How can you recognize a plane from the inside, when you are already sitting as passenger? In particular, is there a way to understand if you are inside a Boeing or an Airbus?

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    $\begingroup$ Look at the evacuation pamphlet in the seat back in front of you. It will also help you identify an Embrarer and other makes of plane. $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 11:58
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    $\begingroup$ If there is no window shade and just a button that changes the darkness of the window, it is definitely a Boeing 787. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 12:16
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    $\begingroup$ I find that the row and seat numbers are under the overhead baggage compartments on Airbus planes. I always have to hunch down and turn my head to see the row and seat numbers on Airbus flights. Boeing, I can see the number while standing up straight. Just look for the american guy craning his head to see the seat numbers, and you'll know you are on an Airbus. $\endgroup$
    – JRE
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 14:54
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    $\begingroup$ Watch the engine cowling during the takeoff roll. If it falls off, leaving the guts of the engine exposed, you're in an Airbus (specifically, an A320). $\endgroup$
    – Mark
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 17:56
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    $\begingroup$ @Mark: interesting that you post that, less than a month after this. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 4:38

3 Answers 3


Look at the safety card in the seat pocket in front of you:

enter image description here

As a side note, it will be beneficial to read the safety card as well.

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    $\begingroup$ I once found safety cards for an Airbus 330 in a Boeing 747. I was quite sure that I actually was in a 747 since I was on the upper deck. I quietly reported that safety finding to a crew member, who quickly corrected the mistake. $\endgroup$
    – user5604
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 18:21
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    $\begingroup$ I may also ask the hostess. Clearly that's not the answer required for this question. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 1:42
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    $\begingroup$ @GianniAlessandro Your original question was good, even if it did not express what you meant and did not get the type of answer you were looking for. I would recommend asking a new question, rather than editing your question at this point to substantially change the criteria. $\endgroup$
    – J W
    Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 3:52
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    $\begingroup$ @motoDrizzt From the perspective of an inexperienced passenger wanting to know more about the aircraft they are riding in, this answer gives what is one of the easiest and most accurate ways of making the determination. The safety briefing card is a mandatory item, and will differentiate between far more types than merely Airbus and Boeing. $\endgroup$
    – J W
    Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 16:15
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    $\begingroup$ @GianniAlessandro Aside from this answer, the question would really be too broad. Airbus and Boeing both make lots of different models of aircraft and each airline installs their own interior. An Airbus and a Boeing from the same airline will often look more similar on the inside than 2 Boeings or 2 Airbuses from different airlines. Some specific models have unique identifying features, but those are unique to individual models, not true for all aircraft from the same manufacturer. You'd need to ask which specific models you want to differentiate to get a meaningful answer other than this one. $\endgroup$
    – reirab
    Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 18:43

There are many details to recognize, for example: The handle that locks the doors.

Boeing's inside door Image is a still from this video

Airbus'inside door Image source

Another way is to read the safety card, on them, you can read clearly if you are on a Boeing or Airbus, and on which type as well. The first picture is a typical Boeing's door, and the second, an Airbus'. (source internet pictures from different types of handles) On Airbus A32F, when the landing gear extends, the exit lights will turn on. The cabin interior differs from company to company, however the cockpit is unique, but nowadays, passengers are not allowed to visit the cockpit during the flights. If you seat on the seats, from where you can identify the winglet, they could give you some tips, most of the Airbus A32F have shark winglet, but it is changing, however, scimitar winglets are typical from New generation Boeings 737.

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    $\begingroup$ "There are many details to recognize": Could you add some more to your answer? $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 13:19
  • $\begingroup$ The handle doesn't lock the door. It is purely to pull the door shut. Also the big leaver doesn't either, that arms the auto deployment of the inflatables. $\endgroup$
    – Notts90
    Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 13:47

When entering the plane have a look at the front door's frame. Airbuses have a sign showing when the door / plane was manufactured. I always check this sign just to know how old the plane is...

This placard is required by 14CFR45.11(g)

(g) The identification plate described in paragraph (a) of this section may be secured to the aircraft at an accessible location near an entrance for—

(1) Aircraft produced for—

(i) Operations under part 121 of this chapter,

(ii) Commuter operations (as defined in §110.2 of this chapter), or

(iii) Export.

(2) Aircraft operating under part 121 of this chapter and under an FAA-approved continuous airworthiness maintenance program; or

(3) Aircraft operating in commuter air carrier operations (as defined in §110.2 of this chapter) under an FAA-approved continuous airworthiness maintenance program.

  • $\begingroup$ I can't say this is something I've ever noticed. I'll certainly look for it next time I fly. $\endgroup$
    – Notts90
    Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 13:48
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    $\begingroup$ I've seen this placard on Boeings (737s at least) as well $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 21:56

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