50 Airline Secrets You'll Wish You Never Knew
We love to think that when up in the air we're in safe hands, that emergencies are rare and behind that cockpit door is a hub of calm professionalism. Well, think again. A new survey of airline pilots reveals some stuff that will make you consider walking from LA to NYC next time you have a business trip. Plus there's some nice stuff, too, so your day's not totally ruined.
The Reader's Digest story asked 17 pilots across the US for some straight answers to questions about flying. Among the best answers:
(1) "There is no safest place to sit. In one accident, the people in the back are dead; in the next, it's the people up front."
(2) "We don't make you stow your laptop because we're worried about electronic interference. It's about having a projectile on your lap. I don't want to get hit in the head by a MacBook going 200 miles per hour."
(3) "Most people don't get sick after traveling because of what they breathe but because of what they touch. Always assume the tray table and button to push the seat back have not been wiped."
(4) You want your pilot to be rested and ready, but the hotels they put us in now are so bad there are many nights I toss and turn. They're loud, they've got bedbugs, and there have been stabbings in the parking lot."
And there are some good tips too: the smoothest place to sit is often over or near the wing, the bumpiest place is the back, because a plane is like a seesaw. Plus, no need to worry too much when the pilot tells you to put your seatbelt on: get anxious when he tells the flight attendants to sit down.
Finally, here's some insider lingo: "gate lice" are those folks who hang around right at the gate before boarding, and the "crotch watch" is the check to make sure we have our seatbelts fastened.We don't know if that makes it ok to tell the hot flight attendant "I'm ready for my crotch watch now", but probably not.