I believe you already know there are some secrets in the airports but you just maybe can’t point them out. Well, I will make it easy by pointing out some airport secrets to you. From health issues to you not getting some of your stuffs when you don’t come for them on time, I will throw more light on some of the mysteries behind the airport experience.

The air quality is toxic

As you can imagine the heavy air traffic and the various road machinery around airports emit all sorts of pollutants – carbon monoxide, ozone and VOCs included. The air quality around Europe’s busiest airport, Heathrow, for example, regularly breaches the legal limit for nitrogen dioxide pollutants.

The noise levels could lead to heart disease

I bet you didn’t think about this huh? A study published in the online journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine found an association between people who live close to an airport and an increased risk of heart disease. It found the people who were exposed to the highest noise levels, particularly at night time, were at a greater risk of developing high blood pressure and heart flutters.

They’ll sell your stuff

Yeah they do sell!! Leave – or lose – anything at the airport, and it will go into a storage area where you have up to 90 days to collect it. That includes luggage misplaced by airlines. After that, most airports donate unclaimed items to charities – or even sell them off for cash at huge auction houses. Find out more tips on keeping your luggage safe.

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Landing slots are big business

Another of the airport secrets is that they charge airlines big fees for the privilege of landing on their runways on certain days or times; and these ‘landing slots’ are rigorously sold or traded between airlines. For example, in 2016 Oman Air paid Air France-KLM $75 million (£56m) for a prized early morning arrival slot at Heathrow. The escalating value of these slots in turn bumps up passenger fares – by about $5.40 (£4) per passenger over the last 10 years.

Late flights have to pay up

One of the well silent airport secrets is the fact that you have to be paid for late flight. They’ll rarely announce it as your tardy flight is touching down, but if an EU-based airline; (that includes Ryanair, easyJet and British Airways) arrives at its destination three or more hours late, they owe you cash. The rules are $296 (£220/€250) for flights under 1,500km (932 miles), but payments can reach $710 (£530/€600) for flights over 3,500km (2,175 miles). Although, it’s not payable in “extraordinary circumstances”, which could be anything from war, civil unrest or security issues, to natural disasters, extreme weather, air traffic control restrictions and crew strikes.

Taxis charge more for airport pick-ups

In most cities, you’ll pay a premium for a city taxi to come pick you up. In London, black cabs charge an extra $3.80 (£2.80) for journeys beginning in Heathrow; in US cities it’s typically a couple of dollars; In my country Ghana, it’s also the same. For me, I normally order an Uber; which is quite better than the usual cab at the Airport in Accra.

Arrival times change to make airlines look more punctual

According to a Which? Travel survey of 850,000 flights earlier this year, only 74% of flights arrive on time. Even if your flight took 15 minutes less than you expected, you probably haven’t made up time en route. It’s more likely that the arrival time was adjusted to allow for delays and make airlines look more punctual than they actually are.

It’s cheapest to fly on a weekday

Research shows that Tuesdays and Thursdays are typically the cheapest days of the week to fly. And the most expensive? Unsurprisingly, are Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So if you’re flexible, be sure to look for midweek options to save a few pennies.

 

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