Are you flying with children, waiting at the gate for your flight with your children and they are asking you all about airports and you have no clue how to properly answer them? Perhaps you’re at home wishing you were going on holiday but the closest you can get to a sandy beach is some airport knowledge. I’ve put together some fun airport trivia, so you can ace any airport-related question your little one throws at you as you prepare to travel the world.
How are planes prepared before boarding?
Aviation Spares, ground support equipment supplier, gave me some insider scoop on how planes are prepared before boarding. Whilst you are having some quiet time with your children reading their favourite books, an army of baggage handlers, refuelling technicians, aircraft cleaners and catering crew are loading your suitcases, refuelling the aircraft, making the cabin squeaky clean and topping up the food and drink.
How many people travel by plane every year?
In 2018, 4.4 billion passengers travelled by plane, according to the International Air Transport Association. This means that around 12 million people fly every day – you could fill The O2 603 times with this amount of people, or you could even say that more than the whole population of Portugal or Sweden flying every day. Obviously, at the time of writing during Covid those numbers will be a lot less!
Fun fact? Did you know that the pandemic has also created a middle-class private jet boom? More people are now travelling by private jet than ever before. So the question is how can they afford to fly by private jet? If you are interested in finding out more about private jet flight cost, you could take a look at Jettly and see how chartering a private flight with them might work.
How do suitcases get to the right plane?
After dropping your luggage at the check-in, an airline staff member will attach a barcode tag to your suitcase and place it on a conveyor belt, which will automatically take your luggage to the baggage handling system, where the magic happens.
The baggage handling system is a large carousel-type thingamajig that counts bags, checks weights of bags, screens suitcases and takes your suitcase to the right place, ready for baggage handlers to pick it up.
As this article on Rachel Bustin mentions, “This system is made of long rows of conveyors belts, transporting thousands of suitcases every day up and down, right to left. It’s an incredible piece of engineering which could be compared to a lengthy roller coaster.”
What happens to lost luggage?
Lost luggage that hasn’t been claimed for 90 days will, most likely, end up at an auction house that sells luggage, with profits going to charity. The Travel Pocket Guide says that regular lost luggage finds include watches, shoes, hairdryers and chargers, however, some more strange ones include “barbie doll with $500 stuffed in her head” and “$1 million in a briefcase”.
Do airports ever close?
Most airports, if not all airports, are open overnight, however, this does not mean that terminals are open. Instead of passengers walking about, you will most likely see cleaning staff, maintenance crew, and other airport personnel getting everything ready for the next busy day at the airport.
If you’re flying with children, we hope you enjoyed the facts above!