I’m planning another trip, this time to NYC. But after what I read recently — an article about confessions from commercial airline pilots and flight attendants — I’m not looking forward to boarding that huge metal tube. I couldn’t resist reading it though, and now, like someone who had extra whipped cream on her hot fudge sundae, I’m regretting it.If you’re planning a trip that requires flying, you may want to skip my blog this week. Now don’t get me wrong; I don’t want to completely burst your bubble about how awesome it is to take flight. So I’ll just poke it a little. Here’s the scoop from those in the know:
Are you aware those cellophane-wrapped headphones haven’t been cleaned since, well…ever? No, they’re simply re-packaged — ear mites, lice, hair grease and all — whatever disgusting thing the previous travelers left behind. That’s it…from now on I bring my own headphones.
Here’s something you might find less than reassuring: 43% of pilots admit to falling asleep during a flight and 33% report waking up to find their co-pilots had fallen asleep as well. I have no words.Those oxygen masks we’re supposed to use in emergencies only hold 15 minutes of oxygen. But that probably doesn’t matter much since we have just 20 seconds at high altitude to put them on before passing out. Shoot, that gives me only 19 seconds to scream my guts out. When you request water, always ask for bottled. Pre-poured water is basically filthy. “It’s not potable by any means,” according to the director of a microbiology lab where it’s tested. Airplane water is housed in very old tanks rarely cleaned and usually lined with green grime. It’s also used in your coffee and tea. So no, those green bits in your water are not pulp from fresh squeezed limes.
If your bag says Fragile, it’s getting thrown even harder. This Side Up will be left upside down. But, as one baggage handler so eloquently put it, “We’ll take special care of your shit” if you have a sticker on your luggage that says, I’m immediately buying one of these.
If you tip the flight attendant after your first drink, you’ll probably drink for free the rest of the flight. Now that’s what I call valuable information.
Pilots say they don’t get paid enough to care if you make your connecting flight. Most of the time they fly slower to make more money. They only fly faster if told to by ATC or if they’re on the going home leg of their flight. So very thoughtful.
Blankets and pillows are refolded and stuffed back into bags between flights. The only fresh ones are on the first flight of the morning. Oh yeah, and eating trays are never sanitized. In a word, yucko.
The majority of domestic flights carry human remains or organs. While bags are being loaded from the tarmac, watch out the window for long boxes marked Head at one end and Extreme Care. And all this time I thought I was flying with golfers.
Planes can glide without engines for a long time (42 miles) which is why most accidents happen during take off and landing. But what if you’re 43 miles from the nearest airport?
So there you have it, a few tidbits from those in the know. I’m now prepared for my NYC trip. I’m staying away from water and sticking with alcohol. I’ll bring my own headphones, blanket and pillow. I’ll make sure I have no connecting flights and will try to be exceptionally loud so as to keep the pilots awake. That sure seems like a lot to remember, doesn’t it?
Hmm…Amtrak is looking better all the time.