This post is part of Geek Takeover Week 2018.

air travel facts

Over the years, I’ve covered a lot of about air travel here, from surviving plane crashes to letting you know how terrible United’s business class is. But this is Geek Takeover Week so I wanted to take some of the more interesting and obscure facts sprinkled throughout thousands of posts, boil them down, and offer a highly concentrated dose you can shoot right into your neurons.

These are 20 random facts you might not have know about traveling by plane.

1. Fear of flying is called aerophobia.

2. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States limits commercial airline pilots to 1,000 hours of flight time per year.

3. 76% of people involved in plane crashes survive.

4. This is what those marshaling signals mean:

marshalling signals air travel

5. There are secret seats on planes you can reserve.

6. The average passenger plane angles up 12.5 degrees during takeoff.

7. Commercial flights often begin their descent 90 minutes prior to reaching their destination.

8. During an average 8 hour flight, time dilation causes you to be .0000003 seconds in the future compared to people on the ground.

9. 80% of plane crashes occur during the first 3 minutes and last 8 minutes of a flight.

10. The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner’s engines are powerful enough to allow it to fly straight up.

11. Frequent flyers have about a 1 in 20,000 chance of dying in a plane crash.

12. Germans are the most internationally traveled people in the world.

13. A trip across the Atlantic Ocean is 9,000 times safer than it was in 1918.

14. People who survive the initial impact of a plane crash, yet still lose their lives, do so because they try to take their carry-on luggage with them.

15. Sitting any further away than 5 rows from any exit row greatly reduces your chances of surviving a plane crash.

16. People taking flights of 4 hours or more are more than 3 times likely to develop deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

17. The FAA has a tool you can use to calculate how much ionizing radiation you’re exposed to on a given flight.

18. Layovers shorter than 24 hours don’t count as an extra stop on a plane ticket.

19. The busiest airport in the world is Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta.

20. Passenger planes bank a maximum of about 30 degrees during a turn.

  • And here’s a bonus fact for you: on average, there are roughly 500,000 people in the sky, traveling in planes, at any given time!
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The list goes on in the posts linked above if you want to learn more details. For even more knowledge, here’s 8 peculiar facts about Moldova, things you probably didn’t know about Egypt’s pyramids, and 10 (surprisingly) interesting facts about Porto’s bridges.