Everyone uses airports, every single year. In fact, Heathrow airport in England has no less than 200,000 customers every single day, and over 70 million per year. Airports are huge operations with many moving parts, and how they all come together is fascinating.
One of the most popular airport-related questions in existence is “What happens to my luggage at the airport?” Those who have seen Toy Story 2 may not have been satisfied with that film’s cartoony answer. The true reality of the situation is that there’s so much more than meets the eye.
How and when do planes receive their fuel? Where do air hostesses and pilots live? Do they live at the plane’s destination? Of course, we’ll probably never know everything for certain. But in the meantime, here is a quick look at some of the more hidden factors of airport operation.
Why do I always have to wait so long at the airport? As annoying as it is to have to wait in the lobby for hours on end, it’s a scenario many of us have endured. But, it may not be as accidental as it appears.
Airports have their ‘golden hour’ and it’s that that gets you to spend money. Every hour you spend at the airport is around 7 dollars spent per passenger. So, the next time you eye up that airport Burger King, just remember that it was meant to happen all along.
How and when are planes refueled? Everyone has fueled a car, but have you ever fueled a plane? Probably not. But you never know, you could one day! Just so you know what to do, here are a few pointers.
Like all vehicles, you have to determine what type of fuel to use and the amount you will put in. Plane fuel is transported in massive tankers called aircraft refuelers, and it’s these that are vital to the fueling process. As expected, there’s a fuel cap to untighten and place back on once the job is done, so don’t forget!
As for frequency, it depends on certain factors. The weight of passengers and baggage makes a plane heavier, meaning it needs more fuel. Even hot and cold weathers can affect fuel consumption, so it depends on the destination of the flight.
What happens to my bags at the airport? So, it turns out that the Toy Story 2 method of luggage handling wasn’t too far off the mark. Bags are indeed moved on conveyor belts into a storage area, where they’re kept before their flight is due. They’re then driven to the aircraft and loaded manually, just before the flight is ready. You can take a look at some photos and videos of the process here; it really is fascinating.
Where do pilots live? Obviously, every plane needs a captain, but how does that job work? It’s not exactly a 9-to-5 position. Well, pilots do indeed own a house, but they won’t spend too much time in it. Think of the cheap utility bills!
When a pilot is away from home, they can stay in a ‘crash pad’ a place made for flight crews to spend while away from home. Yes, somewhere out there is a pilots-only hotel, which is certainly a necessity considering the strenuous nature of the job.
Now you know what goes on behind the scenes, be sure to pack these essential items before you depart. Thanks for reading!