Gate lice: is a term airline workers use for the people who gather around the gate right before boarding so they can be first on the plane. “Oh, the gate lice are thick today.”
“Remember this before you complain about the cost of a ticket: Fares today are about the same as they were in the 1980s.” -Patrick Smith
“Most people get sick after traveling not because of what they breathe but because of what they touch. Always assume that the tray table and the button to push the seat back have not been wiped down, though we do wipe down the lavatory.” -Patrick Smith
“The general flow of air in any airplane is from front to back. So if you’re really concerned about breathing the freshest possible air or not getting too hot, sit as close to the front as you can. Planes are generally warmest in the back.” -Tech pilot at a regional airline, Texas
“Cold on the airplane? Tell your flight attendant. We’re in a constant battle with them over the temperature. They’re moving all the time, up and down the aisles, so they are always calling and saying, ‘Turn up the air.’ But most passengers I know are freezing.”
“We ask you to put up the window shade so the flight attendants can see outside in an emergency, to assess if one side is better for an evacuation. It also lets light into the cabin if it goes dark and helps passengers get oriented if the plane flips or rolls over.” -Patrick Smith
Advice for Nervous Fliers
“The smoothest place to sit is often over or near the wing. The bumpiest place to sit is in the back. A plane is like a seesaw. If you’re in the middle, you don’t move as much.” -Patrick Smith
“If you’re a nervous flier, book a morning flight. The heating of the ground later causes bumpier air, and it’s much more likely to thunderstorm in the afternoon.”
“Pilots find it perplexing that so many people are afraid of turbulence. It’s all but impossible for turbulence to cause a crash. We avoid turbulence not because we’re afraid the wing is going to fall off but because it’s annoying.” -Patrick Smith
“It’s one thing if the pilot puts the seat belt sign on for the passengers. But if he tells the flight attendants to sit down, you’d better listen. That means there’s some serious turbulence ahead.” -John Greaves, airline accident lawyer and former airline captain, Los Angeles
“Cabin air is not as dirty as people think. A portion of the air is recirculated because that helps to reduce humidity. But it’s run through hospital-quality HEPA filters, and it’s actually cleaner than the air found in most public buildings.” -Patrick Smith, commercial pilot and author,
Great stuff, I love things like this...little snippets of insider info! I would LOVE to know more about what ships crew think of some..if not all passengers & what happens to peoples' food when they regularly send it back.
Some answer questions...I also question answers
Two of my best friends are pilots for American and I can echo that the "least" bumpy area on a plane is over the wing or the middle of the aircraft. Turbulence, especially clear air turbulence, isn't really a problem that's going to make you crash unless the pilot is an idiot and flies directly into a thunderhead.
My first cousin is also a maintenance supervisor for Delta and laughs about the allegations of the "air quality" on planes. Most of the air is pulled in from outside and that, and the recirculated air and oxygen, is heavily filtered. There is no control over having "Typhoid Mary" or "Swine Flu Flo" sitting next to you but the air isn't the problem. They do not sanitize the tray tables, buttons or other things on the plane. I use a Lysol Wipe to wipe down the tray table.
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