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203

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 ...


43

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 ...


35

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, ...


28

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.


23

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 ...


21

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 ...


19

This question is hard to answer, there are many types of crashes. If the plane stalled most likely it will fall down on its aft side. 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 ...


19

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 ...


18

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, ...


18

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 ...


17

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.


17

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 ...


17

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 ...


16

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 ...


16

There's several conditions you'll have to meet to sit in an exit row, such as being in good health. If you meet those, I don't think you have to worry. In the case of an emergency, you'd have to assess the situation outside before opening the window and throwing it out of the plane. You'll be briefed by the flight attendant, so don't worry if you don't ...


15

Personally I've given up, and in some ways, since I did that, I've actually ended up sleeping more - quite the paradox! Don't go onboard PLANNING to sleep. My view is that I'll be settling in for 20-something hours of movies (CHC to LON). I can stay awake pretty well, but find it very difficult to get to sleep sitting up. Anywhere. What I've found as a ...


15

This is a very difficult question to answer in general, because different airlines have different seating configurations, seat pitches, etc. The best thing to do is to check out sites dedicated to airline seating plans, such as: SeatGuru (by far one of the most popular ones) SeatExpert SeatPlans All of these sites are built on a user-submitted database + ...


15

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 ...


14

Airline rules clearly indicated that the crew rest areas are only to be used by the crew, 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 cabin ...


13

This is going to vary strongly from carrier to carrier because as far as I can tell what really matters is how long it's been since the interiors were refurbished (a process airlines do one plane model at a time) and whether the route is considered important by the airline. Sure, you can make some overall opinions about narrowbody (one aisle) vs widebody ...


13

Personally, I wouldn't base my decision based on A330 vs 777 but on the Carrier's service and reputation, and their in-flight entertainment offering.


13

I think the diagram you posted is misleading, I am a qualified cabin crew for 777-300 and all other variations of 777, the last seat in the diagram shows an empty space in the middle which I think is not correct. Out of experience these seats which are located at the end of the aircraft next to the L5 door (71+72 A+C) have limited space due to the shape of ...


13

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 ...


13

They are not going to be 'sucked in'. Pressure increase in the cabin (causing inward pressure) happens fairly gradually as the plane descends. Even in an uncontrolled dive, it will take awhile for a plane to go from cruising altitude (30.000 feet or so) to 8.000 feet at which point the outside and inside pressure is about equal. The only possible rapid ...


13

There is nothing anywhere to say that the airline won't change the flight number or reuse the same flight number to connect different destinations. Case in point: United flight 237 contains 2 different segments flown by 2 different aircraft today so in essence you can look at it as 2 different flights. On occasion airlines change flight numbers for the ...


12

Right, firstly according to Airliners.net forums, each airline has different chime meanings. However, on Yahoo, we have a list of all of the chimes - but presumably it's for a specific plane, and it doesn't say which: Generally they are as follows:- 1 x chime for a passenger call bell 2 x chimes if the crew are calling each other 2 x chimes ...


12

In addition to other answers, I can think of: A psychological advantage, people who hate flying tend to board late. This somehow makes them feel better. If the plane is not full and you are boarding last, you can sit at any empty seat. Passengers who board early usually sit in their assigned seats to avoid any embarrassments unlike people who board late ...


12

As far as I'm aware, at time of writing the only airlines that currently operate both the 787 and the A380 are British Airways and China Southern Airlines, although Etihad will be joining this rather exclusive club by the end of the year, and Korean Air, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Atlantic have all placed firm orders for both. That said, the obvious ...


11

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!


11

There are a few companies in South Africa and I think the USA that offer rides in old military jets to wealthy tourists. Same can be had in Russia and maybe some other former Soviet republics. South African prices for supersonic flights start at 11000 Euro. In central Europe, laws typically prohibit supersonic flight except over open water, and even there ...



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