we see flight attendants often, but pilots tend to be much more secluded.
With so much airtime and so little face time, there are a few things they want to share with the masses.
We asked commercial airline pilots who have their own aviation blogs to name the one thing they wish their “pax” that’s airline speak for “passengers” knew. Their responses, along with some shared by their friends, shed a whole new light on life in the cockpit.
1. Pilots don’t like cancelled ights, either.
“As passengers, one of the most aggravating situations is an extensive delay fol- lowed by the ultimate can- cellation. We miss our friend’s wedding, our cruise, or our child’s baseball game. However, I wish pas- sengers knew that when we cancel a ight, the ight crews miss their special events, too.” Karlene Petitt of Flight to Success
2. You shouldn’t cut it too close when booking.
“Passengers plan a trip and
y up to the last minute before they need to be there or back at work. Then they get mad at airlines if there is a delay/cancellation.” Pilot who asked to remain anonymous
3. There’s an of cial de ni- tion of “on time,” and it’s not what you think.
“’On time’ for departure is pushing back from the gate at published departure time (and up to 14 minutes later). ‘On time’ for arrival is plus or minus 14 minutes.” Pilot who asked to remain anonymous
4. Turbulence can come out of nowhere.
“Pilots can avoid predicted or reported turbulence, but that hardly guarantees a smooth ride.
The atmosphere is an ever- changing uid, producing turbulence almost instanta-
neously. So ALWAYS keep your seatbelt on when seated.” Chris Manno of JetHead, who is also pilot with American Airlines
5. But there’s a way to have less of it on your ight.
“If people are concerned about turbulence, they need to take early-morning ights for the smoothest air.” Laura Einsetler of Captain Laura
6. Flight durations aren’t set in stone.
“The length of a ight at the time someone books a ticket is based on historical data. The real length of a flight varies.” Pilot who asked to remain anonymous
7. Autopilot isn’t all its cracked up to be.
“It’s pilots human beings, and not some high-tech autopilot that are ying your plane. People have a vastly exaggerated notion of what cockpit automation actually does.” Patrick Smith of Ask the Pilot
8. Your pilot is no dummy.
“I wish people knew how much experience, training, education and requirements must be met before we are allowed to even y these jets.” Laura Einsetler of
Captain Laura
9. Cancellations could save your life.
“Pilots use their experience and best judgment to make that very hard choice to stay on the ground and cancel a ight.
That choice is not made lightly and is always based
on safety. ” Karlene Petitt of Flight to Success
10. Looking around could save your life, too.
“I wish passengers knew how many rows to their nearest exit. Most accidents are survivable if you get out.”