The next time you fly, it may be worth looking away from the inflight entertainment and taking a look at the hidden buttons and items around the cabin.
The next time you fly, you should be on the lookout for a series of hidden buttons and rails in the cockpit that you have probably never noticed.
From giving you extra space in your seat to being used during an emergency landing, here are some secret features of an airplane that you may not have realized existed.
Rail under the top lockers
According to Conde Nast Traveler, most aircraft built in the last fifteen years have a built-in handrail just below the top lockers.
If you’ve ever seen a cabin crew member run their hand through the overhead compartment, what you’ve really witnessed is how they stabilize on this “secret” handrail.
The rail also offers passengers a nifty alternative to grabbing other passengers’ headrests, annoying them in the process.
Hidden button under the armrest
There is a “secret” button that few airline passengers know about, which allows you to raise the armrest in the aisle.
Under the armrest, you will find it near the hinge which, once pressed, allows the armrest to move up so that it is flush with the back of your seat, giving you more space, an advantage in times of reduction of the size of the seats.
Originally designed as a security measure to allow travelers to escape more quickly in an emergency, it is also used by the crew to assist passengers with disabilities in and out of their seats.
Small holes in airplane windows
Even frequent flyers might not have noticed that there are tiny holes in airplane windows.
Fortunately, there is a very simple explanation … and the holes are actually there on purpose.
The strange design helps the aircraft to withstand the changing air pressure outside.
Although there may appear to be a hole, the small gap does not cut through the entire panel.
Each window is made up of three different acrylic layers, with only the middle one containing the ventilation hole.
The small space helps regulate the high-pressure environment on the plane, making the experience much more comfortable for passengers.
Have you ever noticed the tiny yellow hooks built into the wings of airplanes? Probably not.
They are used to assist personnel evacuations over the wing and to secure and tie life rafts to the aircraft.
Passengers walk down the wing using ropes attached to the hooks in an emergency.
But these little hooks could save your life: They are used to tie a rope to the aircraft door and another to the inflatable slide so that passengers can hold it while they leave during an emergency exit.
Black triangles on the wall
Attentive passengers may notice small black triangles on the walls of their plane.
They indicate the position from which personnel can best see the wings from inside the aircraft.
They can then quickly check the position of the fins or slats, if necessary, from the corresponding window.
Drive through the exit
Many people nervously look at the exit door handles, but have you seen another set right next to them?
These are used to help staff hold onto the plane when handling exit during evacuations.
The idea was that terrified passengers could push staff down the slide if they rushed to escape.
Mirror button in the bathroom
Sharing the secret on her TikTok account, Joselin Lora, who works as a booth service worker for Delta, explained what the little button on the bathroom cabinet is for.
To find it, you will have to take a closer look at the mirror.
She explained: “For those who fly with Delta, especially women, on some planes there is a button under the mirror where if you press it, it will open.
“And in the mirror you will find the comforts of your needs like a pillow.”
Inside the cabinet are usually sanitary napkins, tissues, paper bags, and refills of hand lotion.
He added that in other plans, it is a “removable box on the walls.”
Ashtrays in airplane toilets
Ever wonder why modern airplanes still have an ashtray, even though smoking is prohibited?
It seems like an unnecessary addition given that people are no longer allowed to turn on lights in mid-flight.
But there is actually a very credible explanation: if a stealth passenger decides to try smoking a cheeky cigarette in the toilet, they would need a place to dispose of the lit butt, and that place has to be safe.
Writing on the question and answer website Quora, Dick Karp said: “The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) does not want you to put the cigarette in the dumpster where there is a risk that it could start a fire.
“Dumpsters on airplanes have their own sensor and automatic fire extinguisher as an additional form of backup protection.”
This article originally appeared on Sun and has been republished with permission