The Truth Behind Six Urban Travel Myths

Is there any truth behind some of the world’s most popular myths about travel?? Actually, yes

Credit: Flickr/nexus6

Some travel myths are actually true

Is there any truth to some of travel’s most timeless urban myths? Actually, yes

Some of these stories have become legend in the travel world—some have remarkable staying power, and amazingly, some are even true.

  1. Myth: You’ll get stuck by suction on an airplane toilet seat if you flush while still seated.

    Fact: It’s technically not too far beyond the realm of possibility. An airplane toilet does use a powerful vacuum suction mechanism to suck the waste material out, but if there is any kind of gap at all between you and the seat, you won’t have to worry about getting stuck. Lesson here: Protect your bottom-line by standing before flushing and you’ll never have to battle the odds!


  2. Myth: Hotels put your credit card number on the key cards that unlock your room.

    Fact: The stories surrounding this legend vary, but due to this belief, people often fear that losing their key cards or leaving them behind in their room can lead to identity theft and unauthorized credit card charges
. Most hospitality industry professionals will confirm that the only information coded onto your key card is the room number, name of the clerk who encoded the key and the key’s expiration date. However, because many hotels, resorts and cruise lines allow charges to be made to your room using your key card, there are varying opinions on this one.
 Bottom line: Don’t leave the extra card you’re issued sitting on the dresser when you’re out of the room. And for your own peace of mind, feel free to ask the front desk to void the cards before you go.


  3. Myth: You’re more likely to get sick on an airplane because germs travel through the recirculated air.

    Fact: The air on an airplane is even more filtered than the air in hospital operating rooms—so you can breathe easy about this one.
 That said, airplanes are confined spaces, so if someone around you is sneezing or coughing, yes, germs can reach you. They can also live for hours, even days, on tray tables, armrests and any other surface with which you come into contact. So don’t feel shy about using a sanitizing gel to wipe things down, and go ahead and pop some immunity-boosting vitamin C and echinacea to safeguard yourself from the sniffles before you get settled in for the flight.

  4. Myth: An airline will give you special treatment if you say “Rule 240.”

    Fact: This rule governing how airlines handle flight delays no longer exists. Today, individual airlines follow their own “conditions of carriage.”

  5. Myth: Dressing up will get you upgraded to first class.

    Fact: Upgrades are more likely to be awarded to an airline’s best customers.

  6. Myth: Using electronic devices will cause the plane to crash.

    Fact: There’s no proof these devices 
can cause a crash, but airlines choose to err on the side of caution by banning their use during flights.

Originally published in TV Week. For daily updates, subscribe to the free TV Week e-newsletter, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.