Ever thought about what happens the moment your plane touches down the runway and slowly taxis towards its designated gate? I’ve flown countless times and not once did it cross my mind, as I’ve always been more preoccupied with the thought of getting out of the aircraft the moment the doors are opened and getting my bags as quickly as possible.

Only during my recent trip to the Philippines did I manage to see the highly synchronised ballet that unfolds on the tarmac the moment your aircraft approaches its designated gate.

There is a man who guides the pilot using flags and hand gestures. Does anyone know what he’s called? I’ve tried googling it but haven’t had much luck.

Once the plane’s landing gear is on the yellow line, these men scramble to put these wedges under the wheels to ensure there is no unnecessary movement, much like a car parked on a slope.

At the same time, the jet bridge is slowly being manoeuvered into position, in preparation for the passengers’ disembarkation.

jet bridge

Other workers scramble to put orange cones around the plane’s engines and the tip of each wing; others are on stand-by to handle the luggage.

airport workers

A conveyor belt loader moves towards the aircraft as the luggage hold is opened.

luggage conveyor belt

The first baggage truck arrives and gets ready to receive all off-loaded baggage.

But wait! What is this? The baby strollers are the first to be off-loaded! See that guy right under the wing, near the engine?

strollers offloaded from a plane

The strollers are carried up the flight of stairs located at the side of the jet bridge, so that disembarking passengers can collect the strollers as they exit.

baby strollers

Sometimes, the luggage get out of the plane much faster than the passengers do!

luggage being offloaded from the plane

And so concludes the well-orchestrated tarmac ballet that unfolds as you wait to disembark from your plane.

The End.

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