8 Horrific Airplane Secrets That Are Worse Than You Thought

I’m a frequent flyer —in the past year I’ve been to six countries, and every time, I’m that person with a bucket of hand sanitizer and a side-eye for neighbors who dare to blow their disgusting noses.

Flying is probably the worst and best thing that’s happened to humanity. Being able to see new places and learn about other cultures is very much a huge win for people, but getting anywhere is definitely one of the circles of hell. Besides getting to a place three hours early, inevitable delays, the fact that strangers are feeling you up for bombs and weaponry, dealing with loud, khaki-clad tourists and all the throw-out-your-liquids bullshit (my makeup is MONEY, bitch), you have the plane — that hot, germ-bubbling hell-hole — itself.  Everyone is fucking miserable.

The least you can expect is a clean pillow and a cup of coffee that isn’t made from actual human shit-water. Or can you…

Related-ish: 9 Uber Drivers Who Definitely Didn’t Get Five Stars


1. The water used in the sinks is probably the same used to make your coffee.

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According to Kelly Payne, who worked as a flight attendant for many years, the water you might be drinking in your coffee (or god forbid you are the human drinking from the nasty bathroom faucet) is not…ideal. “Let’s just say that the airplane’s potable water isn’t very desirable. The valves for cleaning out the lavatory waste and filling the clean water are very close to each other and sometimes serviced by the same guy…at the same time,” Payne says.

2. The air you’re breathing isn’t from where you think it is.

Apparently, the air you’re breathing is directly from the engine (not the exhaust), according to a pilot over at  Reddit.  Well, isn’t the lovely.

Oh, and that’s not all.  Flight attendants love to poison the plane by farting all the way down the aisle. This is what you’re breathing, folks. There’s a name for it, when a flight attendant walks down the aisle and slowly releases a soft, stinky fart throughout the cabin. We call it “crop dusting,” says Brian, a flight attendant who is also an asshole.

3. You don’t wanna steal those airplane blankets because they’re covered in terrible, horrible things.

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John Gobbels, vice president and COO of Medjet Assist, an air medical transport service, says that he never uses the blankets and that “no one is changing the pillow cases.” #LICE. He says he saw people putting them overhead. Also, one investigation revealed that those blankets are washed about once per month. Truly fucking medieval. #WereAllGonnaDie.

4. Poo will end up in your mouth, guaranteed.

“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,” one flight industry expert told Reddit. Don’t believe him? According to this sad, sad study, 60 percent of tray tables tested were covered in germs that causing strep infections.

Thank god for modern medicine or we’d all be dying from poop-induced sicknesses.

5. Those seat pockets where you put your glasses, headphones, extra food and water bottle? Yeah — they’re really just a black hole filled with mega-germs.

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That seat pocket is not your friend. Why? It’s stuffed with gunky nose-blowing tissues. Think about it. You blow your nose and put it in there too, don’t you? #MindBlown.

6. Your pilot is totally asleep up there.

If dirty-ass blankets and snot-covered seat-pockets don’t really bother you, maybe the fact that pilots fall asleep while flying 75-ton machines in the sky will. Between 43-54 % of pilots surveyed in the UK said they pass the hell out up there in the cockpit. And this is because they’re dangerously tired. More like nap-pit, am I right?

7. Your oxygen mask doesn’t last forever.

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Your oxygen mask is a misnomer. It’s not exactly oxygen — it’s actually filled with a bunch of chemicals that eventually become oxygen — and it also runs out in 12-20 minutes, which (hopefully) is enough time to get you to a lower altitude to resume cabin pressure. Yikes.

8. The bathrooms are so much worse than you thought.

According to LiveScience, airplane bathrooms are rarely cleaned. And they’re found to have E. coli bacteria. Not just on the toilet, either. On the handles and the faucets. Yum.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

Related-ish: 10 Women Talk About Their Gynecological Fears

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