Flying isn’t something many of us look forward to. From the long lines at security to being cramped in coach, flying is just a necessary evil to get where we need to go. The flight attendants have some secrets about air travel that they would never share with passengers because they don’t want to make flying even more unpleasant. Here are just a few things you need to know about flying from the men and women who work on the planes.

1) Your seat may be filthy.

People may not realize it, but the most unsanitary parts of the plane are actually the tray table in front of you and the seat belt. That’s because these items aren’t disinfected between flights, making them factories for germs.

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If you’re getting on a plane and don’t want to get sick, be sure to bring along some disinfectant wipes to wipe down these areas of your seat. If you don’t, you’re going to be exposed to a variety of germs and bacteria.

2) The food is up to three days old.

Jokes about airline food are fodder for many stand-up comics. It turns out, it’s actually grosser than you realize.

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All the airline food is frozen and kept on the airplane for three days. You might assume the crew gets better food, but the flight attendants eat the same food the passengers do. And if somehow there isn’t enough food for the passengers, the staff have to go without so everyone else can eat.

3) There are still ashtrays on planes.

Smoking on airplanes has been illegal for decades. Because of that, one would assume that all the ashtrays would have been phased out years ago. It turns out, that’s not the case.

It’s actually because of safety concerns. Occasionally, a passenger will still light up a smoke, even though it’s illegal. When that happens, there needs to be a safe place to extinguish the cigarette, hence the ashtray.

4) Flying earlier results in less turbulence.

If you’re someone who gets nauseous at each bump in the air, you may want to fly earlier in the morning. That’s because earlier flights almost always have less turbulence than later flights.

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Skies tend to be smoother in the morning, and storms often happen later in the day. The airlines won’t tell you that because they want to sell tickets throughout the day. But if that turbulence is a major issue for you, fly in the morning.

5) Don’t fly if you have a cold.

This isn’t just because you’ll make others on the plane sick. The reason actually has to do with ear damage that could result when flying while sick.

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The pressure could damage your eardrums, resulting in a painful ear problem. It will clear up, but it could take up to a week for your hearing to return and for the pain to subside.

6) Don’t take travel sickness pills mid-flight.

If you worry that you could get motion sickness while in the air, your best bet is to take a pill before the plane takes off. If you take them in the air, it will be too late to prevent that nausea.

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The best thing to do to prevent motion sickness is to take avomine or domstal MT about an hour before the flight. When you’re in the air, try to eat light. This should get you to your destination without you getting sick.