Why We Are Asked to Do Certain Things on Flights

Most of us now take flying for granted in the same way that our grandparents took a bus or a train. We board with a whole list of dos and don’ts thrown at us without necessarily understanding the reasons behind them. As we fly more and more frequently, many of us possibly become ambivalent towards the rules and regulations. But some, who are of a more nervous disposition, analyse every small detail, wondering what on earth are the consequences of somebody failing to follow instructions!

We should all, of course, spend those few minutes asked of us to put down our reading matter and concentrate on the safety briefing. How many of us do in reality? In a real emergency, would we really be able to put into practice what we’ve been told countless times? Possibly not, which should prompt us to actually listen!

An understanding of inflight rules

  • Fly in sensible shoes not heels or flip flops: if you need to evacuate and lose your footwear you could be standing on red hot tarmac in bare feet
  • Arrive at the boarding gate on time: latecomers on the flight will cause a delay and the take-off will get pushed back, sometimes considerably
  • Keep seatbelts fastened until the signs are turned off: simple rule for obvious reasons, but not for some who actually stand up on landing before the plane comes to a halt!
  • Put up the window blind for take-off and landing: the flight attendant can then see outside in an emergency to assess the situation
  • Turn off your mobile: the pilot can receive false readings on his instruments if several passengers decide to use their phones at the same time
  • Put your laptops away for take-off and landing: who wants a potential missile hurtling through the air at 200 miles an hour?
  • Keep your seatbelt on during the flight: hit an air pocket and you could hit the roof! You wouldn’t drive along the road at 60 miles per hour without your seatbelt, never mind 500 miles an hour!
  • You must be 15 years or older to sit in the exit row seat on a plane: you have to be physically able to reach the exit door and operate it successfully in an emergency
  • Pack the overhead lockers sensibly: every passenger needs to be able to store belongings safely

How to treat fellow passengers onboard

These are rules to be adhered to, but we should all consider our fellow passengers. Make your personal space ‘personal’. Only drop your seat back if absolutely necessary, instead use a travel pillow for resting. Most of us will have experienced that feeling of irritation at the person in front throwing their seat back, yet we still do it! Families with young children are often separated on flights, especially with airlines intent on charging for allocation of seats together. If you are able, swap your seat to enable a parent and child to sit together, a good deed always makes us feel better!

Finally, don’t scramble like a mad person to get off the plane. It won’t get you to your destination any quicker and you could upset your fellow passengers for nothing!

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