I will admit, I’ve never really thought about what goes on behind-the-scenes in an airplane. I just sit in my seat and put in my headphones for the duration of the flight. A regular passenger, one might say. However, I quite enjoy seeing what goes on. I mean, I guess it’s one way to pass the time. So much so, I would often ask my friends, who all work on different airlines, if they have any stories or insight from their time as cabin crew. Some of the myths circling around about airplane life were squashed, whilst other rumours were confirmed. With the experiences of my friends as cabin crew, some research from the web and my experiences as a passenger, I just knew I had to write this post! Buckle up (hehe) for the inside scoop on air travel.
Specially Requested Meals Get Served First?
This was one of the myths I had always heard about, but never paid much attention to. I never really order food from planes because of my food allergies however, for the purpose of post, I wanted to check out whether my friend’s statement of ‘special meals given first’ was true. Well, it was. Prior to my flight, I requested for a dairy-free meal. This was for a long-haul trip where food was included in the ticket price. To my surprise, my clearly-labelled dairy-free meal was delivered to me first. The air hostess who handed my food mentioned special meals were served earlier to not cause confusion, when I asked about it. Oh, and you don’t actually need to be veggie if you simply prefer the veggie option. Most flights usually ask you to request special meals at least 48 hours ahead, which gives time to ensure everyone is catered for.
Speaking Of Food, Why Is Ordering Tea Or Coffee Not Advised?
Apart from the obvious risk of spillage, that is. As soon as I saw an ex-cabin crew influencer mention on her IG story that hot drinks should never be ordered, I rang my friend immediately to discuss. She burst out laughing. ‘Yaz, where do you think the water comes from?’. She had a point. Apparently, hot drinks are made using the the same water in bathroom tanks/taps. These pipes rarely get cleaned too. Obviously, I never imagined water from a plane to be the most purest of forms but to hear even cabin crew don’t drink tap water amongst themselves was interesting. Guess 5 euros for a bottle of juice sounds more appealing after all haha.
What Does Leaving The Window Shutters Up Do?
I did have a few guesses, and I was kinda close. It turns out, leaving the window shutters open during landing and take-off is a genuine safety feature. This is because a clear view allows staff and passengers to assess their surroundings in an emergency. As cabin crew explained, take-off and landing are typically periods where incidents may occur the most.
Don’t Put Your Belongings In The Seat Pocket In Front Of You!
I’ve definitely added my magazine into one of these pockets before, and probably a bottle of water too. However, my friends ALL agreed that this should be avoided as seat pockets aren’t always thoroughly deep-cleaned, particularly if the plane has another destination to reach. So, you can imagine the condition of these pockets worsens with every new batch of passengers. One of my friends mentioned all the usual culprits can be found in these pockets, such as half-chewed gum sticks, old tissues and diapers. Yup. It doesn’t stop there though, another one of my friends mentioned apple cores and underwear are frequently found in those pockets too. Yikes.
Face Feels Heavy? It’s Due To Science
If you wear makeup on a plane, you’ll know what I’m talking about. There is almost no other way to explain it other than your face feeling like it is almost separating from your makeup? This is due to cabin air. Some research online from an article featured in Allure (2016) mentioned increased oil production is due to our skin trying to balance dry cabin air. This is why makeup almost feels like it just sits on your face, rather than blends. As you can imagine base makeup, such as foundation or concealer, tends to be the worst culprits for contributing to an overly dewy look. I love a glowy look, but airplane glow is not IT! That’s why, when I travel, I skip base makeup entirely and rely on powder cosmetics. Blotting papers are pretty useful too.
Don’t Always Assume Packaged = New, When It Comes to Accessories
I am talking about things like blankets or headphones. I get it, when you are tired you’ll hardly start investigating any freebies given to you during your flight. I mean, it’s in packaging so it must be new right? Right?! Well… actually not really. Obviously, airplanes don’t have endless supplies of new blankets for everyone. In theory, blankets are washed and re-packaged but the length of time between disinfecting these blankets can vary wildly, particularly amongst airline. To add to this, headphones are also re-packaged. One of my friends suggested taking out the foam part of the headphone if you find yourself borrowing the accessory during a flight. Better yet, don’t forget your own haha!
Before I wrap up this post, I’ll add an image from my IG which made me giggle. Until then, see you later!