Why are lights dimmed for landing and other quirks of the travel industry

Travel

Many passengers consider having to pull up the window visors an unnecessary chore, but it is for their safety. Source: Shutterstock.com

AROUND the world, over eight million people fly through the sky every day and billions use on the ground transport systems to get about. However, the frequent nature of these trips means we become resistant to stopping and observing our surroundings.

Faces, voices, posters, magazine sellers, coffee shops and road crossings all become ingrained in our subconscious. But if you were to stop and think for just a moment, you might notice that a few aspects of your journey are questionable. But we have the answers.

Why do buses have groovy seat covers?

Bus and train seat fabrics, the world over, often have questionable patterns that remind you more of a 90s rave, than an average commute to work.

This isn’t an accident, or due to designers having a specialized interest in contrasting colors, it is because bus seats are totally filthy and simply covering up the accumulation of dirt is easier than deep cleaning the seats every night.

Originally, the seat covers prevented unwanted graffiti but now they are designed through image-concealing algorithms to create an illusion of a normal, clean seat.

Why are airport lounges carpeted?

Travel

Airport carpets aren’t the prettiest but they serve a purpose. Source: Shutterstock.com

Aerophobia is the fear of flying and it affects millions of people worldwide. There are a few tips for overcoming and controlling this fear, but for many, it is a manifestation that simply won’t go away.

One of the ways airports try to put customers at ease is through carpeting large areas of the terminal floor. This is to give it a soft, cozy feeling. This feature is accompanied by low ceilings and as much natural light as possible – it could almost be home, or maybe not.

But don’t be too surprised to discover that this isn’t all for the traveler’s benefit. The intent to create a relaxed customer is an attempt to also get them to spend more. Passengers, on average, spend 7 percent more in retail and 10 percent more in duty-free when they are relaxed and happy.

 

Why are the lights dimmed when a plane lands?

Travel

A flight attendant demonstrates safety procedures before take-off. Source: Shutterstock/ThamKC

It is often speculated that the reason lights are dimmed for landing is to cut light pollution around airports, but this is incorrect because airports create a huge amount already.

The real reason is for ICE – in case of emergency. “Dimming the lights allows your eyes to pre-adjust to darkness, so that you’re not suddenly blinded if something happens and the power goes out, and you’re dashing for the doors in darkness or smoke,” Patrick Smith, an airline pilot and author of Cockpit Confidential, told The Telegraph.

Similarly, and perhaps sometimes annoyingly if you’re enjoying a cozy nap, the crew will ask you to open the window visors. This is a safety preparation made by the crew to get you ready in case of immediate evacuation once landed. It allows outside aid to see the onboard situation, likewise, passengers can see and report anything suspicious happening outside.

So next time you’re traveling, give a little thought to what might be on your bus seat, don’t get too comfy in an airport and spend lots of money, and oblige the cabin crew’s instructions, because they’re doing it for your benefit.