Things you never noticed on a plane

Features you can use onboard an airplane

Interior of a plane

Those who fly a lot hardly notice the routine details on board a plane. Even globetrotters are unlikely to be familiar with these features onboard an airplane. Or maybe they are?

The versatile hook on the folding table

We all use it, on almost every flight. But have you ever taken a closer look at the table in front of your nose? The hook used to secure the table in its holder is by no means just a hook.

It almost always has a notch that turns the hook into a coat hook when turned in the right direction. When that happens, one can use the hook for hanging either jackets or sweaters, either headphones or similar small items.

In most aircraft, the hook is located directly on the table; in some other cases, it is detached, independent of the table – for example, attached to the seat’s side.

The hidden bracket on the hand luggage compartment

Luggage compartment in a plane
Typical luggage compartment

One of the no-gos on board an airplane is to hold on to the headrest in front of you when you get up. There is a hidden feature for this: just under the hand luggage compartment, you will find a notch in many machines.

It’s a kind of narrow groove that is laid out like a hidden railing and is intended for you to hold on to. So next time, please reach up and not the headrest of the person sitting next to you!

The secret button on the armrest

Even frequent flyers know that the armrests in the aisle are always firmly anchored. But that’s not entirely true because there is actually a secret button that you can use to fold up the armrest.

However, the staff onboard staff intentionally does not reveal it, as otherwise too many legs and feet would hang in the aisle. Originally, the button was conceived to provide easier access for disabled passengers.

On your next flight, see if you can find the button. You have to run your fingers along the armrest’s underside – in many cases, you can feel the button near the joint. 

The mysterious toilet door

The secret button on a plane lavatory door

There is also a secret feature in the aircraft toilet that most passengers are unaware of. For security reasons, the locked door also opens from the outside – and that without an extra key.

There is a button on the door under the “No Smoking” sign that you can use to open it from the outside. However, this feature is only intended for emergencies in which, for example, someone collapses or smokes secretly.

The unknown socket inside the toilet

Speaking of the toilet: there is another tool here that many overlook. On board some aircraft today there are USB plugs for charging smartphones, but this is not yet widespread.

But: Many aircraft have a socket in the toilets. That doesn’t mean you should block the quiet place for an hour to charge your phone, but sometimes it helps if it’s five minutes to get the battery going a little.

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