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Five Things Airlines Don't Want You to Know
via AOL: http://news.travel.aol.com/201.....u-to-know/
From pilot fatigue to the water you drink onboard, what you should be aware of before catching a flight.
Your captain and crew are often exhausted.
Under current FAA rules, pilots can be scheduled to be on duty for up to 16 hours, eight of which can be flying hours. "On many occasions, I have had a 14-hour day with eight hours 'rest', followed by another 14- or 15-hour day," says the captain.
Your coffee might be made from bacteria-ridden water.
Coffee and tea served in-flight are made from water pumped into the airplane's holding tanks by municipal sources at airports around the country. In effect, water from many different cities and sources mixes together in these tanks as the planes refill upon landing at new airports. Most passengers are unaware that the water used to make their coffee (even that highly touted Starbucks brew) is the same stuff that comes out of the lavatory sinks.
Chemicals from the engine can make their way into cabin air.
In 2009, an undercover investigation by Swiss and German TV networks found contaminated air was a problem in 28 of 31 samples taken from inside cabins. The studies found high levels of a toxin called tricresyl phosphate, a chemical used in modern jet oil with effects that include everything from drowsiness and headaches to neurological problems.
Fewer checked bags means more sandbags in the cargo hold.
Next time the pilot makes an announcement that you're being delayed at the gate while a few extra bags are loaded below, consider what might be being hoisted into the cargo holds instead. Adding sandbags to correct weight and balance in an airplane by providing ballast and redistributing weight has long been a common practice in the airline industry. But ever since the new checked bag fees were introduced on many airlines, with fewer passengers checking bags as a result, there's been an upturn in the need to add ballast before takeoff, particularly on smaller commuter flights that are more sensitive to weight issues.
The lavatories are even nastier than you thought.
Next time you consider heading into the lavatory in your socks -- or worse, bare feet -- reconsider that move. Quick turnarounds mean there is hardly time for more than a cursory wipe-down of the facilities before the next passengers are invited to board.
Eek! I'm taking a plane next week...I wish I never read this!