Shock at Baggage Handler's Clip Showing Tape Used to 'Hold Planes Together'

If you're a frequent flyer you might have noticed a metallic silver tape used on the planes you've boarded, but for millions online, a viral video has highlighted it for the first time. Despite initial shock online, an aviation expert assured Newsweek that it's certainly not duct tape and is in fact extremely safe for flying.

A baggage handler, known anonymously online by his username @11.11.eleven.11.11, took to popular social media platform TikTok to show the surprising technique planes are fixed with on-the-go.

His account sees him share content on the secrets behind airports and insights into working with planes, but this time he asked other baggage handlers if they also "notice this all the time."

"POV: You start to notice all the tape and flex seal that holds planes together," he wrote on-screen, showing various pieces of planes covered in metallic silver tape. Although the immediate reaction would have you believe that it's duct tape on the aircrafts, it's actually something far stronger and very different: speed tape.

Speed tape
Still from the anonymous baggage handler's TikTok video. @11.11.evelen.11.11

"I was pretty shocked when I found out about 'speed tape' seeing as it looks like foil or metallic Duct tape but rest assured, it is super safe and normal," the anonymous baggage handler told Newsweek. "I see it used quite a bit but I know it isn't holding anything together."

James Moon, private jet booking platform TailHail's chief aviation officer, told Newsweek that it's a "high-performance, aluminum, pressure sensitive tape. It does look like duct tape and is often mistaken for this, but rest assured it is an approved tape for use at very high speeds.

"It's a temporary engineer fix/solution until proper maintenance can be performed on the aircraft. Would you rather your flight was canceled, or a solution found which meant you got to your destination on time?"

Fret not, speed tape is only used for minor repairs on planes like small tears that could impact the speed of the plane, not essential repairs. The tape would not be used to stick back on any wings or windows.

It's safe and is so far from duct tape that it's shown in the price, costing in the hundreds for just one sheet of the tape.

Thanks to the viral video though, flyers were left worrying about the next time they board a plane and spot the silver tape.

"Maybe I don't want to travel anymore," wrote one user, while another added: "Totally needed this before I board a seven hour flight."

Moon however reassured Newsweek that speed tape is extremely safe and trusted for years by experts in the field. "You can't just add something to an aircraft or engine skin. Aircraft manufacturers will have approved speed tapes for both aircraft and engines. If the tape isn't approved, it's not going anywhere near the aircraft."

Speed tape on plane
Still of speed tape from the TikTok viral video. @11.11.eleven.11.11