If you’ve read my first two blogs on airline jargon, you now know twenty new terms! This is my last segment for the airline glossary, provided nine more words, to make you an expert the next time you travel through an airport. Thanks to Patrick Smith, and his book the Cockpit Confidential, here are the last few terms in this series.
LAST MINUTE PAPERWORK
If you’ve ever been on a flight that seemed to have taken forever to leave the terminal, you were probably waiting on “last minute paperwork.” This is typically for a revision to the flight plan or waiting on the maintenance team to get the logbook in order.
In the first of this series, we discussed what was a direct flight. Go back and re-read that definition. A nonstop flight is a flight that does not have any stops between take-off and landing at your destination.
When the flight attendants are asking you to put your electronics in the “off-position,” they are simply just telling you to turn it off.
Pre-boarding is for those who may need special assistant while entering the aircraft. This could be an elderly person or someone who has a handicap. These passengers will board the airplane first.
The ramp refers to the parking zones and where the aircraft and ground vehicles move outside of the terminal. This term comes from the earlier days of aviation. Back then, many aircrafts required water to land and approached the land on a ramp.
TAMPERING WITH, DISABLING, OR DESTROYING
This is a way for the airline to cover all of its bases, making sure you know that it is against federal law to mess with items aboard the aircraft such as the lavatory smoke detector.
The term “tarmac” is short for “tar-penetration macadam.” Eventually, this term came to mean blacktop or asphalt. True tarmac is almost never used at airports because if there is hot weather, the tarmac will become soft and wouldn’t be able to bear the weight of an aircraft.
THE FULL, UPRIGHT AND LOCKED POSITION
During take-off, landing, and sometimes turbulence, you will hear the flight attendants ask that you return your seats to the full, upright and locked position.
Similar to EFC time, wheels-up time refers to when a ground-stopped plane is expected to be airborne. The crew aboard the plane as well as the ground team must work to get the aircraft to the runway closest to this time as possible.