’s mask.

11. Lights Are Dimmed on Purpose – If you’ve ever been on a nighttime flight, you will notice that the lights are dimmed prior to the plane touching down. The real reason why this happens is so that you can get off the plane quickly in the dark in case of an emergency landing. If the lights were still bright, your eyes would need extra time to adjust to the darkness.

Did you learn something? Make sure you share these with others.