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5 Little Known Air Travel Secrets

There isn't much that we know about planes when we get on board.

You should your boarding pass to the flight attendant who is just at teh entrance to welcome you and points you to your seat.

And next thing you know, the plane is taking off, and you land at your destination.

But what exactly is going on on board?

Here are 5 little known secrets you should know when traveling by plane.

1. No, using your electronics will not crash the plane

Have you ever wondered why you had to turn all your electronic devices off during take-off and landing?

It’s one of the first things we hear when we have finally boarded the plane, but contrary to common belief using your phone on the plane will not make it crash.

As a matter of fact there are no documented cases that prove otherwise, it’s more of a better-safe-than-sorry practice.

The real problem is that it might cause interferences which are likely to make the work of the pilots harder.

That being said, it won't hurt you to get your eyes of the screen of your smartphone for a little while. You'll have plenty of time to look into your favorite travel apps later.

2. The autopilot almost does it all

What we mean by that is pilots usually handle take-off and the landing while leaving the autopilot to take care of the rest. A lot of modern airplanes and airports are also equipped with “autoland” technology that automates the landing process and is typically used in bad weather conditions.

However, it doesn't mean that anyone could fly an aircraft! If you're scared about flying, know that pilots go through hours of training, with regular sessions to refresh their skills.

You are in safe hands: the pilot's, or the machine's.

3. Pilots like to take in-flight snaps for Instagram

So what do pilots do, since they have so much free time on their hands?

Well some of them are just as addicted as social media as you are!

Pilot’s in-flight photos have their own presence on social media and you must agree, they really do have the best seats in the house! Just check out this incredible capture by Santiago Borja taken over the Ecuadorean Amazon.

Santiago Borja in-flight picture

There's a lot of (friendly) competition between Travel instagramers, to know who will get the best shot. When it comes to in-flight pictures, pilots sure have a head start.

4. Pilots are forced to carry as little fuel as possible

With competition growing and air fare prices dropping every minute, airlines are looking to be as cost effective as possible.

Carrying more fuel than you need for a specific journey means higher fuel consumption because of the higher weight of the aircraft. Air carriers would only take what’s needed to make the trip.

As a result, when flight disruptions occur and planes need to stay longer in the air then what was planed, there is a risk that you won't have fuel to reach your destination.

But don't worry: in such cases, the pilots divert the plane to a nearby airport where they can fill up the tank.

And the good news for you is that you might get money to compensate for the delay.

5. Airlines manipulate flight times

In order to increase their on-time flights efficiency, airlines have changed the time needed to make a certain trip.

This way they have a cushion when it comes to flight duration and thus a higher on-time flights rate. If a trip should take 120 minutes the majority of airlines will nowadays allocate 130.

Think about it:

If the itinerary takes longer than it should, the airline still has some margin. This way, you don't even know that the plane was delayed.

In the best case scenario, everything goes well and the plane arrives in advance. Passengers think that the airline was really effective, when all they did was indicate a longer flight time estimate than the real one.

Do you know more air travel secrets?

Let me know in teh comments if you know something we don't! Or if you have a question: we will investigate and get back to you!

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