It seems as though the airlines cannot keep their business out of the news headlines this year; from dragging passengers off flights to escorting a family of four off a plane ride home. Passengers have their smart phones ready to capture any slip-up the airline and crew might have, and tensions between customers and airlines are on the rise.
Airline Workers Tell All
Their employers might not be happy with this one… because here’s a list of airline secrets, leaked by former (and some current) workers.
Cookies Are Costing You Serious Money
It is a smart idea to clear your cookies on your computer or smart phone before booking a flight. Have you ever experienced looking up a flight and then an hour later when you check back to book it, the prices are mysteriously higher? Your cookies may be the reason why. Browsers track your activity and a few booking sites might increase their price depending on demand.
Don’t Forget Your Headphones
Next time you travel, be sure to bring your own headphones. Airline issued headphones are sometimes free, and sometimes not. And lets be honest, you’re never going to reuse those flimsy things. Depending on the length of your flight, there’s more than likely in-flight entertainment that you’ll want to view. You wouldn’t want to have to pay for headphones to enjoy the movie.
You Want To See A Dead Body?
Plenty of freight gets delivered on commercial flights. Via radio, one of the freight items is called HR which is code for something very disturbing. HR means Human Remains. The reason for this is because people pass away far from where they wished to be buried. They have to get there somehow. They’re packed away well in wood-framed boxes, so you would never know.
Download The Airline’s App
One great idea is to download the app of the airline you are flying with. You will receive live updates including flight delays or changes to your flight. It is all paperless so you can enjoy boarding with a tad more ease. A bonus to it being paperless is you will also be saving trees.
Become A Social Media Genius
A great way to potentially save money is to start following airlines on social media accounts. Facebook, Twitter or Instagram are the best places to start your following. The advantage here is that many airlines like to post deals or promotional codes for flights on their social media to gain a larger audience. Be sure to follow them so you don’t miss out on anything.
Don’t Drink The Coffee!
Former airline attendant Kelly Payne warns travelers not to drink the coffee served on their flight. “It isn’t made with bottled water, and let’s just say that the airplane’s potable water isn’t very desirable,” she said in her article for The Huffington Post. Hmm, seems like it could still be okay, you may think. But then she continues. “The valves for cleaning out the lavatory waste and filling the clean water are very close to each other and sometimes serviced by the same guy… at the same time.” Yep. Never drinking it again.
Be Nice To Check-In Staff
It is not a smart thing to do to be rude or disgusting to a check-in staff person. They have the ability to determine where you sit. If you’re a jerk and there’s a slew of babies on board, they just might sit you right in the thick of the crying and fussing. Even if they smile to your face once you have been rude to them, you don’t know what is awaiting you on that plane.
Airlines Sometimes Pay the Difference
If you are ever put in a position where your flight is delayed and you have to switch flight carriers, don’t fret. The original airline will cover the cost that the new airline might have tallied in because they have to, not because they are nice. Meaning if there is only a first class seat left, then it is yours free of charge.
Tips Are Accepted
Some do not know that flight attendants can accept tips. And not only do they accept them, they greatly appreciate them, too. Those tips can also go a long way in getting you first-class treatment for the rest of the flight. I mean a dollar might not get you far, but do not be afraid to test your luck by tipping. At the very least, you’ll make someone’s day.
Keeping Your Gifts under Wraps
Going home for the holidays is a tradition many look forward to. One such tradition is going home for Christmas. If you’re going home for the holidays, you might want to reconsider wrapping your gifts ahead of time. Airport security may have to unwrap and take a gander at your items. Maybe having a gift bag makes more sense.
Airlines might be holding off on how much they say they will pay if your luggage is delayed. The usual accommodation is $25 or $50 a day. The Department of Transportation or DOT says that amount is not enough if you are to miss a wedding are an important business meeting. These companies can owe you up to $3,300 in liability!
Mix and Match Your Flights
To optimize your travel deals, try avoiding a round-trip ticket and get two individual one-way trips. If you feel like clicking through different airlines and doing the math to see if two different tickets will come out to less then a round-trip ticket, then do it. You could end up saving more than you think.
No Voucher, Cash Please
Next time you are offered a voucher, go for the money instead. A voucher is the airline’s way of not giving you actual cash. If for whatever reason you are booted from your flight, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) has compensation rules that can guarantee you up to $1,300 in cash if the airline does not rearrange plans within two hours of your flight. Another thing to note is that is they are obligated to inform the traveler that he or she can get a check on the spot.
Pick the Right Line
There are often two lines to wait in for security check: the first class line and the economy passenger line. It is all smoke and illusions and completely an airline thing. TSA does not care where or how you’re flying, so feel free to step up to the first class line if it is shorter than the line you’re are currently in.
Don’t Go To the Airport Starbucks
Starbucks may be delicious and addicting, but it could be better for you if you skip that long line. For one, you can get free coffee on your flight so you would be saving money. Secondly, if you are flying Alaska Airlines or Delta, you get a complimentary Starbucks as part of their services.
Be Weary of the Blankets and Pillows
The only time those pillows and blankets you request are clean is during the first flight of the day. That’s bad news for the germophobes out there. It is likely they already know about this startling fact, but this is to those who are unaware. You might want to bring an extra jacket or headrest next time.
Airlines Reward Programs
Whether you fly often or not, it is still valuable to sign up for the many rewards programs offered by airlines. If you make use of one of these programs, after several flights you might have just secured enough miles or points for a low cost or free flight. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you may not have to use the same airline you signed up the rewards program with.
To avoid having to worry about the safety of your luggage that you would ordinarily check in, avoid that hassle altogether and pack like a pro. Airlines usually allow for one carry-on and another small bag (a backpack or large purse of some sort). Also if you manage to avoid checking a bag, you’ll also get to miss the hassle of having to wait in lines.
Time To Exit
If your plane is either about to leave or it has just landed, you cannot be on that plane for longer than three hours. If you wish to get off, you are more than welcome after that time frame. Flight attendants are also required to keep the food and water cart going up and down the aisle after two hours of delay. You’ll be fed for at least an hour, don’t worry.
These Three Days of the Week Are Cheap
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday are the days to look for. Airlines have fewer business passengers on these days of the week, and therefore they have a surplus of seats. Beware, don’t misinterpret this fact with the logic that buying a ticket on the Tuesday before your flight will result in lower airfare. That’s a completely different thing. Ideally, you would buy in advance to travel on one of these days.
Empty Water Bottle
Want to save money at the airport? Pack an empty water bottle. In most cases, you would have to throw away a bottle with contents in it, so to avoid that and spending a ridiculous amount on a bottle from the airport, just bring an empty bottle. Airports have water fountains where you can fill your empty one right up.
24 Hours To Cancel
For majority airlines, you can cancel or change your ticket up to seven days prior to your scheduled date of travel and get a refund. An exception is American Airlines, which alternatively allows you to hold a ticket up to 24 hours at the price you see. Also, you have to book directly with the airline’s website, and not through a third-party booking site.
Being Rude Gets You Nowhere
Being a pain in the you know what does not get you anywhere in life. And it surely doesn’t help while flying. Even if there is a flight upgrade available, flight attendants will not give it to you. Another note, if you are a frequent flyer, it will be noted on your account you are troublesome.
Along the lines of the pillows and blankets, if you have ever put your food on your tray and eaten, or even touched your tray at all, you have more than likely just eaten baby poo. More dirty items are laid out on those trays than food. And the trays are likely only cleaned once a day.
Pilots Who Sleep
Wouldn’t it be great to a nap while on the job? If you have (or want to get) the proper education and capability to be away from your family for extended periods of time, you should try being a pilot. Essentially, the plane flies itself, especially during long flights. The takeoff and landing are what pilots are mostly needed for.
When Lightning Strikes
Airplanes are struck by lightening more times than one would think. If the lights start to flicker that could easily indicate your flight has just been struck by lightening. In any case, pilots are trained on what to do if struck by lightening. Passengers have little to worry about when it comes to that.
Pilots Aren’t Always Experienced
A pilot has to start somewhere, right? In some cases, you may have a pilot who has not logged many hours at all making him a rookie. The flight is still safe, so do not think otherwise. When your flight gets a rookie pilot it usually because the airline subcontracted a pilot because the usual pilot could not come in.
As if rainy days or high winds weren’t already enough to worry about. If you are ever flying on a hot day it makes it harder than usual to fly. The landing may be harder or rougher if it is hot outside or if you happen to be in a warm country. Now next time you fly, check for the heat as well as if it’s going to rain.
Folks love traveling during summer vacation. They must also love paying steep prices because flying during those times is quite expensive. It is in your bank account’s best interest to fly during low-season times such as when there is rainy weather.
Never Wait To Check In
One golden rule is to always check in ahead of time! Tons of airlines allow you to check in ahead of time and print your boarding pass. If you only have a carry-on with you, you can travel straight to the security line. Of course, if you had the app you would already know all this information.
If you are not in a rush to get to your next destination, you may volunteer to fly on a later flight. This is if you want to maximize your travel, but nonetheless a pretty cool idea. Some airlines may even offer a voucher and in some cases could be worth more than original flight itself.
Perks of an Attendant
Flight attendants get a perk all flyers wish they had. Besides getting paid to travel places, they get the Holy Grail of flying: free Wi-Fi and usage of their cellphones. They are often using their phones during the entire flight unbeknownst to the casual flyer.
Hurry and Pay
One thing you might not be aware of is that flight attendants do not start getting paid until the flight takes off. If a flight attendant seems to be in a rush with you or is trying to quickly go over safety rules, his or her mind is on trying to get paid. This detail may cause them to be in a rush when it comes to several maintenance duties such as stocking the kitchen.
Threats over the Ocean
Here is something that is sure to shock. If the plane you are on is flying over the ocean and there is a bomb threat reported, passengers will not be notified. You could be reading the latest issue of Time magazine, minding your own business while a bomb threat just took place. You would never know.
Do not accept the first $200 voucher you are offered. Airlines typically keep increasing the offer until they have the right amount of volunteers willing to give up their seats. If they don’t get the amount of volunteers they need and have to bump you involuntarily, insist on cash instead. Remember that you’re entitled to as much as $1,300 in cash.
After waiting in line for 20 minutes at security, it’s finally your turn to walk through the scanner. Quickly, you try to take out your laptop, unbuckle your belt, take everything out of your pockets- the whole song and dance. Don’t forget to take off your shoes! But wait, you are no longer wearing a belt and trying to keep your pants on while taking off your shoes in front of 40 people, it’s basically a disaster waiting to happen. Next time, opt for sandals on your travel day to make security less of a hassle. It’s one less thing to have to juggle.
Pilots Eat Separately
A few airlines don’t allow two pilots flying on the same plane to eat the same food within an hour of each other. Either they have to eat food from a different source, or the other pilot waits a minimum of an hour to make sure the other doesn’t get poisoned or sick. Better to be safe than sorry.
The Right Time To Switch
Are you unsatisfied with your seat selection? Plenty of flyers are, but there is a way to beat the system or at least try. Peep the seat map usually about four days before your flight. That’s when airlines start upgrading some flyers from coach to business and the best of the best seats start to open up.
Do Not Walk Barefoot
Do not ever walk barefoot once on board the plane. Everything including baby urine, blood, vomit, and milk have all been spilled on the floor of a plane. You just read how often they clean the trays and blankets, so how familiar do you think the vacuums are with those floors? The gamble is yours to take.
Have you ever noticed that flight attendants always seem to greet passengers with their hands clasped behind their backs? Turns out that there’s a good reason airline employees do this. Hiding their hands makes it easier to conduct a head count as people enter the plane – they’re keeping count on their fingers!
The Truth About Cellphones
Airlines tell you to keep your cellular devices off for safety reasons. The truth of the matter is, that is a load of cow tail. Cell phones are just really annoying to pilots. If cell phones were to be in use, they would be an annoyance during the descent. This is because the pilot would hear all the interference of each cell phone trying to pick up a signal.