The Secrets of Airline Travel Quiz

By: Alia Hoyt
Estimated Completion Time
1 min
The Secrets of Airline Travel Quiz
Image: Microstocker.Pro/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Air travel is far more than getting from point A to point B safely. How much do you know about the million little details that go into flying on airplanes?
Why is the interior of most commercial airplanes blue?
It's the most popular color in the world.
The sky is blue, and airplanes fly in the sky, duh.
It's the most calming color.
Most people find the color blue to be peaceful. It is known to reduce heart rate and blood pressure, release dopamine and generally calm you down, all important attributes as flying often brings on stress.
What shape are airplane windows?
Airplane windows used to be square, but as planes started getting bigger, those sharp edges created natural weak spots, causing "metal fatigue failure" and broken windows. Now, manufacturers put in rounded windows because they're better able to handle the cabin pressure changes, as well as other stressors.
If a flight has been delayed, what can help a pilot make up for lost time in the air?
a tailwind
A tailwind helps a lot because it literally pushes the plane faster. A headwind does just the opposite and slows everything down. Route adjustments can also help a pilot catch up. Increasing airplane speed only burns more fuel and doesn't save much time.
a headwind
pressing hard on the accelerator


What is the distress code word "mayday" derived from?
Nothing, it's just a repetitive nonsense word that's easy to remember.
the French phrase for "help me"
Increased air travel after World War I meant an internationally recognizable signal for aircraft emergencies was necessary. A British radio officer came up with "m'aider," French for "help me" because a lot of the air traffic was between England and France. The U.S. modified the spelling, although not the pronunciation, into "mayday."
the German word for "emergency"
The very first flight attendants were all what?
registered nurses
The very first flight attendants were all registered nurses, although that job requirement was axed when World War II caused many nurses to enlist. In 1936, "air hostesses" also had to be very small, under 5 feet 4 inches (1.6 meters) and weigh 100 to 118 pounds (45 to 53 kilograms).
former secretaries
air force veterans
How long does it take for the average Delta airplane to be fully cleaned and disinfected?
5 minutes
15 minutes
Cleaning crews are extremely efficient, and can clean and disinfect an entire plane in 15 minutes. Delta does a "deep clean" on planes that sit for more than eight hours, which involves removing seat cushions and even shampooing the carpet.
One hour


What have most pilots experienced during their flying careers?
their plane being struck by lightning
The U.S. National Weather Service says a commercial plane gets hit by a bolt of lightning on average once or twice per year. Fortunately, airplanes are designed to handle lightning strikes, so the pilots and passengers are in no danger.
extreme vertigo
passing out during takeoff
What's the warmest part of the airplane?
the front near the cockpit
the middle
the rear
The warmest part of the airplane is in the very back, so sit there if you're the type of person who is always freezing.
What's the dirtiest part of any airplane?
the tray tables
The tray tables are hands-down the germiest parts of any airplane. They're generally only cleaned once a day, not between flights. It's a good idea to wipe down the tray table with a sanitizing wipe. Do the TV screen, seat belt buckle and armrests while you're at it.
the insides of the overhead bins
the lavatories


That scarf that flight attendants wear is not just for looks. What else have flight attendants used their scarves for?
covering a tattoo
creating a makeshift splint
repairing a broken luggage handle
all of the above
Flight attendants have used their scarves in all kinds of situations. Visible tattoos are not allowed by most airlines so the scarf covers up a neck tattoo. Also flight attendants have been known to use scarves as makeshift splints and bandages onboard a flight.
You Got:
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