Flight Attendants Share 10 Tips on How Not to Screw Up on a Plane

It seems like we know absolutely everything when it comes to flying on a plane. There are clear rules and tips from different blogs and warnings that tell you not to do something, so you feel like there’s nothing else to learn. However, there are still some things that no one tells you, which can improve the quality of your flight significantly.

Bright Side is sharing tips from flight attendants to make your flight as comfortable as possible.

1. Don’t open the window shades when the lights are dimmed during takeoff and landing.

When a plane is landing in the dark, the lights are dimmed to help passengers prepare for a possible emergency. Your eyes will get used to the lighting and you’ll be able to see better outside the plane. So don’t get irritated when you can’t read in such low light.

2. Steer clear of tray tables.

Tray tables are the dirtiest surfaces on a plane. They are often used as diaper stations. If you drop your food on it, it’s better to throw it away. Flight attendants clear tray tables once a day, which is obviously not often enough, especially if a used diaper happened to be sitting on there.

3. Avoid sleeping during takeoffs and landings.

Catching up on sleep seems like a great idea, but it can actually cause serious damage to your ears. Air pressure inside a plane fluctuates during takeoffs and landings. Once your ears feel blocked, it’s necessary to reduce the air pressure in your ears. It’s impossible to do this once you’ve fallen asleep, so you may wake up with eardrum damage or, in the worst-case scenario, hearing loss.

4. Don’t drink fizzy beverages.

It will make you feel weary and sick. Fizzy drinks also cause gas and heartburn. Besides, such drinks are also hard to pour because of how long it takes for the bubbles to disperse. So it’s better to go for still water.

5. Avoid free blankets.

Free blankets harbor all kinds of germs. All pillows and blankets are simply folded and re-used after a flight. No one sanitizes or disinfects them daily. However, it’s still possible to get freshly washed blankets if your flight is the earliest.

6. Don’t order water on a plane, not even ice.

Water on a plane is not as clean as you’d like to think it is, as it comes out of tanks that are tricky to sterilize. Even flight attendants don’t drink it. And, believe it or not, ice is made out of the same water from the tanks. A study tested the waters on the planes in the USA and it showed that 1 out of every 10 planes tested positive for a bacteria called coliform. Many airlines make tea and coffee with the drinking water on airplanes, so avoiding these while flying can keep you healthier.

7. Don’t touch the flush button.

This is one of the dirtiest places on a plane. It’s better to sanitize your hands as soon as you flush the toilet or press the button through a tissue.

8. Never eat eggs on a plane.

Unfortunately, there is no balance between tasty eggs and safe ones. Commercial pilot Laura Einsetler says they’re often undercooked or cooked to the point of being tasteless. She also confessed that she felt terribly sick after eating eggs on a plane.

9. Don’t flush the toilet while you’re sitting on it.

The created suction might suck you in. The thing is, when you press the flush button, you expose the contents to a pneumatic vacuum. They are later stored in a tank which is located on the plane. Of course, you can’t completely go down the hole, but it’s still an unpleasant experience.

10. Refrain from taking pictures or videos on a plane.

Some airlines prohibit taking pictures or videos on board. It can get you in trouble, so check whether the airline policies allow that. Sometimes passengers are thrown off flights or fined. Capturing personal events, however, is allowed. So make sure you don’t have strangers in your photos.

Do you know any other tips? Have you ever screwed up on a plane?

Please note: This article was updated in August 2021 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
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