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8 More Flying Myths, Debunked


flying myths

A few months ago, our EWR Airport parking company wrote a blog titled “8 Flying Myths, Debunked.” We enjoyed finding out the truths behind airplanes and traveling, so we decided to find eight more myths to debunk:

Modern-day planes can fly themselves

The myth is that technology is so advanced these days, pilots don’t need to do much of the flying – the planes will essentially fly themselves. While there is such a thing as autopilot, it’s only used when the plane is at a cruising altitude (meaning takeoffs and landings are entirely the pilot’s responsibility) and even then, it must be closely monitored.

You get drunker when you’re in the air

Many people believe that when you drink on a plane, you get drunker (or even get drunker faster). This was disproved by Discovery’s “Mythbusters.” However, since there’s slightly less oxygen in the airplane when you’re in the air, you may feel drunker.

Flying is expensive

This all depends on when you book your flights. If you only choose last-minute flights or are on a tight travel schedule and can’t be flexible with your dates, then you might end up paying more than you want to. However, if you have the flexibility, flying can be relatively cheap. Airlines are constantly offering deals (many times under $100 for a round-trip ticket) – they key is to simply stay alert and grab one when you see it. Also, you can avoid checked bag fees if you travel lightly.

Aircrafts start up quickly

This myth has been popularized by many action movies – when a character wants to make a quick getaway, they run to a plane or helicopter and start it up with a few button pushes and knob turns. After that, they’re in the air. In reality, there are more than 120 steps that a pilot needs to take before he/she is able to get a jetliner in the air. And when it comes to helicopters, there’s a nine-page booklet filled with steps for takeoff, so the next time you fly, be patient.

Round-trip prices are always cheaper than one-way

Before you book your round-trip flight, take a minute to search for a one-way ticket there and a one-way ticket back. Sometimes, you’ll find that two one-ways are actually cheaper than a round-trip. If you have enough time before your trip and find a cheap one-way ticket there, you can always purchase it and then wait for the price of one-way tickets back to go down before purchasing your flight back.

Jet lag is caused by a lack of sleep

Many people think that they got jet lag because they didn’t sleep enough while they were abroad. In reality, jet lag is caused because of the disruption to your circadian rhythm (or biological clock). Your circadian rhythm is your body’s way of telling you when to sleep, eat, drink, go to the bathroom, etc., and it relies mainly on daylight. When your intake of daylight is disrupted, your rhythm is disrupted.

Diet Coke is difficult to pour on a plane

This myth is actually true. When an airplane is at cruising altitude and is pressurized to around 7,000 or 8,000 feet, the pressure makes the fizz in diet Coke fizzier. This means it takes longer to “dissolve” than it would on the ground.

The emergency “brace” position is just for show

If there is an emergency on your airplane, you’ll be instructed to get into a “brace” position, which is essentially sitting upright in your seat and leaning forward with your hands on top of the seat in front of you. Some people think this position is only enforced to keep you calm and make you think you have a better chance of survival, but in fact, studies have shown that the brace position can lead to fewer and less serious injuries during a crash.