Some people don’t even think about the airline travel process while flying, whereas other travelers have fear of doors opening, believe planes only fly on autopilot, tickets cost too much, and so much more.
So to help set the airline industry straight, we’ve debunked some of the most common misconceptions —some of which are quite surprising.
Myth: Airplane Cabin Doors Can Be Easily Opened While Flying
It is practically impossible to open a cabin door while the plane is in the air because of how pressurized the cabin is. In fact, the pressure inside is much higher than it is outside, as such, you would have to pull the door inward, then out, in order to open it. And unless you have ten times the strength of Jonny Bravo, nothing will happen.
Myth: Flying Costs a Lot of Money
Traveling is much cheaper today than it ever was before, especially with so many airlines competing with each other to get you on their airplane to your next destination. Looking back to the 1950s, a round-trip plane ticket from New York to London would have cost you about $500-$700 USD (that’s about $4,700-$6,300 USD in today’s rates). And that’s just an economy ticket. Nowadays, prices have dropped tremendously, where savvy travelers find themselves saving upwards of 70 percent off—a fraction of what it would cost during the Golden Age of travel.
Plus, flying in business and first class is affordable to more people than ever before, thanks to consolidators like us ;).
Myth: Aircrafts Are Full of Germs
Interestingly enough, the air inside the cabin is not all the same air—it’s a mixture of fresh and old air that becomes entirely new every two to three minutes. That’s faster than the air processing/ filtering system you find in a hospital or classroom.
How does it work? The jet engines enter into a compressor stage (also known as bleed air) when they are running. The air then cools in the air conditioning units with a filter (killing almost all bacteria), which is then released into the cabin. Thus, fresh and sterile air is created.
Myth: Your Blood Alcohol Is Higher While Flying
Whether your drinking on the ground or 30,000 feet above it, your BAC (blood alcohol level) is the same. However, since you are at much higher altitude, with intense cabin pressure ranging from 6000–8000 feet, the effects of drinking may come at you much harder. This causes headaches, nausea and fatigue. Seems familiar?
For some, the effects of alcohol plus the high altitude may not transpire until a few hours into the flight. So make sure you take it easy with the beer, wine or liquor you so graciously ask for.
Myth: The Autopilot Does All the Flying
Sure, airplanes have become smarter, technology has greatly advanced over the years, and although the autopilot system has made a huge improvement, computers still cannot do everything a pilot can. Flying the plane in autopilot can help with maintaining speed, heading and altitude levels, as well as obeying the flight plan that’s been transferred into the Flight Management System.
However, the autopilot is unable to steer the airplane through traffic, take off and land, altering altitude levels, and of course, handle emergencies. So yes, pilots are still a big necessity!
Myth: Turbulence Causes the Aircraft to Drop Tremendously
When you’re flying, any sudden turbulence may make you anxious (whereas some people just sleep right through it). And what may feel like a few hundred feet of up and down movements, it is actually about ten to twenty feet. There are times during severe turbulence—which is extremely rare—where the airplane can drop as much as 100 feet, but again, that rarely ever happens. So don’t worry, those major dips are perfectly safe; the aircraft was made to withstand those and so much more.