Do you ever wish that you could ask your pilot a hundred questions, like what if the plane is struck by lightning or what happens if you lose an engine? Considering that it’s mighty impractical to sit with your pilot for a heart to heart before takeoff, we’ve come to your rescue. We’ve compiled a list of 7 important things your pilot wants you to know that will help calm your nerves and answer those burning questions everyone has before a flight.
1.) Auto-pilot isn’t what you think it is
Many passengers think that when a plane is on auto-pilot that pilots can slack off because the plane is basically flying itself through the sky, but that isn’t the case. Pilots still have to input all of the parameters to keep everything flying smoothly. The only thing it allows pilots to “slack off” with is that they need not have their hands on the wheel (or yoke) of the plane for the entire duration of the flight. But, believe us, they’re still very much engaged with flying the plane even when it’s on auto-pilot.
2.) Being on time is important
The Department of Transportation places more emphasis on flights arriving in a timely manner than they do on customer satisfaction. This means that if you don’t arrive at your gate on time, you’re not making it on to your flight. Pilots are no longer allowed to delay flights for tardy passengers, so get to the terminal at least an hour before your boarding time for a domestic flight and at least 90 minutes before an international flight.
3.) You shouldn’t worry about turbulence
Turbulence (or “sky potholes” as some pilots call them) can not cause a plane to crash. Turbulence is merely a shift in air currents and, thankfully, won’t ever cause a plane to drop out of the sky. But if the idea of a bumpy ride still sends your blood pressure sky-rocketing, try to book a seat in the middle of the plane where it naturally moves less. Also, try to book a flight in the morning when the ground isn’t heated to cause rough flying conditions. Keeping your seatbelt buckled at all times is always recommended by pilots, as well.