Updated: Dec 21, 2020
With roughly 40 million flights per year in the sky, air travel is one of the most popular forms of transport across the world. Throughout the past century, air travel has increased in popularity. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has served as a reminder on the importance of all health and safety precautions that keep travelers safe.
Here are some of in-flight safety guidelines for your flight to the United States. If you are planning on taking a flight any time during or after the COVID-19 pandemic, then it could be helpful to review these guidelines. Your cabin crew should go through these in-flight safety guidelines before you take off on your flight. These procedures may change depending on airlines, airports as well as any current safety, security or health related threats.
Your airline or airport of arrival or departure may provide a mask along with other personal protective equipment such as gloves or eye coverings. You may be required to wear a mask depending on airline or airport requirements. Masks are worn to prevent the spread of contagious diseases or illnesses from airborn transmission. Mask and gloves may also help prevent spread by decreasing the likelihood of cross contamination.
Flight attendants or airport security personnel will run through a full and extensive safety demonstration before your plane even attempts to leave the ground, and it is essential to pay attention to this demonstration. Seasoned flyers can become complacent with this part of the flight experience, but these professionals are showing and telling you everything that you need to know in order to act safely and sensibly in the event of an emergency.
Your seat belt keeps you tethered and safe in your seat. You are required to wear this during a few key moments of the trip including take-off and landing. Most airlines usually advise you to keep your seatbelt loosely buckled while you are seated. You will also be asked to fasten your seat belt if the flight starts to experience any turbulence or an emergency when in the air. This will be indicated by the seat belt signs on the overhead console of your seat.
Oxygen masks are installed on all planes as an emergency precaution in case of loss of cabin pressure. In the vast majority of cases, these masks will be situated above your head from your seat, and when released you can attach to your face and pull on the necessary lever to receive oxygen. Oxygen masks are only released in the unlikely event of cabin pressure loss.
All planes feature emergency exits that can be found over the wings of the craft. These are bigger, easier access exits for passengers in the event that an emergency forces everyone on board to disembark the plane. This is commonly achieved by the cabin crew opening the emergency exits, releasing an inflatable exit slide, and assisting the passengers to slide down to an emergency rescue craft or the ground.
On every plane there are a set number of seats next to the emergency exits. These seats are classed as exit row seating. If you find yourself assigned to one of these seats, you will be asked if you are willing to take on some further responsibilities during your flight. In the case of an emergency, it is up to you to operate the exit and open it in a calm manner in order to allow the evacuation to take place. Passengers who are not comfortable with these responsibilities are usually offered the opportunity to change seats with another passenger.
Evacuations will most likely be the same process whether you are exiting on water or on land. In the event of an evacuation, keep your body low to the ground to breathe the air that is closest to the floor, and when exiting on the slide you need to remove sharp footwear like heels. When exiting, cross your arms over your chest and jump feet first. The soft inflatable slide will catch and cradle you towards the rescue craft or the ground.
If traveling with a baby, a separate seat is not needed. Toddlers weighing between 20 to 40 pounds are required to wear a forward-facing safety seat during flight. Children weighing 40 pounds or over can use normal seat belts. In the event of an emergency requiring oxygen masks, remember to attach your own mask first before you attach your child's mask.
Drinking excessively during a flight not only puts you in danger, but it puts those around you in danger should your actions lead to unpredictable behavior. In an emergency situation, alcohol can impair your ability to think rationally and can potentially lead to loss of life if your actions negatively impact evacuation procedures.
The above article provided a basic summary of the in-flight safety that a traveler needs to understand to be able to fly safely and securely. Be mindful of your actions and their impact on those around you. When flying, always follow the directions of your airline and cabin crew.