Top Ten Things Airlines Don't Tell You - Page 2

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Do wireless connections really interfere with an aircraft's flight instruments? Read on to find out.  (David DeLossy/Photodisc/Getty)

5. The FAA Has a Sense of Humor, Sort of
"Airplanes follow an invisible map of highways and avenues in the sky in order to make it to their destinations. There are thousands of virtual points in the sky that pilots follow on their route, each with unique names so the air-traffic controllers can tell us where to go and how to get there. The FAA has gotten creative when naming some of these points (which must be five characters), like these over southern Florida—UFIRD, DONLD, and TRUMP over Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club, or FINNS, PYRUT, and BUFIT for Florida native Jimmy Buffett. My favorites are at the Kansas City Airport, honoring its local cuisine on the arrival procedure with SPICY and BARBQ."

4. The Deal With Electronics
"Nothing has ever been proven, but there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that electronics really interfere with an aircraft's flight instruments. The most likely culprits are things that transmit a signal, like a cell phone or a computer operating in Wi-Fi mode, which emits an electronic pulse or wave. But new aircrafts are being engineered for the wireless age so you should see more and more allowance of electronic devices in the future."

3. Your Co-Pilot Could be More Experienced Than You Think
"The turmoil of the airline industry over the last 20 years or so has caused many airlines to go out of business or shrink in size, thus laying off massive numbers of employees. If an airline captain loses his job at one airline and goes to another, he or she will start over as a co-pilot at entry-level pay and will be given no credit for their experience."

2. The Air Isn't Immune to Office Romances
"All the crew stays at the same hotel, but I remember a couple years ago the pilots' wives pushed for flight attendants to be at a different hotel than the pilots because they didn't want to make it easy for their husbands to cheat."

1. Crews Are Trained in More Than Just Emergency Exits
"Terrorism is a big deal nowadays. Most flight attendants and pilots are trained for those instances and taught self-defense as well as how to detect certain behaviors. Pilots are also able to sign up for a voluntary intensive program that is held at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. For one week they learn things like how to shoot a gun and disable someone carrying one. When they finish the program they're licensed to carry a gun into the cockpit with them."

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