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I’m an ex-BA pilot – there is a phrase you will never hear us use as it panics passengers

A FORMER BA pilot has revealed a phrase they will never use when speaking to passengers – as it can scare them.

Ex-British Airways captain Tim Pottage has shared some of the secrets of the cockpit, especially about what their announcements really mean.

An ex-BA captain has revealed the phrase he would never use during a flight

And even the way they phrase things can make a huge difference in keeping travellers calm.

He told the Independent that they would never start a sentence with “I’m afraid” if sharing some bad news.

He explained it was “in case an anxious passenger latches on to it and says to their neighbour: “Did you hear that? Oh my God, the pilot is afraid”.

Tim added: “Pilots tend to be cautious and calming with what they say to passengers – so as to inform, but not alarm.”

He also explained how pilots make sure not to scare passengers if there are storms or turbulence ahead.

He said: “I’d use the ‘bit of weather’ expression as a catch-all non-specific term for something like that: a minor delay with negligible chance of diverting, five out of 10 on the Tim Pottage weather scale.”

Another pilot has revealed how to tell if there is turbulence ahead without being told.

Former pilot John Greaves explained that if you ever hear a pilot telling cabin crew to sit down, it’s a sign there’s turbulence ahead.



He told Reader’s Digest: “If [a pilot] tells the flight attendants to sit down, you’d better listen.”

Turbulence is usually harmless and although it’s rare that someone onboard gets injured during it, it does still happen.

We’ve rounded up some other secret phrases used by flight crew too.

There are some much more fun phrases to listen out for too.

Flight attendants have two ways they tell each other they fancy a passenger without letting them know.

And if they say “cheerio” to “Bob” it’s good news.

Keeping passengers calm is the job of the pilot even in an emergency situation

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