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Understanding ding tones, crew lingo on the airplane

The ding noises on an airplane can be somewhat of a cryptic language between flight attendants and pilots—until now. We try to decrypt what some of these tones mean, though they may vary for some airlines.

Often when you land, the single ding means you may take off your seatbelt and prepare to deplane, but what do the two tones mean and how are they used when in the air?

Back in 2016, Quantas posted what some of the lingo means:

On our Airbus aircraft you’ll hear the ‘boing’ sound shortly after take-off – this sound lets crew know that the landing gear is being retracted. The second boing is usually when the seat belt sign is switched off.

Here’s what some of the other dings and dongs signal to crew with HI and LO referring to the tone of the chime:
Single chime:  Passenger asking for service in their seat (i.e. pressing their call bell) A panel will light up in the galley and second light will appear over the passenger’s seat.
HI-LO chime:  Ringtone of a crew phone from one galley or section to another (They’re probably asking if there’s more snacks for another part of the cabin).
Triple chime LO-LO: Priority message from the captain or other crew members which could be letting them know there may be turbulence ahead, so they should start putting away the meal carts and be ready in case the fasten seat belt sign comes on.

Quantas

RELATED: Crew lingo video by Quantas

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Are any of these new to you? Leave a comment below!

Winston is currently a freelance technology and travel broadcast journalist, consultant, and is the creator and founder of Master Travellr—Canada’s destination for travel news, guides, and budget recommendations.

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