A Reddit thread featuring confessions by pilots, flight attendants, and other airline workers recently resurfaced on the Internet. We've rounded up some of the scariest things revealed in the comments. Don't blame us if you never want to fly again after reading this. As always, take these Reddit comments with a grain of salt.
1. Flying traumatizes pets
From an airline fueler: "One thing I cannot stress enough is how your pets are treated. While your airline will take the best possible actions, some things cannot be avoided, like the noise on the ramp. I cannot stand out there without ear protection, and imagine your pet sitting out there on the ramp waiting to be loaded onto the plane being exposed to the same amount of noise I am. Please people, think twice before flying your pets."
2. Filthy drinks
"The drinking water, that used for making coffee, tea, etc., should never be consumed. The holding tanks in these sometimes 60-year-old planes are never cleaned. They have accumulated so much greenish grime on the walls that in some places it can be inches thick."
"Do not ever drink water on an aircraft that did not come from a bottle. Don't even touch it. The reason being the ports to purge [the lavatory] and refill the aircraft with potable water are within feet from each other and sometimes serviced all at once by the same guy. Not always, but if you're not on the ramp watching, you'll never know."
3. Body parts on board
According to one baggage handler: "The majority of domestic flights have human remains or organs on them. Watch out the window for long boxes that say, 'Head' at one end. Oh, and I can fit 150 bags in bin 3 of a Boeing 737-300."
4. Unclean blankets and pillows
A Southwest flight attendant says the blankets and pillows "just get refolded and stuffed back in the bins between flights." The only fresh ones she has seen "were on an originating first flight in the morning in a provisioning city."
5. Dirty trays
"If you have ever spread your peanuts on your tray and eaten, or really just touched your tray at all, you have more than likely ingested baby poo. I saw more dirty diapers laid out on those trays than food. And those trays, yeah, never saw them cleaned or sanitized once."
6. Inexperienced pilots
"Regional airline pilot here. You may have bought a ticket on Delta, United, or American, but chances are you'll be flying on a subcontractor. That means the pilots have a fraction of the experience, training, and pay of the big mainline carrier."
7. Sleepy pilots
"Half of pilots sleep while flying and a third of the time they wake up to find their partner asleep."
8. Lightning strikes
Planes get struck by lighting quite frequently. On a brighter note, planes are built to handle it, for the most part.
9. You only get 15 minutes of oxygen from the oxygen masks
"If the oxygen masks drop down, you only have about 15 minutes of oxygen from the point of pulling them down. However, that is more than enough time for the pilot to take us to a lower altitude where you can breathe normally." Don't worry, though; "most systems generate oxygen through a chemical reaction — this can cause a burning smell in the cabin, however it is normal and to be expected."
You also apparently have 15 to 20 seconds before you pass out from the lack of oxygen.