You know that safety video or demo you’re shown before every flight? It’s about three minutes long, sometimes silly, but still, you don’t really need to pay attention, right? Not like it really matters, right?
Uh, wrong. That’s why you’re getting a safety talk right now.
– Your seatbelt should be common knowledge at this point. Pull up on the buckle and it opens. Yippee!
It’s also to hopefully keep your dead body in place in case of a crash and make it easier to ID. So when you’re told to stay in your seat, do it. Look up Aloha Air Flight 243 and try to tell me you don’t love your seatbelt.
– Your oxygen mask goes over your nose AND mouth. This is because you breathe out of your nose and mouth. If the air is toxic or too thin to get oxygen to the brain (like it is at 35,000 feet) you don’t want to breathe that in through your nose or mouth.
If you see those masks drop you probably have around 5 seconds to get them on. That’s why you put yours on before helping someone, even if that someone is your kid.
If you don’t get that mask on, your brain will lose oxygen and you’ll become hypoxic. You will very quickly become so disoriented and loopy that you won’t be able to put the mask on.
– The escape lights turn on to help you see your way out in thick smoke or fire. They lead you right to the exit and are located throughout the cabin. They work best when you already know ahead of time where your best exit is.
My advice? Pick two different exits to familiarize yourself with. Just in case the first one you’re trying to use isn’t usuable.
– Your life vest is yellow. Mine is orange. Look for orange to find out your next move.
Always always always inflate your life vest OUTSIDE of the aircraft. Inflating it inside can cause you to block an exit with the added bulk.
– You can’t smoke on a plane. It’s illegal and dangerous and you will be met with police upon landing if you try. This is because you can set something on fire and at 35,000 feet that’s a long time to be breathing smoke.
These are standard for most if not all commercial aircrafts. You can have other additions to the demo. A common one is the overwing exit doors. You open them in an emergency to create more options of escape. If you’re not up for the responsibility, you need to say something and you will be moved.
One final note (and actually the reason I wrote this post). If you need to evacuate and your flight attendants are screaming at the tops of their lungs for you to get out and leave everything, you get out and leave everything. I was taught this in Kindergarten for fire drills but apparently not everyone was: leave everything literally means everything. You get your ass out of your seat and leave. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200, do not open the overhead bin and try to get your laptop out.
Aeroflot Flight 1492 recently saw 41 people perish. This number could have been less if those who did escape left their bags. And I say this with utmost seriousness: I don’t care if you dropped $600 on Louboutins, if you have a homemade card from your niece, or you’re carrying your grandmother’s urn. Those things don’t matter when we have 90 seconds to get you to safety. You can get new souvenirs or medication or a passport. You can’t get a new life.
You stopping to grab your bag could kill someone. Remember that when you fly. Remember Maxim Moiseev, who died trying to push people forward when he realized his doors wouldn’t open. Remember him over the asshole who grabbed his suitcase and then had the audacity to ask for a refund on his ticket.
Maxim was worth more than a laptop. My coworkers are worth more than your souvenirs. I am worth more than your clothing. Your flight attendant can save your life, so value theirs as well.