What Those Chimes You Hear on Airplanes Really Mean

iStock
iStock

If you don’t pop in your noise-canceling headphones the moment you take your seat on a flight, you’ll eventually hear a familiar sound: a “ping,” used by the crew to communicate with passengers. That non-threatening sound signals when you should stay seated and when you’re free to get up, for example. But sometimes those sounds aren’t meant for the customers. As People reports, airline crews use the chimes as a Morse code of sorts to alert each other to issues big and small.

Qantas Airways shared the code used on their flights in a blog post last year. The high-low “ding-dong” chime that can be heard ringing throughout the cabin is the most common way staff in different parts of the plane get each other’s attention. According to Qantas, this sound is the “ringtone of a crew phone from one galley or section to another.” These calls are usually made for non-pressing matters, like checking to see what the pretzel situation is like in another galley when one area runs out.

There’s also the triple low chime, which is reserved for priority messages from the captain or crew. This can be used to convey possible turbulence, in which case the flight attendants have time to secure their snack carts before an official announcement is made.

While this system is standard across Qantas Airways, it varies from airline to airline. Retired U.S. Airways captain John Cox shared his own insider information in a blog post for USA Today. In his experience, two chimes indicate the plane is approaching 10,000 feet, while three or more chimes signal either turbulence or a sick passenger in need of medical attention. One chime can also communicate bumpy skies, but it’s more commonly used by plane captains to ask for a coffee refill.

Check out more behind-the-scenes secrets from flight attendants here.

[h/t People]

You Can Get a Passport in 24 Hours—Here's How

Randy Harris/iStock via Getty Images
Randy Harris/iStock via Getty Images

Between driver's licenses, replacement social security cards, and passports, receiving tangible evidence of your identity from the government can be a glacial process. It can take six to eight weeks to process your initial passport application and weeks more if you need to renew one that’s expired.

As incredible as it may seem, there’s a way to turn that long wait into something as brief as one business day, Conde Nast Traveler reports. But it’s going to cost you.

A service called RushMyPassport has teamed up with FedEx to offer new passports or passport renewals that can be turned around in just 24 hours. Their business model involves hand couriers that visit U.S. passport agencies after they receive your documentation.

Why the rush? Sometimes people simply forget to glance at their passport and make sure it’s still valid before booking an expensive international trip—or don't realize that the country they're traveling to requires visitors' passports to be valid for several months past the planned end of their stay. Others don’t realize how long it can take to obtain their first passport.

The service is counting on people who are willing to pay a premium for expedited delivery. Overnight renewal will set you back $449. If you can wait a few more days, other packages ranging from two-day service ($399) to an 10- to 14-day wait ($99) are available. You also need to pay the $170 processing fee charged by the government.

The paperwork requirements are plentiful and include proof of identity, proof of citizenship, and proof of travel. If you’re applying for a new passport, you’ll still need to visit a Passport Acceptance Agent, like the ones found in post offices, to verify your identity.

[h/t Conde Nast Traveler]

Oscar Mayer Is Renting Out the Wienermobile on Airbnb For Overnight Stays

Airbnb
Airbnb

Oscar Mayer is about to make all of your hot dog dreams come true. To celebrate National Hot Dog Day (today), the meat-industry titan has listed its legendary Wienermobile on Airbnb for overnight stays. Mark your calendars for July 24, when reservation opportunities will go live throughout the day, with prices starting at $136 per night.

Oscar Mayer Wienermobile on Airbnb
Airbnb

The 27-foot-long locomotive hot dog, parked in Chicago, can accommodate two people and includes a sofa bed, sitting area, and outdoor space with a bathroom and “hot dog picnic zone” where you can lounge in Adirondack chairs while enjoying a savory snack. The 'mobile will also be packed with all the hot dog amenities you didn’t know you needed: Highlights include a mini fridge stocked with hot dogs and Chicago-style fixings, a custom Wienermobile art piece by Chicago artist Laura Kiro, and an Oscar Mayer roller grill that you get to keep forever. And that’s not the only souvenir: each guest will also receive a welcome kit with as-yet-unidentified “hot dog-inspired accessories.”

Other features include air conditioning, free parking, breakfast, a hair dryer, and the essentials: towels, bed sheets, soap, shampoo, and toilet paper.

Interior of Wienermobile on Airbnb
Airbnb

Interior of Wienermobile on Airbnb
Airbnb

The booking dates overlap with Chicago’s famed Grant Park music festival Lollapalooza, which takes place from August 1 through 4. The lineup this year includes Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, The Strokes, and Kacey Musgraves, to name a few. What better way to stay nourished and well-rested after a musical marathon than in a cozy, oblong automobile filled with meat?

If you can't book a Wienermobile getaway, you can still celebrate July as National Hot Dog Month by hosting your own hot dog picnic wherever you are (just make sure you know the proper way to plate, dress, serve, and chow down on a plate full of frankfurters).

Check out the full listing on Airbnb.

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