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6 Airline Myths Revealed

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Perhaps it is because flying always seems such a more involved way of moving about, full or regulations and rules, that it’s not surprising that a fair few myths about how things work have developed over the years. Here’s six of the biggest.

1. You can open the airplane door mid-flight

We’ve seen it in the movies, and perhaps worried about seeing it in real life; a manic passenger springs up, rips open the airplane door, and then suddenly everyone is clinging on for dear life so they don’t get sucked out of the hole. Despite the fact the threat of this happening is real; people have actually tried to do this in real life, the truth is that none of them succeeded. The main reason is because the pressure in the cabin during the flight is so great that the doors literally get sealed shut, and we humans are simply not strong enough to rip the doors off. Even big, ugly humans!

2. The airline will reimburse you if your luggage gets lost

It has to be said, when it comes to listing trustworthy people, baggage handlers get a pretty bad rep. Perhaps it’s because they’re screened off behind plastic flaps that we just assume that they’re throwing our luggage about like a rag doll with no care for it’s safety or which plane it ends up on. However, if it does go wrong then we can just complain and get our money back. Well, that’s not quite so. Yes, you are entitled to certain compensation, but you would have to check the small print to discover exactly what you’re covered for. Many airlines advice against the checking in of expensive items like jewelery and electronics. You may find your compensation just runs to few new pairs of socks and some tooth paste, while your grandmothers antique diamond necklace has to be written off.

3. You get a big pay out if you’re bumped from your flight

The airlines can be very crafty when the want to be, and overbook the odd flight or two in the belief that they can cash in when a few don’t show up but they can fill the seat. However, when this backfires passengers can find themselves either voluntarily or involuntarily bumped onto a different flight. And they can a nice payout from the airline as compensation. In reality though, this is not always the case as it can depend on how severe your bumping is. If you’re bumped to another flight which completely delays your travel plans as another suitable flight is not immediately available, then yes, you might get something for your trouble. But, if you are only slightly delayed then in general you will get nothing. If you voluntarily get bumped, then it is up to your negotiating skills with the airline.

4. Delayed flight means free food and hotels

A severely delayed flight can turn an airport departure lounge into a scene more fitting a mass exodus. And if this happens, then these displaced people will need to be fed and sheltered on the airline’s dollar. Instead, usually with some helpfully ambiguous small print, it is totally down to the airlines’ discretion. Accommodation may only be found ‘subject to availability’ is how one airline terms it, which is basically a license to refuse if they want to. If you do find yourself delayed overnight though, it is worth asking with your fellow passengers if you’re entitled to anything, as mob rule can get airlines to u-turn on their first decision if things start to turn nasty.

5. Cell phones can cause major problems onboard

If you forget to turn off your cell phone before your flight, then apparently this is one of the worst crimes you can possibly commit. For some reason, these little devises have the ability to let Gremlins loose on the airplane, and maybe even bring the big bird down. In reality however, there are some airlines like Emirates who happily let customers use their cell phones with no ill effects. Even the FAA which has band phones on US flights has put up its hands and said they simply don’t know what the bad effects could be in the face of little evidence, even though they’re still not claiming that they’re safe. But don’t forget to take your international cell phone with you, even if you still can’t use it on the plane!

6. Flights are cheaper if you buy them at the weekend

Not true, and in fact, because the airlines know about this myth they make them even higher sometimes as they know you have time to shop. It has been discovered that the best actual time is Tuesday afternoon for the bargains. This is because often the big airlines will launch their sales on a Monday, and then all the other airlines then counter to match or beat these prices by Tuesday. See for yourself when you book your next flight.

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