In Travel on Monday 5th Jun, 2017

Why passengers always enter a plane from the left-hand side

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It might be something that we take for granted and never think about.  Have you ever wondered why you always enter and exit the plane from the left side?

It all comes down to the pilot.  The pilot sits on the left-hand side of the cabin; the co-pilot is always to the right.  This is because pilots find it easier to check wing clearance on the left side of the cabin.  Doors were then placed on the left side so that the pilots could line up with the terminals or stairs.

This means that the convention of putting the baggage access for ground crews was always put on the right-side of the plane to allow all airports around the world to follow the same strategies for loading and unloading planes.

But what about before commercial airliners?  Looking at old photos of Amelia Earhart or Charles Lindbergh you will see their doors are on the left side as well.  Obviously they weren’t taking passengers, so why is this done?

It’s actually because of their travel ancestors ships.  Before the invention of centre-mounted tillers on the ship, they were controlled by a steering our on the right side of the ship.  This allowed the ship to dock on the left side without the threatening to damage the oar.  It became the way that ships were made and was simply carried across to aeroplanes…the ships of the sky.

Did you already know this story?  What other travel myths or questions do you have?

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