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Dirty airline secrets revealed

Dirty Airline Secrets Revealed

INSIDE EDITION spoke to travel journalist George Hobica about the dirty secrets that some airlines are keeping from passengers.

One study actually found that half of all pilots surveyed admitted to falling asleep while flying at some point in their careers. An even bigger shocker is that both pilots have fallen asleep.

Travel journalist George Hobica told INSIDE EDITION, "There have been instances where both pilots have fallen asleep in flight and that could be dangerous."

It happened on a British based passenger jet. Hobica said, "Both pilots fell asleep and it was [for] several hours."

Hobica spoke with INSIDE EDITION from Studio Air Hollywood about the secrets of planes that you'll find surprising. For example, you may only have 15 seconds to put an oxygen mask on in the event of cabin decompression, and the oxygen supply itself is actually limited.

'Sometimes you only have about a 15 minute supply of oxygen. That's why a pilot will descend to a breathable altitude as quickly as possible," said Hobica.

Who could forget the Miracle on the Hudson when Captain "Sully" Sullenberger landed safely on the Hudson River. Many passengers needed their life vests, but your life jacket might actually be unavailable in an emergency.

'This might come to a shock to people, but some passengers actually steal the life vests," said Hobica.

Some passengers steal them when they disembark, so it's a good idea to always check to see if your life vest really is under your seat.

Do you think those cabin lights are dimmed to help you rest at night? Think again!

Hobica said, "Cabin crews dim the lights on nighttime take off and landing to help your eyes adjust to the outside conditions in case there is an emergency evacuation."

Here's another airline secret: "One thing you probably don't want to hear: pillows and blankets are not sanitized, much less cleaned between passengers," said Hobica.

Our expert says it can take months between cleanings.

And now, a secret that could make you lose your appetite. Hobica said, "This table probably hasn't been cleaned in 20 years."

Gross! Still, nothing beats those little bags of peanuts ... so we won't swear off flying just yet.

Join the discussion

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golfet33 April 20 2014 at 9:22 AM

Seems like they have this article about every 5 or 6 months.

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seriesii April 20 2014 at 1:00 PM

As for the disease comments by the 75 year old. He is not technically inclined and realize what the difference between when he flew and what the conditions are now. Airline lobbyists lobbied that the space doesn't warrant OSHA's requirement of air turnover in a confined space, per person. This was all done when planes weren't that full nor could they carry as many passengers. Now, they have crammed in many more seats and the "Tube" is full. for the sake of saving fuel, airlines are allowed way less than the required air turnover in the cabin. That means your rebreath what everybody else has cycled in their lungs. It's not dilluted down to a more acceptable "real" level that you normally encounter. Airlines are continuing, in spite of the existing uncomfortable cramping of the cabin to cram in more seats, with no change to air in the cabin.

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bill3fish April 20 2014 at 1:29 PM

It has appeared before that the table may be very very dirty with bacteria, so one should wipe it off with one of this antibacterial wipes. Take 3 or 4 in your pocket to clean the table, and your hands even before the peanuts or what ever. This cleaning of your hands could save you from the flu.

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1 reply
mikavan bill3fish April 20 2014 at 1:44 PM

Maybe. But germs are recirculated in the air system.

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patriot1too April 20 2014 at 1:51 PM

Beware of those airlines that use non Union contract people as third party sub contractors. It is always best to have the company employees that are taking care of all things well. From the pilots, mechanics, stews, and cleaners and ramp workers they are the best airlines to fly. Avoid the ones with scab sub-contractors.

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1 reply
mdmmignon patriot1too April 20 2014 at 2:37 PM

Holly Smoke? Unions? They are the corrosive "ties that bind." Look at Airline and Railroad safety; UNIONS turn "thumbs down" on any effort to enforce safety regulations or competence of staff. On the front page today, UNIONS of "railway" workers derailed efforts for MANDATORY PHYSICAL EVALUATIONS of such things as cardiac and even vision, like "color blind" unable to "read" the "color indicators" of those "gismos" to monitor rail transports .. they keep right on going whether asleep of color blind and PEOPLE DIE! UNIONS will not withstand any disruption in the flow of their UNIION DUES pouring out of the obscene schedules of compensation that comprise the PAYROLLS billed to taxpayers. These are the "scabs!" LA Cops? They dismantle the equipment installed to monitor their performance in the worst areas of police abuse; shoot a fellow, OK! Police Chief Charlie Beck wants a continued tour "at the helm?" What "helm?" He has a UNION to pacify! Liability for performance? Bill Taxpayers!!!

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blueeyessing April 20 2014 at 2:32 PM

""There have been instances where both pilots have fallen asleep in flight and that could be dangerous."
I worked in the office of a now defunct airlines, and one of the old retired pilots would laugh about the time he and his co-pilot fell asleep, but it was ok since he had the automatic pilot on ha ha ha.

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2 replies
blueeyessing blueeyessing April 20 2014 at 2:34 PM

And I hope he was just pulling our legs.......

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don blueeyessing April 20 2014 at 3:40 PM

If this is true, ask your pilot friend if he drives his car with the speed control on then takes a nap.

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1 reply
amdy9 don April 20 2014 at 3:52 PM

Automatic pilot isn't cruise control.

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miahrrg April 20 2014 at 2:35 PM

While some of the comments may be true, I dispute the statement about the blankets and pillows.
I worked for an international airline for many years, in fact for quite some time as coordinator of inflight services, and all used blankets were removed, laundered, sanitized and individually placed in plastic bags; all pillowcases were removed (the disposible ones thrown away and the linen ones laundered). All tables were cleaned (staff personally conducted spotchecks on this and other areas of the aircraft); after all, passengers were "captive" in that environment for many hours and we didnt want to receive any complaints. On the other hand, we received many compliments for our services and the cleanliness aboard.

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Michael April 20 2014 at 2:41 PM

Boy, talk about half truths and outright lies. I've been a flight attendant for 26 years and if you want a reason for pilots falling asleep, you should see their work schedules. Lights in the cabin--match the outside light and NOT because of an emergency. Lights off on night flights so people can sleep better. Such a bunch of baloney.

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bds6543 April 20 2014 at 2:46 PM

It's true about the oxygen.. only about 15 mins. worth for you if it happened to deploy .. They may fall asleep. but they have the automatic pilot and are all set with that. Being drunk at the wheel? I don't think so.. they would fire them immediately--they are VERY strict, and the hostesses would turn them in as well!

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Debbie April 20 2014 at 3:00 PM

I know when I was on the flight we had good pilots...we were high altitude and the cabin pressure let go....our plane decended in a control decent to where we could breath ok....that showed our pilots were on the ball and ready for anything....Just to let you know...there are good pilots out there

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1 reply
Charles Jones Debbie April 20 2014 at 7:22 PM

Best pilots in the military, ground crew also.

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softwine April 20 2014 at 3:31 PM

I always travel with alcohol wipes, or a little larger are the clorox wipes. Always wipe down my head rest before sitting in seat, and tray table...turn the cloth over or get another and wipe down the surface where the tray table rests when not in use. I had one flight attendent comment on that, he was impressed. Take them in the rest room if need be.

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3 replies
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