Airline Employees Share The Secrets To Mastering Air Travel

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Wonder why some airlines operate differently in the air, or why your luggage gets lost? When’s the best time to buy tickets? How to fly your dog? What to do about that annoying aisle armrest, or if the bathroom door is even locked properly? For answers to these and many more air travel questions you’ve got to ask the experts: airline employees of course. The following secrets, tips, and tricks of the trade are courtesy from a number of different airlines employees from various airlines will no doubt, at the most, help you become a better traveler – and at the least, a less confused one.
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The Trick To Aisle Armrests

“You know how all the other armrests can be raised except for the one next to the aisle? Turns out that one can be raised as well via a small button in a divot on the underside of the armrest. Useful if you want to spread out a bit more, though some flight attendants may tell you to put it back in place.” – Virginia L. (Flight Attendant / Cathay Pacific)
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Dog Hate Flying

“If you checked your dog, there’s about a 30 percent chance it’s terrified before it even gets on the plane, who knows how scared it gets during the actual flight. Bag room agents will usually try to comfort a scared animal, but all we can really do is talk to it, so if you write your pet’s name on their carrier it usually helps a lot.” However, cats are chill as hell: “I’ve never seen a cat who was scared in the bag room, cats don’t give a fuck.” – Olivia Y. (Flight Attendant / Air Canada)
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Bathrooms Are Never Fully Locked

“There is a small latch hidden inside the lavatory sign on the bathroom door, which will open the door when pulled, even when it’s locked. Airplane Peekaboo!” – Sandra K. (KLM Flight Attendant)
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Why Luggage Gets Lost So Often

“1. TSA pulled your bag for extra screening and took way too long doing it and got it to the airline like 10 minutes after your flight left.
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Date An Employee To Fly Cheap

“Employees and their families get ‘ID tickets’ (ID is for ‘industry discount’), which means they only pay taxes and fees and nothing for the actual ticket. The airlines basically lets them fly for free. And not just with their own airline, but with every airline in any alliance. The tickets are stand-by tickets, so you’re not guaranteed to get on board, but you get a seat more often than not. The family members can travel on these tickets without the employee. My dad worked for an airline in Star Alliance, so I used to get free tickets with airlines in One World and SkyTeam as well as Star Alliance. I usually traveled in business class, all around the world. A return trip between Europe and Japan was something like 200 USD in business class, and maybe 50 USD in economy. I don’t get any perks anymore, as it was only valid until I turned 25.” – Nancy C (Flight Attendant / KLM)
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When To Buy Tickets

“On average, the cheapest time to BUY a ticket is Tuesday afternoon. The cheapest time to FLY is Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday. This applies to US flights in my experience.” – Kelly M. (Virgin)
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About That Oxygen Mask

“[Oxygen is limited] if the cabin were to depressurize, there is only 12min of oxygen available from the masks, this needs to last for the descent from the depressurization (usually flying at just under 40k feet altitude) to a ‘safe’ altitude of 10k feet, this time includes a hold at 14k feet of around 7 and a half minutes.
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Each Airlines Operates Differently

“One thing most people are surprised to hear is that it’s absolutely true that certain airlines fly their planes differently. Southwest for example tends to climb like bats out of hell, and then request direct routing/shortcuts from us, since they’re above most conflicting traffic. It’s one of their signature tricks, and it usually works. This can cut significant time off the flight. American Airlines on the other hand tends to be gentle for efficiency and passenger comfort, and they always report chop and turbulence when other guys say it’s smooth. Things like this are actually so profound, it can affect how we control traffic. You can usually count on guys like Southwest to climb and descend fast for you, for example.” – Air Traffic Controller for Southwest Airlines
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Your Pilot Isn’t Paid Well

“I know first, second, even 3rd year pilots who are on food stamps because they only make 19k/yr.” – Mike B. (unnamed airline)
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Be Nice

“The nicer you are to us, the more we can do for you. Ran out of beef? Ask politely and we will get you a fillet mignon from first class. Your neighbour is noisy? Tell us nicely and we might be able to get you a better seat. You’re 35k feet in the air but you’d like to know the results of the game? Be nice and we can send a message to ground and ask. More often than not when passengers are aggressive and nasty we’d render minimal service and not extend more help than need be.” – Mira P. (Flight Attendant / Air Canada)
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