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The top safety mistakes we make when we fly, according to flight attendants

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Read the safety card

As with those pre-flight safety demos, the FAA requires airlines to include an information safety card in all seat back pockets. It’s critical to read this as it contains guidelines and details specific to the aircraft you’re on.

“These cards show you where your exits are, and how to open the window exit,” says Ibarra. “That’s important and it’s not an easy task. They’re heavy and you have to rotate the handle and pull it inward. Depending on the aircraft, you’ll either toss it on your seat or throw it out of the plane, but if you don’t read the information card, you may not know what to do and it can be intimidating.”

Check your safety gear

Suran Wijayawardana, a pilot and the COO of Alerion Aviation notes that passengers should “take the time to acknowledge the mask and reach down underneath their seat to make sure they know where the life jacket is. That way, in the rare case of an emergency, they know exactly where to find it and can keep confident in following procedures.”

Trust flight attendants; they’re trained to save your life

Flight attendants, with their spiffy uniforms and accommodating nature, may seem like the wait staff of the sky, but these professionals are trained to perform a range of medical tasks — from basic CPR to delivering a baby. They also know the ins and outs of the plane and receive annual training on safety.

“It’s quite intensive,” says Ibarra. “For instance, you not only have to know how to deploy a raft, which is in itself very challenging, you have to know how to collect water and put up a canopy in case you are not rescued immediately.”

Not only are flight attendants trained to save you, they may be trained to, well, kill you.

“After 9/11, I took voluntary self-defense courses at Delta,” says Ibarra. “I learned so much from it, including two ways to kill people.” And yes, that’s with her bare hands.

The point is flight attendants can be your in-flight superheroes. Remember that when you’re annoyed that the beverage cart is coming down the aisle too slowly.

When seated, keep your seatbelt buckled

Often we only fasten our seatbelts when the light alerting us to do so is on, but we should keep our seatbelts fastened the whole time we’re seated.

“I hate to think of it but had the woman who lost her life on [Tuesday’s Southwestern flight 1380] not had her seatbelt on, she would have been out that window in two seconds,” says Ibarra, while Nelson adds that other lives were likely saved by buckling up.

“In instances of a rapid decompression like [that on the Southwestern flight], people are saved because they have their seatbelt on,” says Nelson.

Stay sober so you can be alert

Experts stress the importance of not freaking out if something goes wrong in the air, and also to remain completely alert. This means you shouldn’t drink too much on a flight. Ibarra notes that flight attendants are trained to cut you off when you’re had too much, but you shouldn’t ever get to that point. Stay sober so that if in an emergency you can coherently follow all commands.

Do nothing unless told to by the crew (including trying to be a hero)

The passengers who stepped in to help each other on Tuesday’s flight acted so bravely and that can’t be underestimated. But in most emergency situations, it’s not recommended to do anything other than stay seated unless the flight crew asks you otherwise. Frankly, trying to be of service can interfere with the people trained to help and distract other passengers from important messages.

“Flight attendants are trained to direct people and it is important to listen to those commands,” says Nelson. “I don’t pass judgment on the passengers [on that Southwestern flight 1380] and I know that had it not been for the quick response of passengers, that woman would have been swept out of the plane.”

This incident should be viewed as an exception to the rule. In the vast majority of cases “it’s best to listen to flight attendant instructions because we are trained to keep everyone safe,” says Nelson. “Sometimes when passengers act on their own they could potentially be impeding that process.”

Wear sturdy shoes or sneakers

I tend to dress purely for comfort on a plane, and usually by the time we’ve taken off, I’ve ditched my shoes for a pair of fat fuzzy socks. While flight attendants want us to sit back and relax, we may want to keep our shoes laced.

“If you’re evacuating down a slide and running around form a burning aircraft you want to be in shoes that will let you run,” says Ibarra. “You don’t want to be in flip-flops or be barefoot. Sneakers are smart and also comfortable.”

Article Source : https://www.nbcnews.com/better/business/top-safety-mistakes-we-make-when-we-fly-according-pilots-ncna868041?cid=public-rss_20180422