Here’s why airplane seats are actually facing the wrong way

There are different airplane seats for every type of need, but they all face the same way—forward. Although airplane seats face the front of the cabin, research from as far back as 1950 shows that we might be facing the wrong way.

Airplane seats that face backward are safer

Backward facing seats might be safer. Rear-facing seats provide more support for the torso and head, according to an Aircraft SEAT Committee participant from SAE International, a company that develops safety standards. “Forward-facing seats allow the occupant’s upper torso to move forward and consequently do not provide the same level of protection,” the member says. The extra support from facing backward is the same reason why babies stay in rear-facing car seats for as long as possible, explains Dan Boland, the founder of, and an Airbus A350 pilot working for an international airline. 

32 things your airplane pilot won’t tell you
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32 things your airplane pilot won’t tell you

I've been struck by lightning twice

Most pilots have. Airplanes are built to take it. You hear a big boom and see a big flash and that's it. You're not going to fall out of the sky.—Airplane pilot for a regional carrier, Charlotte, North Carolina

You need to stop believing these common myths about airplanes.

You may not be getting the airline you paid for

You may go to an airline website and buy a ticket, pull up to its desk at the curb, and get onto an airplane that has a similar name painted on it, but half the time, you're really on a regional airline. The regionals aren't held to the same safety standards as the majors: Their pilots aren't required to have as much training and experience, and the public doesn't know that.—Captain at a major airline

If you're a nervous flier, book a morning flight 

The heating of the ground later causes bumpier air, and it's much more likely to thunderstorm in the afternoon.—Jerry Johnson, airplane pilot, Los Angeles (You should also follow these air travel tips to make your next flight as smooth as possible.)

The smoothest place to sit is often over or near the wing

The bumpiest place to sit is in the back. A plane is like a seesaw. If you're in the middle, you don't move as much.—Patrick Smith, airplane pilot and author of Cockpit Confidential (By the way, these are the best airplane seats for every type of need.)

The general flow of air in any airplane is from front to back. So if you're really concerned about breathing the freshest possible air or not getting too hot, sit as close to the front as you can. Planes are generally warmest in the back.—Tech pilot at a regional airline, Texas 

People don't understand why they can't use their cell phones

Well, what can happen is 12 people will decide to call someone just before landing, and I can get a false reading on my instruments saying that we are higher than we really are.—Jim Tilmon, retired American Airlines pilot, Phoenix

We don't make you stow your laptop because we're worried about electronic interference. It's about having a projectile on your lap. I don't know about you, but I don't want to get hit in the head by a MacBook going 200 miles per hour. And we're not trying to ruin your fun by making you take off your headphones. We just want you to be able to hear us if there's an emergency.—Patrick Smith

Some FAA rules don't make sense to us either

Like the fact that when we're at 39,000 feet going 400 miles an hour, in a plane that could hit turbulence at any minute, (flight attendants) can walk around and serve hot coffee and Chateaubriand. But when we're on the ground on a flat piece of asphalt going five to ten miles an hour, they've got to be buckled in like they're at NASCAR.—Jack Stephan, US Airways captain based in Annapolis, Maryland, who has been flying since 1984

These are things you can still get for free on an airplane.

It's updrafts, not turbulence, we really worry about

A plane flies into a massive updraft, which you can't see on the radar at night, and it's like hitting a giant speed bump at 500 miles an hour. It throws everything up in the air and then down very violently. That's not the same as turbulence, which bounces everyone around for a while.—John Nance, aviation safety analyst and retired airline captain, Seattle

Pilots find it perplexing that so many people are afraid of turbulence. It's all but impossible for turbulence to cause a crash. We avoid turbulence not because we're afraid the wing is going to fall off but because it's annoying.—Patrick Smith

(Here's what really happens when your plane experiences turbulence.)

Being on time is more important than getting everyone there

The Department of Transportation has put such an emphasis on on-time performance that we pretty much aren't allowed to delay a flight anymore, even if there are 20 people on a connecting flight that's coming in just a little late.—Commercial pilot, Charlotte, North Carolina (That's why airlines use this method to board as fast as possible.)

No, it's not your imagination: Airlines really have adjusted their flight arrival times so they can have a better record of on-time arrivals. So they might say a flight takes two hours when it really takes an hour and 45 minutes.—AirTran Airways captain, Atlanta

I'm constantly under pressure to carry less fuel than I'm comfortable with

Airlines are always looking at the bottom line, and you burn fuel carrying fuel. Sometimes if you carry just enough fuel and you hit thunderstorms or delays, then suddenly you're running out of gas and you have to go to an alternate airport.—Captain at a major airline

You'll never hear, "One of our engines just failed"

What they'll say instead: "One of our engines is indicating improperly." (Or more likely, they'll say nothing, and you'll never know the difference. Most planes fly fine with one engine down.) You'll also never hear, "Well, folks, the visibility out there is zero." Instead they'll say: "There's some fog in the Washington area."

Here's what actually happens when you flush an airplane toilet.

There's no such thing as a water landing

It's called crashing into the ocean.—Airplane pilot, South Carolina (But don't freak out yet—if you end up in a worst-case scenario, here's how to survive a plane crash.)

The truth is, we're exhausted

Our work rules allow us to be on duty 16 hours without a break. That's many more hours than a truck driver. And unlike a truck driver, who can pull over at the next rest stop, we can't pull over at the next cloud.—Captain at a major airline

When you get on that airplane at 7 a.m., you want your pilot to be rested and ready. But the hotels they put us in now are so bad that there are many nights when I toss and turn. They're in bad neighborhoods, they're loud, they've got bedbugs, and there have been stabbings in the parking lot.—Jack Stephan

Sometimes the airline won't give us lunch breaks or even time to eat. We have to delay flights just so we can get food.—First officer on a regional carrier

Most people get sick after traveling not because of what they breathe but because of what they touch

Always assume that the tray table and the button to push the seat back have not been wiped down, though we do wipe down the lavatory.—Patrick Smith (For the healthiest flight, never do these things on a plane.)

It's one thing if the pilot puts the seat belt sign on for the passengers ...

But if he tells the flight attendants to sit down, you'd better listen. That means there's some serious turbulence ahead.—John Greaves

Driving is WAY scarier than flying a plane

People always ask, "What's the scariest thing that's ever happened to you?" I tell them it was a van ride from the Los Angeles airport to the hotel, and I'm not kidding.—Jack Stephan

You probably had no idea these hidden features existed on an airplane.

Most of the time, how you land is a good indicator of a pilot's skill

So if you want to say something nice to a pilot as you're getting off the plane, say "Nice landing." We do appreciate that.—Joe D'Eon, a pilot at a major airline who produces a podcast at (Be sure you're awake to see that landing. Here's why it's bad to sleep through an airplane landing.)

The two worst airports for us: Reagan National in Washington, D.C., and John Wayne in Orange County, California

You're flying by the seat of your pants trying to get in and out of those airports. John Wayne is especially bad because the rich folks who live near the airport don't like jet noise, so they have this noise abatement procedure where you basically have to turn the plane into a ballistic missile as soon as you're airborne.—Airplane pilot, South Carolina

At some airports with really short runways, you're not going to have a smooth landing no matter how good we are: John Wayne Airport; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Chicago Midway; and Reagan National.—Joe D'Eon

Remember: Bad weather exists BETWEEN cities, too

This happens all the time: We'll be in Pittsburgh going to Philly, and there will be a weather delay. The weather in Pittsburgh is beautiful. Then I'll hear passengers saying, "You know, I just called my friend in Philly, and it's beautiful there too," like there's some kind of conspiracy or something. But in the airspace between Pittsburgh and Philly there's a huge thunderstorm.—Jack Stephan (If you ever get stranded at an airport due to a weather delay or layover, here are some fun ways to pass the time.)

Is traveling with a baby in your lap safe? No

It's extremely dangerous. If there's any impact or deceleration, there's a good chance you're going to lose hold of your kid, and he becomes a projectile. But the government's logic is that if we made you buy an expensive seat for your baby, you'd just drive, and you're more likely to be injured driving than flying.—Patrick Smith

Passengers: PLEASE be more mindful of yourself and others

Most of you wouldn't consider going down the highway at 60 miles an hour without your seat belt fastened. But when we're hurtling through the air at 500 miles an hour and we turn off the seat belt sign, half of you take your seat belts off. But if we hit a little air pocket, your head will be on the ceiling.—Captain at a major airline

If you're going to recline your seat, for God's sake, please check behind you first. You have no idea how many laptops are broken every year by boorish passengers who slam their seat back with total disregard to what’s going on behind them.—John Nance

Whatever you pay to fly, we pay more

Please don't complain to me about your lost bags or the rotten service or that the airline did this or that. My retirement was taken to help subsidize your $39 airfare.—Pilot, South Carolina (Take an insider look at what it's like to be a pilot.)

I know pilots who spend a quarter million on their education and training, then that first year as a pilot, they qualify for food stamps.—Furloughed first officer, Texas

We miss the peanuts too.—US Airways pilot, South Carolina

We don't wear our hats in the cockpit, by the way 

On TV and in the comics, you always see these pilots with their hats on, and they have their headsets on over the hat, and that always makes us laugh.—Joe D'Eon

There's a good reason for everything we ask you to do

We ask you to put up the window shade so the flight attendants can see outside in an emergency, to assess if one side is better for an evacuation. It also lets light into the cabin if it goes dark and helps passengers get oriented if the plane flips or rolls over.—Patrick Smith

We hear some dumb things

Here's a news flash: We're not sitting in the cockpit listening to the ball game. Sometimes we can ask the controllers to go to their break room to check the score. But when I fly to Pittsburgh on a Sunday afternoon, the passengers send the flight attendants up at least ten times to ask us the Steelers score.—Commercial pilot, Charlotte, North Carolina

I am so tired of hearing "Oh my God, you're a girl pilot." When you see a Black pilot, do you say "Oh my God, you're a Black pilot"?—Pilot for a regional carrier

People tend to think the airplane is just flying itself. Trust me, that's not true. It can fly by itself sometimes. But you've always got your hands on the controls waiting for it to mess up. And it does mess up.—Airplane pilot, South Carolina

Flight attendants get some crazy comments, too. These are their biggest pet peeves.

Those buddy passes they give us?

I give them only to my enemies now. Sure, you can get a $1,000 airfare to Seattle for $100. But since you have to fly standby, it will take you three months to get back because you can't get a seat.—Pilot, South Carolina

Some insider advice

I always tell my kids to travel in sturdy shoes. If you have to evacuate and your flip-flops fall off, there you are standing on the hot tarmac or in the weeds in your bare feet.—Joe D'Eon

Cold on the airplane? Tell your flight attendant. We're in a constant battle with them over the temperature. They're moving all the time, up and down the aisles, so they are always calling and saying, "Turn up the air." But most passengers I know are freezing.—Captain at a major carrier

Here's the truth about airline jobs:

You don't have as much time off as your neighbors think you have, you don't make as much money as your relatives think you make, and you don't have as many girlfriends as your wife thinks you have. Still, I can't believe they pay me to do this.—Commercial pilot, Charlotte, North Carolina

Some airline lingo:

Blue juice: The water in the lavatory toilet. "There's no blue juice in the lav."
Crotch watch: The required check to make sure all passengers have their seat belts fastened. Also: "groin scan."
Crumb crunchers: Kids. "We've got a lot of crumb crunchers on this flight."
Deadheading: When an airline employee flies as a passenger for company business.
Gate lice: The people who gather around the gate right before boarding so they can be first on the plane. "Oh, the gate lice are thick today."
George: Autopilot. I'll let George take over."
Landing lips: Female passengers put on their "landing lips" when they use their lipstick just before landing.
Pax: Passengers.
Spinners: Passengers who get on late and don't have a seat assignment, so they spin around looking for a seat.
Two-for-one special: The plane touches down on landing, bounces up, then touches down again.
Working the village: Working in coach.

You should never do these 18 things on an airplane.

Don't ask for directions

I may be in uniform, but that doesn’t mean I’m the best person to ask for directions in the airport. We’re in so many airports that we usually have no idea. –Pilot for a regional carrier, Charlotte, North Carolina

We sleep in the cockpit

Do pilots sleep in (the cockpit)? Definitely. Sometimes it's just a ten-minute catnap, but it happens.—John Greaves, airline accident lawyer and former airline captain, Los Angeles

We don't dress up for cargo flights

One time I rode in the jump seat of a 747 freighter, which carries cargo, not passengers. As soon as the doors closed, the first officer went in back and put on a bathrobe and slippers. No kidding. He said, ‘I’ll be damned if I’m going to wear a tie for a bunch of boxes.’ –Tech pilot at a regional airline, Texas

Don't complain

Remember this before you complain about the cost of a ticket: Fares today are about the same as they were in the 1980s. –Patrick Smith

These are the secrets your flight attendant won't tell you.


Most airlines don’t have backward-facing seats for one reason

Although there are a handful of airlines that do have some rear-facing seats (more on that later), they are far and few between because rear-facing seats are so heavy. “In a crash, these seats will take more strain from the passenger than the more common forward-facing seats and thus need more support from the floor below,” Boland says. “Which in turn adds more weight to the aircraft and more weight always burns more fuel.” More fuel costs more money, so it’s unlikely that you’ll see rear-facing seats in economy as it’s not worth the expense for airlines, according to Boland. There are plenty of other airplane facts you’ve always been curious about, but the seat placement probably isn’t one you questioned.

Foods you should never buy at the airport
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Foods you should never buy at the airport

Soft pretzels

“A big old soft pretzel is not a meal,” says registered dietitian Marjorie Nolan Cohn, owner of MNC Nutrition in Philadelphia. Those fluffy carbs might smell enticing, but carbo-loading before a long flight will leave your tummy rumbling again by takeoff. Look for something with protein and fiber that will keep you satisfied until you land, or better yet, pack a meal from home. Nolan Cohn recommends making a sandwich at home to save money or packing leftovers like pasta salad or grilled chicken in an old, washed plastic container, such as a cottage cheese tub.


Guilty pleasures

Try not to lump your waiting time at the airport in with the “treat mentality” of the rest of your vacation, says registered dietitian nutritionist Libby Mills, founder of Dig In Eat Up. “Even though it might be the kickoff to vacation, you want to save those calories for something unique when you arrive,” she says. Skip the specialty coffee drink and stick with plain coffee if you need a caffeine fix, or leave room for ice cream at the beach instead of gobbling a bag of cookies at the airport. Don’t miss these other 15 secrets to staying healthy on vacation.



You’ve seen yogurt touted time and time again as one of the healthiest snacks you can get, thanks to its satiating protein. But that fruit and yogurt parfait isn’t the healthy and fresh choice that it seems. “Yogurt has its halo over it as a healthy food, and obviously it is, but in context of what additives are in it,” says Nolan Cohn. By the time you turn plain yogurt into a sugary flavored yogurt topped with granola and fruit (which, unlike fresh berries, is full of added sugar), it isn’t a healthy choice anymore, she says. Skip the parfait and choose a regular yogurt from the fridge, or try these 19 nutritionist-approved travel snacks you can buy anywhere.


Sugary yogurts

Even yogurts that aren’t covered in granola or chocolate chips can be a stealthy sugar bomb. Fruit-on-the-bottom varieties are “not really fruit—it’s more like jelly,” says Nolan Cohn, and the dessert-like flavors and toppings can have almost as much sugar as the treats they’re named after. A cup of unflavored Greek yogurt is a safe bet, but if you need something less tart, vanilla varieties tend to have a bit less sugar than the fruity ones, she says. Try these other 13 healthy tricks for actually losing weight on vacation.


Granola bars

Granola bars are often designed to look like a smart choice, but there’s more than meets the eye. “Some are like candy bars in a really strategic marketing package to make it look like something way healthier than it is,” says Nolan Cohn. Granola bars can be packed with added sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and other decidedly unhealthy ingredients, especially if they’re covered in a waxy (and melty) coating. That said, a shelf-stable, portable snack is convenient when you need to take the hunger off during your travels, so hunt down an option with 12 or fewer grams of sugar, she says. Check out these other 10 ways to eat healthy on vacation.



A cheap, low-calorie cup of coffee might seem like the perfect treat while you’re waiting, but you might regret it once you’re seated. “Coffee has caffeine and can agitate the nerves, which might not make for the most relaxing flight,” says Mills. Plus, if coffee goes through you fast, you could end up making multiple bathroom dashes, she points out. Try a calming herbal tea instead, Mills suggests.


Large bar tab

While a glass of wine as you wait for your flight won’t do much harm for most people, you’ll want to keep your drinking to a minimum. Not only could it dehydrate you before an already dehydrating plane ride, but alcohol isn’t good for deep sleep. You might crash quick, but the alcohol will wake you up and keep you out of deep REM sleep as your liver works it out. “A less restful trip, especially if you’re going overseas, may be counterproductive to enjoying yourself fully when you arrive,” says Mills.


Double-decker sandwiches

You might not have too many choices at a quick-grab sandwich station, but keep your calories in check by avoiding excessive fillings, says Mills. “If it has triple layers of meat or bread, that’s a tipoff that you’re getting triple servings,” she says. “‘Crispy,’ breaded,’ and ‘fried’ … are words on a menu that are tipoffs of an extra serving of carbohydrates, plus the extra fat.” 


Water bottles

You might not want to rely on the bottled water from the airport terminal—and not just because of its sky-high prices. Normally we’d never discourage some good-for-you hydration, but hear us out if you have a small bladder. “You’re guzzling water before getting on the plane, then sharing a toilet with how many people?” says Nolan Cohn. Because hydration is important, especially when you’re stuck in a dry plane cabin, she recommends sipping extra water the night and morning before your flight so you aren’t dehydrated when you board. Especially if your flight is more than a couple hours, though, don’t ignore your thirst in the name of avoiding the bathroom, she says.


Anything your stomach isn't used to

When you’re about to sit in close quarters for hours on end, you’ll want to avoid foods that don’t tend to sit well with your digestive system. Steer clear of foods that normally might upset your stomach, such as certain types of fiber or greasy foods. “A hamburger and French fries or fried chicken before you get on a plane might not be the best idea,” says Nolan Cohn. “They have a higher potential for triggering diarrhea or GI issues.”


There are a handful of airlines that do have seats that face backward

If you do want to try out a rear-facing airplane seat, opt for business class seats with airlines like American, United, Qatar, and British Airways, Boland says. “Most of the seats in the row will be forward-facing, but one or two on the windows will be rear-facing,” he says. The staggered seat arrangement means some people will face each other, but SeatGuru notes there are walls, screens, and other visual amenities to distract passengers from making awkward eye contact. Don’t worry, avoiding eye contact isn’t one of the rude airplane habits you need to worry about.

Vintage flight attendant photos
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Vintage flight attendant photos
Cindy Mackenzie, Air hostess and public face of Qantas.Millions of television viewers know her as the face of the new Qantas. But for Cindy Mackenzie, it was a case of deja vu.Two years ago, the attractive flight attendant made her screen debut in another airline advertising campaign - for her then employer Australian Airlines.Few outside the group would appreciate the significance of her re-appearance in the past few weeks in the first TV ads for the combined Qantas and Australian.It was not, however, lost on the Qantas chairman, Gary Pemberton, and his board. The choice of Cindy has been a deliberate ploy to pep up the morale of her Australian colleagues, still hurting over the $400 million takeover. August 23, 1993. (Photo by Bruce Milton Miller/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).
Britannia Airways stewardess, Viv Donnelly, at Newcastle Airport. 14/06/1989. (Photo by NCJ Archive/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
Ms Susan Nixon - a clerk with All Nippon Airways - speaks Japanese, is an Australian citizen and was knocked back by Qantas for a position as a flight attendant. May 31, 1989. (Photo by Greg White/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).
Martine, a flight attendant, serving meals on a British Airways Concorde, UK, 31st August 1983. (Photo by M. McKeown/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
TAA Airhostess Sharyn Parkes at her flat in Monterey.Story about how glamorous image of Airhostess's has changes.Sharyn Parkes, has been a TAA flight attendant (domestically they are not called hosties anymore) for about five years, wouldn't change it for anything, is full of praise for the lifestyle it affords and has recommended it to her friends and sisters.She doesn't see it as particularly glamorous, it's rather more like hard work but is certainly worth it: "Now I couldn't imagine getting up at 7.30 each morning, getting the 'bus, then rushing home in peak-hour traffic and doing my shopping on Thursday nights or Saturday morning and going to the beach when everyone else is there." September 29, 1982. (Photo by Gerrit Alan Fokkema/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).
Chris Mitchell, 21, of North Epping, The first male flight attendant with T.A.A.Bronwyn Wright, Chris Mitchell, Dane Hul, aboard A T.A.A. Aircraft. September 30, 1980. (Photo by Antony Matheus Linsen/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).
TAA's airhostesses began wearing a new uniform today. The airline's 700 hostesses will be progressively changing over to the new uniforms during the next few months. Their current uniform was introduced nearly six years ago.One the tarmac the girls quickly change into some of the many ***** of the uniform which will be worn aboard aircraft.Left to right: Ann Farmer, Sandy Walsh and Cathy Storic.The girls make a quick change on the tarmac into some of the many combinations of uniform they will be able to wear in flight. September 21, 1976. (Photo by Barry James Gilmour/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).
TAA's airhostesses began wearing a new uniform today. The airline's 700 hostesses will be progressively changing over to the new uniforms during to ***** next few months. Their current uniform was introduced nearly six years ago.Left to right: Cathy Storic of Kirribilli, wearing the winter uniform of long coat and boots; Ann Farmer of Bexley, wearing the white summer uniform and Sandy White of Brighton, wearing the navy blue all-seasons uniform. September 21, 1976. (Photo by Barry James Gilmour/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).
Air Hostess Story - T.A.A. Air Hostess -- L to R: Betty Clarrson of Rosaille Leonie Broun of Willoughby Jane Morgan of Rose Bay Sandra Matheson of Neutral Bay. April 08, 1976. (Photo by Antony Matheus Linsen/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).
Flight Hostesses Modeling the New Aer Lingus Flight Hostesses uniform, 18/03/1975 (Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI Collection). (Photo by Independent News and Media/Getty Images).
22nd March 1973: Two models wearing new stewardess uniforms which have been designed by Mary Quant, at Luton Airport, Bedfordshire. (Photo by Frank Barratt/Keystone/Getty Images)
Left to right: Flight Hostess Cathy Cray, 25 of Los AngelesFlight Hostess Sharron Taylor, 22 of Oakland.Three female members of Pan Ams' Flight Service recruitment department in New York arrived today to commence interviewing 360 Australian girls which have recently applied for Air Hostess positions with Pan Am. July 17, 1972. (Photo by Trevor James Robert Dallen/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).
Qantas Air Hostess Pat Wood. November 02, 1971. (Photo by Trevor James Robert Dallen/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).
View of passengers and a flight attendant in the cabin of a United Airlines plane during a flight, March 4, 1974. (Photo by Marion S Trikosko/US News and World Report Photo Collection/PhotoQuest/Getty Images)
TAA today released its "New Look" -- three colour air hostess uniforms. The aim of the multi colour design is to "freshen and make the airline's image even friendlier.Three air hostesses wearing the new uniforms. (Left to right) Kerry Broughton, of Perty, Rhiannon Jones, Broken Hill and Sherrin Sumner, of Katoomba.New hostess uniforms are part of T.A.A.'s move to project a friendly image of service and efficiency. June 02, 1970. (Photo by Trevor James Robert Dallen/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).
Family picture taken on January 13, 1970 of the aircrew of the first commercial flight of the Boeing 747 from New York to London for Pan American. On September 30, 1968, the first 747 was rolled out of the Everett assembly building before the world's press and representatives of the 26 airlines that had ordered the plane, and first flight took place on February 09, 1969. The Boeing 747, called also "Jumbo Jet", entered service on January 21, 1970, on Pan Am's New York�London route. (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
A Pan American (Pan Am) airhostess serving champagne in the first class cabin of a Boeing 747 jumbo jet. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
Passengers boarding the aircraft.A Qantas Boeing 707 charted by TAA to fly to New Guinea left today with a Qantas flight crew and TAA hostesses.It will be the only Qantas aircraft to operate today as all other the company's aircraft have been grounded due to the stewards strike. April 4, 1968. (Photo by Trevor James Robert Dallen/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).
Une hôtesse de l'air de la Pan American World Airways, dont l'uniforme -créé par Evan Picone- se compose notamment d'un tablier en coton polyester blanc à poches bleues ou beiges, servant des rafraîchissements aux passagers à l'aide d'un chariot repas lors d'un vol, en 1968. (Photo by KEYSTONE-FRANCE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Les hôtesses de l'air de l'UTA (Union de Transports Aériens) présentent leurs nouveaux uniformes créés par Pierre Cardin : jersey marine pour l'hiver et gabardine beige pour l'été, en France, le 9 mai 1968. (Photo by KEYSTONE-FRANCE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Deux hôtesses-bébés, hôtesses de l'air spécialisées, diplomées de l'école de puériculture, accompagnant les enfants voyageant seuls, en France, le 30 juin 1966. (Photo by KEYSTONE-FRANCE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Air Hostess at Renfrew Airport escorts Celtic players Johnstone, Lennox & Gallagher, who are on their way to Spain to play Barcelona in a Fairs Cup match November 1964. Celtic lost the match 3-1 (Photo by Daily Record/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
The Beatles in Liverpool for the Premier of a Hard Day's Night. Paul McCartney pictured here talking to a Flight Attendant on the journey to Liverpool for the Premier. 10th July 1964. (Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
Deux hôtesses de l'air d'Air France présentent leurs nouveaux uniformes, d'été et d'hiver, créés par le couturier Marc Bohan pour Christian Dior à Paris, France, le 23 mars 1962. (Photo by KEYSTONE-FRANCE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
12th January 1959: Swedish stewardess Birgitta Lindman, who is with the Swedish SAS airline, examines a showgirls costume. (Photo by Harry Todd/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
An air stewardess serving food to passengers on board a Qantas Boeing 707 plane at London airport. 7th August 1959. (Photo by Daily Herald/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
14th October 1958: BOAC air hostesses in training are taught in a mock-up of an aircraft cabin at London Airport. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
Passengers eating their meals. (Photo by Joseph Scherschel/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)
1958: Two businessmen and three female flight attendants pose on the boarding ramp for the first Irish Airlines flight from Dublin, Ireland to New York City. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
1958: A stewardess serving drinks whilst passengers have lunch aboard a BEA Vickers Viking passenger plane. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
A stewardess serves a meal to a couple on an American Airlines flight, mid to late 1950s. (Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)
9th October 1957: BOAC DC-7C airliner crew, left to right, front to back, 1st Stewardess Faith Sisman, Captain Gordon Store incommand, co-pilot Captain E C Miles, 2 Stewardess Velma Brown, pilot First Officer C A Moor, pilot First Office I R Phillips, Navigating Officer G H Brown, Engineering Officer R Smith, Chief Steward H H Craik, 2nd Steward F H Ross and 3rd Steward L J Miller. (Photo by Reg Speller/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
23rd January 1956: The BOAC pilots and aircrew who will fly the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to West Africa in an Argonaut Atalanta. The crew on the left, led by Captain R C Parker, will be on duty from London to Tripoli, while Captain Ballantine and crew, on the righht, will be responsible for the final stage of the flight to Lagos. (Photo by William Vanderson/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MID 1950's: Passengers on a Transocean Air lines Boeing 377 Stratocruiser in the mid 1950's. Transocean Air lines flew between 1946 and 1962 and was a pioneer discount airline. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MID 1950's: An air hostess serves passengers in the observation area of a Transocean Air lines Boeing 377 Stratocruiser in the mid 1950's. Transocean Air lines flew between 1946 and 1962 and was a pioneer discount airline. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images)
19th October 1953: A model wearing a Kay Bee suit with a hat and gloves unwittingly achieves the look of an airhostess. (Photo by Chaloner Woods/Getty Images)
circa 1955: An airline stewardess smiles as she holds a metal coffee pot while standing in the aisle of an airplane. She wears a uniform with an American Airlines crest. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Brigadier Mary Coulshed, CBE (1904 - 1998, left), Director of the WRAC (Women's Royal Army Corps) leaves Blackbushe Airport in Hampshire for a tour of the Middle East, 5th January 1952. On the right is Air Hostess Patricia Fitzgerald from Rathdowney in Ireland. (Photo by Reg Speller/Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Jane Wyman goes over bulletins with American Airlines stewardess Ethel Wells and Ellajane Bishop prior to starting her role in the film 'Three Guys Named Mike', 1951. (Photo by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images)
B.E.A. air hostess Susan Cramsie returns to work after being hospitalized in a BEA air crash in Paris, Northolt Airport, 17th November 1950. (Photo by George W. Hales/Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
19th January 1950: Trainee air hostess, Claire Swan, during a training session in a BOAC mock aircraft. (Photo by George W. Hales/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
Two air hostesses standing near a BOAC Comet, circa 1950. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
circa 1950: Two hostesses stand in front of a new monorail service in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Evans/Three Lions/Getty Images)
7th June 1949: BSAA Star Girl Poppy De Hagerton. (Photo by Express/Express/Getty Images)
An American Airlines stewardess prepares a meal for a passenger, mid to late 1940s. (Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)
15th February 1947: Jean Murphy, a trainee air steward, offers a selection of newspapers and magazines to a passenger. Original Publication: Picture Post - 4330 - A Girl Becomes An Air Steward - pub. 1947 (Photo by Merlyn Severn/Picture Post/Getty Images)
A United Airlines stewardess gives a baby a bottle on the airplane while the mother looks on, mid to late 1940s. (Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)
23rd December 1946: Air hostess Patricia Palley attends to passengers in the decorated cabin of a Pan-American air liner over the Atlantic. (Photo by William Vanderson/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
April 1946: Miss B Midgley of Northolt aerodrome stands under the nose of a BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) aircraft. She is one of ten 'air traffic girls' currently taking part in a course at Hurn airport, to learn how to deal professionally with passengers. (Photo by George Konig/Keystone Features/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 11: Baby Traveling By Plane In New York On July 1945 (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
circa 1945: British and Overseas Airways air stewardess Peggy Keyte brings a tray of coffees to the passengers in her aircraft, during a World War II flight. (Photo by Fred Ramage/Keystone/Getty Images)

The post Here’s Why Airplane Seats Are Actually Facing the Wrong Way appeared first on Reader's Digest.

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