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I’m pretty sure there are things you did not know about air travel. We’ve collected some crucial facts every modern day nomad should know before boarding. You’ll learn who was the first flight attendant ever, where planes land on the busy city street and whether it’s possible to fly every resident of Chicago at the same time.

 

Citizens of Chicago in the Air

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There are 61,000 people in the air over the United States at any given moment of any given day and over 3 million people in World in the air on planes at any one time in total. That is approximately the whole population of Chicago in the air at the same time. That is possible since there are over 14,000 commercial flights in the air at any given time of the day. With this in mind it is rather surprising that only 5% of the worlds population have ever been on an airplane. One guy though, Tom Stuker is not only among that 5%. He is also the worlds most frequent flyer. He has traveled over 10 million miles. It is perhaps because he knows that flight is one of the safest form of travel.

 

Your Aunt Must Have Been to Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport

things you did not know about air travels
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One third of all the airports in the whole world are located in the United States. So is the largest airport in the world – Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport. With nearly a whooping 100,000,000 passengers per year, it is the worlds busiest airport. The Hartsfield–Jackson Airport has also earned the title of one of the most prestigious airports in the world. Probability is that you or someone from your family have passed through Hartsfield–Jackson, as it is the largest connections hub in North America. Hartsfield–Jackson is the hub airport for Delta Airlines, AirTran Airways and several smaller airlines. Delta Airlines represents a huge part of Hartsfield–Jackson`s business as it flies nearly 60% of all ATL passengers.

 

How About Landing on the Main Street?

things you did not know about air travels
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Gibraltar airport is not only considered the most dangerous airports in the world, but one of the busier ones as well (especially compared to the other risky airports). It may sound unbelievable but the corridor of this airport actually passes through the main street of the city. Vehicles are made to stop every time an aircraft lands or takes off. And that happens a lot. So it’s pretty amazing that there has never been a major accident – and we can only hope it stays that way.

 

Safe as Ben Gurion

things you did not know about air travels
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Gibraltar is one of the most, if not the most dangerous airports in terms of its location. Ben Gurion in Israel is famed for the opposite values. In fact it is  known as one of the world’s safest airports, with a high level of security provided by the Israel Defense Forces, Israel Police, and undercover agents. Passengers departing and entering the airport are subject to rigorous security checks, many of which have been adopted internationally.

 

Tall enough, slim enough & hot enough

things you did not know about air travels
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The role of a flight attendant derives from that of similar positions on passenger ships or passenger trains, but it has more direct involvement with passengers because of the confined quarters on aircraft. Heinrich Kubis was Germany’s (and the world’s) first flight attendant, in 1912. The first female flight attendant was a 25-year-old registered nurse named Ellen Church hired by United Airlines in 1930. Back then, female flight attendants had to weight less than 115 pounds (52 kilos). And requirements for flight attendants has continued since. During Pan Am’s heyday in the 1960s, there were strict requirements for stewardesses: They had to be at least 5-foot-2, weigh no more than 130 pounds, and retire by age 32. They couldn’t be married or have children, either. As a result, most women averaged just 18 months on the job. These days, as long as flight attendants can do the job and pass a yearly training program, they can keep flying. As for weight restrictions, most of those disappeared in the 1990s and today, the rules are strictly about safety. Flight attendants who can’t sit in the jump seat without an extended seat belt or can’t fit through the emergency exit window simply cannot fly. The same goes for height requirements. The flight attendants have to be tall enough to grab equipment from the overhead bins, but not to tall as it would not be that much fun seeing them hitting heads on the ceiling all the time. (Well it could be fun for some). Today, that typically means between 5-foot-3 and 6-foot-1, depending on the aircraft. It may sound strange but when traveling it’s best to avoid flight attendants no matter how hot they are. I’m into in to stigma, but they have a higher rate of upper respiratory tract infections, and everything they carry, you can catch, too.

 

The World’s Most Famous Flight Attendant

things you did not know about air travels

Perhaps the worlds most famous flight attendant is Pam Ann. She is the air hostess alter-ego of Australian comedienne Caroline Reid. The name wordplay on Pan Am. That should not surprise as most of her shows are based on airline related humor.  Performances focus on the nuances of air travel, identifying the individual quirks of some of the biggest international airlines and their media stereotypes.

You might also want to read some more about the things we dread the most when it comes to air travel and how to prevent jet lag with one of the clever apps to help you prepare for the best trip ever.