Did you manage to snag an aisle seat on that long-haul flight? Not only can you get up without crawling over people, but you can make your seat extra roomy at the push of a button, thanks to one of the coolest secret airplane features.
All you need to do is to reach under the armrest closest to the aisle and feel around near the hinge. You should find a button, which will instantly let you swing the armrest up when you push it, according to Travel + Leisure.
Once it’s in line with your seat back, it won’t dig into your side anymore, and you can move your legs around without hitting anything. Here are five other hidden airplane features that can make your travel time more fun.
Triangle Above Window
Scan the wall of your plane; above four windows, you’ll see a black triangle. Each one lines up with the edge of the airplane’s wing. If a flight attendant needs to check the airplane’s slats or flaps—the moving parts on a wing—they’ll know exactly where to go for the best view.
If you’re getting motion sick on a plane, you might want to see if you can move to a seat between the triangles. The wings are the plane’s center of gravity, so sitting between them would give you the smoothest ride.
Holes in the windows
Look closely at an airplane window and you’ll spot something weird: a little hole in the bottom. Take an even closer look and you’ll realize that unlike other windows, this one is made of three panes, and the hole is in the middle one. The quirk is there to protect against the pressure drop of flying high into the atmosphere.
As a plane ascends, the pressure outside drops massively, but the cabin is designed to stay at a comfortable pressure. That leaves a big difference in pressure inside and outside of the plane. The outside window takes on most of that pressure, and the hole in the middle one helps balance the pressure difference. The inner window is just to protect the middle one.
The hidden handrail
You probably dislike people grabbing your seat on the way to the bathroom. Once it’s your turn to make your way down the aisle, though, you realize you have no choice but to do the exact same thing.
Well, flight attendants don’t just touch the ceiling for fun when they walk; the bottom of the overhead compartment has a scalloped area that gives better grip when walking down a moving airplane. Next time you need to get up, reach to the ceiling for balance.
Secret sleeping area
A long-haul flight is hard enough on passengers, but imagine being a pilot or flight attendant trying to make it through a 14-hour workday. It’s an exhausting job, so some planes, like Boeing 777 and 787 planes, have secret passageways that let staff get some decent shut-eye.
A locked door near the front of the plane or a door posing as an overhead bin hides the entrance to a set of beds, kept private with thick curtains.
Hooks on the wings
If you peek out the window to an Airbus plane’s wing, you can spot yellow bumps with holes in the middle on an otherwise smooth, white surface. If there’s an emergency water landing, the wings would be very slippery for passengers trying to get to the inflatable slide that would have deployed.
To help travelers get off without falling, the airplane features let cabin crew slip a rope through one hook and fasten it to the next. Passengers could hold on to the rope while on the plane to make it away from the plane safely.