Air Travel Trivia

Airplane - Paul Gwyther

On a recent trip, we wondered: Do long-haul flights really 'land on fumes'? How much does it cost to fill up the tank of a 747? And is LHR really the world's busiest airport?

While we found the answer to the latter two, we couldn't find anything definitive about the former. But we did learn that:

  • The five busiest airports, based on passenger traffic, are: Atlanta (ATL), Chicago (ORD), London (LHR), Tokyo (HND), Los Angeles (LAX).
  • The first flight attendants had to weigh less than 115 pounds, be unmarried and be trained nurses.
  • The Montreal-based IATA (International Air Transport Authority) issues all airport codes.
  • David Letterman and Barry Manilow auditioned for the lead (Ted Striker) in the film, Airplane!
  • The fastest Concorde flight was on 7th February 1996, which went from London to New York in 2:52:59, 40 minutes faster than normal.
  • A Boeing 747 holds 57,285 gallons of gas (or 217,110 litres, costing about £217K) and is made up of six million parts.
  • Sixteen percent of Britons make conversation with their neighbours on a flight, compared with 66% of Italians.
  • Airplane hijacking was outlawed in 1961.
  • The flight attendant who reportedly had sex with Ralph Fiennes in an airplane loo was fired by Quantas earlier this year.
  • Mobile phone usage doesn't actually cause any problems to air travel. (A pilot told us this.)
  • Singapore Airplines raised $1.9 million for charity by auctioning off tickets for their first flight.
  • A British man named Edwin holds the record for flying in the most kinds of aircraft - 841.
  • This site has great instructions on how to make a paper airplane.