Hot answers tagged

266

I will answer this with a very long answer, since aviation safety is my day to day job. The window shade opening is a part of a long process to prepare the cabin for sudden (unexpected) emergencies. Why is that? Well, cabin crew have only 90 seconds to evacuate all passengers in case of emergencies. The process of evacuation itself should not take more than ...


65

Asked and answered on Aviation.SE. Summary: They're required by US federal aviation regulations. The apparent rationale is: a desperate, or unscrupulous, smoker might (illegally) light a cigarette in the lavatory. If they do, it is good for there to be somewhere safe for them to put the cigarette butt. Otherwise, if they don't see anywhere else to put it, ...


49

I have never before noticed this, but a quick check over several airlines at Seatguru confirmed that other airlines do that as well. The logic behind this is that the letters A and K will always be window seats. The letter K is chosen, because it's the highest that you can go in a normal airplane with 10 seats across (An A380 for instance). I is omitted ...


42

It is not a pleasant situation for both of them - the passenger or the large passenger. It is very uncomfortable for the passenger and totally embarrassing for the large guy. In addition to that, it is uncomfortable and embarrassing for the staff. Unfortunately, there is no one single rule that applies here; each airline has its own policy regarding this. ...


39

All modern aircraft have to go through incredibly stringent safety checks and are essentially equally safe. Accidents are so rare that any apparent differences in aircraft safety are mostly meaningless statistical anomalies. Airfleets.net has a chart of accidents per aircraft type, but it's not easy to make any practical conclusions about it. For example, ...


35

Three reasons for this: The main reason: Passenger comfort. If the light continuously remains on, then if a passenger opens the door of the lavatory when the cabin lights are off, it will fill the cabin with unwanted light. This can be avoided by making sure that the door is closed before turning on the light. Aircraft lavatory doors and door frames are ...


35

Some years ago I was a part of an operating cabin crew in a flight bound to Dubai, it was the time for one of Dubai's festivals. Anyway, at the time we already started the descend and I was positioned at the back, the crew chief called me and asked me to take a walk around and ask people to sit because many are standing! the plane was a narrow-bodied ...


34

It is a hanger, you can hang your jacket or anything similar there. The same exact ones typically available in lavatories for passengers and in galleys for crew members. In the passengers cabin, they are usually available in first or business classes' seats and it comes with a sign: I guess they forgot to add the sign, making it harder for passenger to ...


34

Lavatories (airplane toilets) can be inoperative for many reasons, they could get blocked by someone vomiting in the sink, or by throwing tissues or other objects in either the sink or the toilet seat. Sometimes, when a waste tank is full, or there's a problem in the sensor of the tank giving a wrong signal, all flushes connected to that tank will not work, ...


33

I always have one or two plastic bottles with me. I empty them before I go through security and then re-fill them from a tap in the restroom in the waiting area. I've done this many times, and security never asked about the empty bottles, and even if they do you can explain what they are for.


31

Is it possible? Yes it is, in most airplane models a pointed object (a pen or so) to be inserted in the small manual release opening in the oxygen mask compartment will release that specific mask. Are they released manually for sick passengers? No they are not, the seat oxygen masks are not meant for medical reasons, only for emergency reasons, namely ...


27

It's true that you can often see details of the aircraft on the website now, so you could have some expectations or think you have a contractual agreement to be flown on that aircraft. But in practice, airlines merely promise a best effort to bring you somewhere and can and do do a lot of things (switch airplanes, reschedule, cancel a flight outright, change ...


27

The latitude is less likely to matter than the time of the month. If it is at or near new moon, you will not see the moon at night. The "wrong side of the plane" reason can be seen as a subset of the "small window" reason, so I would say it is a combination of the small window (combined with the plane's orientation) and the point in the lunar cycle at ...


26

While there is plenty of good advice in the other answers, I feel I have some more to offer that is a little less spontaneous. Sleeping on a plane is a learned skill and it is improved by planning, preparation, and practice. You can change the likelihood of sleep from nearly nil to nearly guaranteed, but not if the first time you start to think about it is ...


26

The problem of airplanes is the sheer number of ways in which it differs from your normal sleeping routine: Noise (silence is pretty much impossible) Light (they're never totally off even in "sleep mode") Comfort (unless you sleep on a rock-hard mattress, not the same) Temperature (the cabin tends to be cold on long flights) Peace (interruption from other ...


25

An important factor is that seats closer to an exit improve your chances after a crash landing, in case the plane catches fire (very common) or sinks underwater. Contradicting the Popular Mechanics study, the University of Greenwich found that A seat up to five rows from an exit offers a better than even chance of escaping if there's a fire, ...


25

Airlines' rules clearly indicate that the crew rest areas are only to be used by the crew members, you usually find placards stating that on the doors to these areas. Anyway that doesn't mean it is not possible. These areas are not considered to be high risk areas or so, they contain bunks, emergency equipment and in some cases a seat or two. You can ask the ...


24

In history, there have only been two SSTs (Supersonic transports) around for passengers - the TU-144 and the Concorde. Sadly, neither is available any longer with access to fly on them. So then we look to the two major manufacturers with almost supersonic capabilities. Long considered the fastest passenger plane, the Boeing 747 has several variants, each ...


24

The majority of airline evacuations happen as a result of events during takeoff and landing. The reason to open the windows is to see outside. For example, you do not want to open the emergency exit door over the wing if the wing is on fire. Combine the two and one concludes that it is a good idea to open the windows during takeoff and landing. My source ...


24

I haven't personally seen fireworks from a plane, but there are quite a lot of videos available which do show fireworks, even from high altitudes. This is a video taken at 36000 feet, which should be around cruising altitude. Bright blinking lights can be seen, but they do not really look like fireworks, more like camera flashes. Here is a video showing ...


23

This question is hard to answer, there are many types of crashes. If the plane stalled most likely it will fall down on its tail. If the plane spins then God knows! and if the plane splits into pieces while air borne then no one is safe! Let's talk about normal crash landing where the pilot is forced to land the plane in a desert or a field or any other ...


22

A flight number is simply that: a number for a flight, not a number for a plane. The planes are just an implementation detail to make flights happen.


22

Rather than viewing safety as being a function of the aircraft, it's much more accurate to say safety is a function of the airline. To provide perspective, AirDisaster provides a ranked statistical analysis of selected aircraft by fatal accidents (accurate to 2004, so it omits the more recent models). Even the Concorde, the worst ranked plane, had a fatal ...


20

Yes, you can have that experience in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (JED). The new airport is still under construction and most of the old airport uses stairs to board until now! Anyway, Two daily A380 flights operated by Emirates depart from JED to Dubai (DXB), one in the morning and one in the evening and passengers board these flights using stairs. This is an A380 ...


20

It varies, and flight attendants will often alter it over the course of longer flights as well (for example, on overnight flights they often turn up the temperature by a degree or two). Often there are drafts from the air conditioning, although it's hard to predict exactly where unless you often sit in the same seat on the same plane. The traditional and ...


19

Technically it's entirely possible, and airplane manufacturers release sketches like this regularly. There are three intertwingled main reasons why this hasn't (cough) taken off yet in practice: Airplanes have really tight regulatory safety requirements, including everybody on board being able to evacuate within a certain number of seconds, and this is ...


19

Airlines have the right to change aircraft as they see fit. It is a quite common occurrence. Sometimes because of mechanical issues, sometimes because the passenger load would be better handled by a different aircraft, sometimes because they need to aircraft originally assigned somewhere else, etc etc. While this time you got an older aircraft, it is just ...


18

I think you are confusing aircraft tail number with flight number - the former is a unique registration number for each plane, while the latter simply describes a unique route operated. When airlines operate flights on a codeshare basis, one physical aircraft could be flying the same physical route sold under different flight numbers too!


18

Ignoring the fact that most airlines make certain people wait until the (near) end based on boarding order, etc... Planes are small, cramped things, and many people simply don't like sitting on them for a minute longer than they need to. Boarding an extra 5 minutes later means 5 minutes sitting in the more comfortable (!?) seats in the boarding area, in the ...


18

A non-exit row window seat is just like any other normal seat, except with a view. You have no additional requirements to sit in that seat. The individuals who sit in the exit row have additional responsibilities. They're required to receive a briefing beforehand from the attendant, who will explain what they will be required to do in an emergency ...



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