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240

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 ...


61

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, ...


48

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 ...


38

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, ...


38

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. ...


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 ...


32

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 ...


31

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 planes 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 ...


25

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, ...


23

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 ...


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 ...


23

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 ...


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

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 ...


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

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.


19

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 ...


19

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 ...


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 ...


17

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!


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

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 ...


16

Fly a Russian MiG-29 There is a company MigFlug that offers flights in Russian MiG-29 fighter jets. They offer five locations within Europe, but with the prevention of supersonic flights in Europe, you may have to go for their central Russia location. They actually only advertise near-supersonic speeds, but maybe a few rubels more get you over the ...


16

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 ...


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 ...


16

The courtesy is as simple as leaving the basin dry and tidy for the next passenger. The last thing you want to see is a piece of booger in the sink, a giant spit with some blood or some other bodily fluids there. Other reasons might be: Dry sinks make the lavatories look cleaner, while wet sinks make the lavatories even when are clean they look dirtier. ...



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