true stories 18 Dirty Facts About Flying Airlines Don't Want You to Know  

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List Rules Vote UP the revelations that freak / creep you out. Vote down the ones that you already knew (in your heart).

If you're a frequent flyer, there are two approaches to this list of airline secrets you may or may not want to know: 1. Ignore it and carry on in your blissful ignorance of duct tape holding the wing of your aircraft together while flying. Or 2. Read about the awful things that happen on commercial flights, and go in armed with the knowledge of how awful the flight you're on really is (but possibly avoid dysentery). There's no option three, so choose wisely, because some of these airline worst practices can't be unseen.

From odd / surprising (hopefully) places you'll find poop on a plane to the things a flight attendant might overlook so they get paid, there are an uncomfortable number of scary things airlines don't want you to know about flying. Culled from the experiences of real pilots, flight attendants, airline staff, ground crew, and TSA officials, these are the reasons logical people are afraid to fly - and even the most seasoned traveler should be at least a bit skeeved out by this list of awful things that happen on planes. 
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The Toilets Can Be Unlocked from the Outside


The Toilets Can Be Unlocked fr... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 18 Dirty Facts About Flying Airlines Don't Want You to Know
Photo: ghost of anja/flickr/CC-BY 2.0
This is more of a "Charlie from 'Lost' getting cranked on heroin" precaution than a "People in row 23 joining the mile-high club" fail-safe, but the fact remains that occupied does not mean you're free from the possibility of interruption.

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Pilots Get Served Different Meals in Case of Food Poisoning


Pilots Get Served Different Me... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 18 Dirty Facts About Flying Airlines Don't Want You to Know
Photo: fui/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
Likely the same meals you're being offered, so hope you chose the same meal as the pilot who continues at the helm during the other's bout of food poisoning.

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Pilots Routinely Nod Off During Long Flights


Pilots Routinely Nod Off Durin... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 18 Dirty Facts About Flying Airlines Don't Want You to Know
Photo: Fly For Fun/flickr/CC-BY-NC 2.0
While nap breaks are scheduled so one pilot can rest while the other commands a plane once it's at cruising altitude, most pilots (more than 50% according to this survey) have involuntarily nodded off while in the cockpit.
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Guidelines Exist for the Amount of Screws a Plane Is Allowed to Fly Without


Guidelines Exist for the Amoun... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 18 Dirty Facts About Flying Airlines Don't Want You to Know
Photo: Juanedc/flickr/CC-BY 2.0
Seems you'd prefer to have zero screws missing, but apparently there's a threshold of acceptable missing screws on the plane.

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