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People are just finding out the real reason why we board planes on the left side
Featured Image Credit: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images / Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

People are just finding out the real reason why we board planes on the left side

There's actually a very interesting historical reason that we board and load planes on the left side.

People are just now realising why we board and load planes from the left hand side.

You may or may not have noticed this, but it is a thing that boarding a plane is always from the left side.

For clarity, that's the left hand side if you're inside the plane facing the front, or the pilot's left.

Whether you're boarding at the front or rear of the aircraft or via a set of stairs or a corridor that attaches to the side, it's always the left.

And it turns out that not only is boarding a plane and loading cargo onto a plane from the left very much a thing, there's also a very big historical reason for it.

Next time you fly you can think of this reason to distract yourself while making that ominous walk out to the plane.

So what exactly is the reason for always boarding a plane from the left hand side?

A plane boarding from the left.
DuKai photographer / Getty

TikToker Dougie Sharp explained in a video posted on the platform that it's actually to do with vocabulary inherited from boats and ships.

You're probably already familiar with the terminology of port and starboard on a ship, right?

Starboard refers to the right side of a ship looking to the front of the vessel, while port is the left side.

The word 'starboard' actually comes from Anglo-Saxon, which often smashed words together to describe something.

With 'starboard' this is actually a combination of the Old English word stéor (steer) and bord (side of the boat) because the steering oar was placed on the right hand side of the ship.

That meant it was easier for the left side, the 'port' side, to be the side where a vessel would dock, and where any passengers would disembark and cargo be unloaded.

A depiction of an early medieval ship from the Bayeaux Tapestry - note the steering oar on the right-hand side of the ship.
Bayeux tapestry / Getty

Sharp explained: "As humanity changed from boats to airplanes, engineers just held the concept over and designed every airport and airplane so that passengers always load and unload the plane from the left hand side."

So, you board a plane on the left hand side because Anglo-Saxon mariners steered their ships from the right hand side over a thousand years ago.

People took to the comments to share their views.

One wrote: "How did I never realize that port as in the direction was the same as port as in a dock."

A second wrote: "These are my favorite types of facts; practices that have lasted thousands of years," while a third replied: "That IS a fun fact! Great stuff!"

Topics: News, World News, UK News, US News, Travel