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50 Useless Aviation Facts.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome onboard.

Ever wondered why American Airlines has less olives in their salads than other airlines? Perhaps you’ve pondered how much the most expensive plane ticket in the world costs? Want to know which airline is the largest purchaser of caviar, or who became the first to operate an all jet fleet?

Well wonder no more, as all of your questions, plus much, much more will be answered here. Impress your friends with our 50 Useless Aviation Facts.


1) You have a 96% chance of surviving a plane crash. The odds go up even more if you’re nice to your crew.

2) According to one estimate, you can lose about two cups of water from your body for every hour you spend flying. While estimates of water loss during flight vary, it’s well-known that flying causes dehydration in passengers, which can lead to deep-vein thrombosis on long-haul flights. Drink water before, during, and after a long flight.

3) A man once wore 70 items of clothing in a Chinese airport to avoid the baggage charge.

4) Stewardess is the longest word in the English language typed with just the left hand.

5) KLM is the worlds’ oldest airline, established in 1919. It’s first flight between Amsterdam and London took place on 17th May 1920.

Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij N.V. (Royal Aviation Company) or KLM for short.

Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij N.V. (Royal Aviation Company) or KLM for short.

6) In 1987 American Airlines saved $40,000 by removing one olive from each salad served in first class.

7) Air travel is the second safest form or transportation. Only the elevator/escalator is safer, although it would take quite some time to travel 1,000 miles on an escalator.

8) At any given hour there are over 61,000 people airborne over the USA.

9) The world’s most expensive plane ticket cost Sydney millionaire Julian Hayward, an amazing $123,000, after being the first person to buy a seat on the A380 maiden flight between Singapore and Sydney in 2007.

10) An aeroplane takes off or lands every 37 seconds at Chicago O’Hares International Airport. That’s almost 100 planes per hour.

11) Airliners’ lifespans aren’t determined by years. Instead, they’re determined by the number of pressurizations the plane undergoes. Every time a plane is pressurized during flight, it causes stress on the plane’s fuselage. Over time, this stress causes irreparable metal fatigue and cracks. An approximate rule of thumb is 75,000 pressurizations per aircraft. In human terms, this works out to about 20-25 years for most planes.


12) 70% of aircraft in service today are over 70% more fuel-efficient per seat kilometre, than the first jets in the 1960s. Take that eco-warriors.

13) The Wing-span of the A380 is longer than the aircraft itself. Wingspan: 80m, Length: 72.7m.

14) Food tastes different on a plane. Before take off, the atmosphere inside the cabin dried out our noses, and as the plane goes higher, the change in air pressure numbs about a third of taste buds. That’s why a lot of people order Bloody Mary’s; tomato juice is less acidic up in the air. It’s also why a lot of airlines add heavy amounts of salt and spice to dishes.

15) Most planes flying internationally have their home country’s flag painted on or around their tails. Generally, the flag is facing the correct way round on the left (port) side, and backwards on the right (starboard) side. This is because that is how the flag would look if it were hoisted on a pole above the aeroplane during the flight.

16) Mr Heinrich Kubis was Germany’s and the worlds first flight attendant in 1912.

Heinrich Kubis.

Heinrich Kubis.

17) Even though airlines carry medical kits and can quickly be in radio contact with doctors on the ground, about 100 people a year die while flying. So believe it or not, that’s one of the main reasons your wonderful cabin crew are onboard as we are all first aid trained and complete yearly exams to stay in check.

18) The specific rules regarding flight attendants vary among airlines and between countries. But in the UK and US there must be at least one FA per 50 passengers.

19) Southwest Airlines (USA) took delivery of the very first Boeing 737-300 in 1984. They eventually operated more B737-300’s than any other airline in the world.

20) If everyone on a plane jumped up at the same time would the plane get lighter? The answer is no. Actually the opposite is true. Due to the basic laws of physics, every action has an equal and opposite reaction, so if you jumped into the air you actually force the aeroplane down a little bit, thus increasing its weight albeit momentarily.

21) In 1940, it would cost one years wages to fly from London to New York. By todays average, it costs only Mondays and Tuesdays working wage. Unless you’re flying Ryanair where the flight itself would cost you half an hours work, but all the add-ons would cost Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays wages.

22) Mohawk Airlines hired the first African-American flight attendant in the United States, Ruth-Carol Taylor in December, 1957. Check out my Angels Of The Sky post about Ruth-Carol Taylor.

23) ‘MAYDAY’ is derived from the French word m’aidez, which means help me.

24) The average age of commercial aircraft is 19 years. The average age of an American Flight attendant is 105.

Aircraft graveyard in the Mojave Desert.

Aircraft graveyard in the Mojave Desert.

25) Singapore Airlines spends about $700 million on food every year and $16 million on wine alone. First class passengers consume 20,000 bottles of alcohol every month and Singapore Airlines is the second biggest buyer of Dom Perignon champagne in the world.

26) Prince Charles and Prince William will never fly on the same aircraft, just incase there is a crash.

27) The Boeing 747 burns approximately one gallon of fuel every second. Over the course of a ten-hour flight, it may burn up to 36,000 gallons.

28) British Airways was once the world’s largest purchaser of Champagne, with passengers drinking a minimum of 90,000 cases every year. Today Emirates buys the most bottles of bubbly.

29) In the 568 US plane crashes between 1980 and 2000, more than 90% of the crash victims survived.

30) The reason why the lights are turned off during takeoff and landing is for your eyes to adjust to lower levels of light. If there’s an accident and they have to activate the emergency slides, studies have shown that you will be able to see better and therefore be able to evacuate more quickly and safely.

The gorgeous Thai Airways girls.

The gorgeous Thai Airways girls.

31) Thai Airways cabin crew are required to wear separate uniforms on land and in the air. They change into traditional Thai dresses in the air, while on the ground they wear a corporate purple suit. Any crew of a nationality other than Thai are not allowed to wear the dress.

32) Only around 25% of first class passengers pay full fare. The rest are upgrades, frequent fliers and airline employees.

33) The name of Idlewild Airport was changed to JFK international on 24th December 1963, a month after John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

34) Only 5% of the world’s population has never been on an aeroplane.

35) Ryanair carries more international passengers than any other airline.

36) Lufthansa is the worlds largest purchaser of Caviar, buying over ten tons per year.

37) The Boeing 747 (all versions) has travelled and estimated 35 billion miles, that is the equivalent of 75,000 trips to the moon and back.

38) When Concorde used to fly over the Middle East on the early Bahrain routes, there were complaints that the sonic booms upset the camels and ruined their sex lives. What I would like to know is how the locals discovered this fact?

39) Emirates is the worlds largest operator of Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft and is one of only nine airlines in the world to operate an all wide-body fleet.

40) A Boeing 747s wing-span is longer than the Wright Brothers first flight (120ft).

41) The internet and on-line check-in was first used by Alaska Airlines in 1999.

42) As well as being the second oldest airline in the world Qantas, formed in 1920, also has the best safety record with no fatal crashes in their history. Tick Tock.

43) On 11th June 1962, Air India became the worlds first all Jet airline.

44) The first women flight attendants in the 1930’s were required to weigh no more than 115 pounds, be nurses and un-married.

45) 75% of all inflight arguments between grown adults are a result of economy passengers reclining their seats. Grow up!

Could stop those arguments.

Love these, but unfortunately, passengers have every right to recline.

46) Pilots are 75% more likely to be at the front door saying goodbye to passengers after a good landing than after a bad landing. That’s probably why none of the flight deck I know ever leave the cockpit.

47) Two to six hundred million gallons of wastewater is created each year from aircraft de-icing.

48) The winglets on an Airbus A330-200 are the same height as the worlds tallest man.

49) Hijacking of aircraft was not officially outlawed until 1961.

and finally………

50) Cabin crew are onboard an aircraft to save your arse, not kiss it!

Amen to that.

Amen to that.

© by Dan Air.

About Confessions of a Trolley Dolly (51 Articles) brought to you by International Gay Trolley Dolly, Dan Air ! Come & join us onboard as we take a peek behind the galley curtain with all your cabin crew & aviation news, galley gossip, glamour & humerous tales of life at 39,000 feet!

12 Comments on 50 Useless Aviation Facts.

  1. saikarthikreddy // 03/06/2013 at 1:43 PM // Reply

    amazing facts and very humorously written. Selected as top travel post on my blog this week.

  2. I have read so many articles or reviews regarding the blogger lovers however
    this post is genuinely a pleasant piece of writing, keep it up.

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  4. 34) Only 5% of the world’s population has never been on an aeroplane…

    I think it should be atleast 50%

  5. Sanno Umreth // 28/08/2013 at 2:04 AM // Reply

    800 million Indians and 350 million Chinese live on a dollar a day. That’s close to 12 percent of global population who I doubt have ever ventured onto an airplane

  6. Avianca from Colombia is the second oldest airline in the world, not Qantas.

    • Actually Dan, although Avianca was flying before Qantas, it originally began flying under the name SCADTA and only when the carrier merged with SACO (14/06/1940) did it become Avianca. Therefore Qantas goes down as the second oldest airline as they have always operated as Qantas from its inception back in 1920. Indeed, Qantas can claim they are the oldest continually operating airline in the world as KLM ceased flying during the World War 2 and of course it’s merger with Air France can also dispute this KLMs crown.

  7. Reblogged this on LinkyBird.

  8. 34) only 5% of the worlds population has EVER been on a plane, get the facts right please

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