If you hear three chimes on an airplane, it may be an emergency
There are few phobias more common than the fear of flying, but even if you don’t think of yourself as an anxious traveler, it’s easy to get scared when you’re on an airplane. A moment of great turbulence can throw even the most experienced pilot into a sudden panic. Fortunately, there are signs to watch out for when it comes to real in-flight emergencies. A flight attendant has just warned passengers that there is a particular sound that could signal future problems. Read on to find out what you should listen to on your next flight.
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Flight attendant Tommy Cimato recently informed passengers of the high-pitched chime sounds that you hear about flights in a TikTok video posted on November 14, which has already been viewed over 6 million times. According to Cimato, three of these chime sounds could be a signal of trouble.
“If you hear three of these [sounds] that means it’s an emergency, ”he warned. But Cimato also said that you are unlikely to ever hear three chimes in a row on any of your flights.
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Multiple chimes can indicate different types of issues, many of which may be of less concern to you. John cox, a captain, said United States today in 2012 that three or more chimes have also been used previously to warn flight attendants to sit down immediately when pilots have just received sudden reports of turbulence.
According to Cox, three chimes could be just one on the cockpit indicating that there is a passenger with a medical condition that could also require a hijacking of the plane. “I wouldn’t automatically draw the conclusion that more chimes indicate a serious problem,” he said.
Only three chimes are likely to signal a major problem or emergency. Cimato said that a chime or two usually means something different. According to the flight attendant, a chime tends to be a call from a traveler. “A passenger calls one of the flight attendants from his seat or he could call from the washroom,” he said.
And two chimes, or a high then low chime, are usually just one form of communication for the flight crew. “A high-low chime means a flight attendant is trying to call another flight attendant or the cockpit is trying to call us,” Cimato explained.
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You will likely hear some sort of chime when traveling with any airline. According to The Points Guy, most airlines use a chime sound for the airline crew to communicate throughout the plane, but they might not all mean the same thing. In a 2016 blog post, Qantas revealed the purpose of its various chimes, but not all airlines are eager to explain what their individual sounds mean. JetBlue, Delta and American have all confirmed their use of chimes to The Points Guy, but declined to share details on security grounds.
“Think of it as language between pilots and flight attendants,” Southwest spokesperson Thais Hanson said The Points Guy in 2019. “A chime also accompanies the turning on or off of a panel; for example, when the seat belt panel turns off and customers can move around the cabin to use installations or stretching your legs, this will be indicated by a chime. While I cannot share all of our chime combinations and meanings, [the sounds] are used to signal both flight crews and customers that action is required or has taken place. “
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