Sunday, 18 July 2010

Air safety - just do it

You've been sitting in a volcano-obstructed airport for five days, your nerves are frazzled, you reached the end of your tether so damn long ago you can't even remember what colour it was, and now you're finally boarded.

You know the drill: The emergency exits are two in the front, four over-wing and two at the rear. Should there be a sudden loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will fall from the roof. Put your tray table up for take-off and landing... *snore*

The repetitive presentation we have to sit through at the beginning of every flight can be quite annoying. In fact, anyone who has taken more than ten flights in their life could probably repeat it to you verbatim because it's been the same for as long as I can remember (with the exception of the annoyingly-remixed Kulula version).

But these recommendations are enforced by the International Aviation Transport Association (IATA) and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for a reason, and I promise you they know more about airline safety than you or I do.

For some reason, people have to sometimes show that they flagrantly disagree with the rules. Amazingly, these idiots fail to realise that every rule is there for a reason.

Do you know why your tray table has got to be stowed away during take-off and landing? It is because that is absolutely the most dangerous time for a flight. If anything is going to go wrong it is probably going to be either at the beginning or the end. So seat backs and tray tables go up in case the aircraft needs to be evacuated for some reason.

See? It's really rather logical.

Think of the tight squeeze the average person deals with to fit into that space. Without packing all obstructions away our attempts to leave an aircraft become even more eye-of-needle-esque, and if the aircraft is on fire I would prefer the disembarking process to be at its swiftest.

I have personally witnessed a man fight with an air stewardess (we aren't allowed to call them trolley-dollies anymore. You only have to be slapped once to discover this) because she told him to turn his iPod off and remove the earphones from his ears.

All of a sudden he was an airline safety expert.

In fact, an editor from a large travel website in the UK recently went on a rampage against airline safety requirements, including iPods as he said he didn't see how they could be dangerous. What these morons miss is that when your iPod is blaring Jy dink jys cooler as ekke into your ears, you can't hear instructions from the flight deck or cabin crew who might be shouting something important like "brace brace".

Generally, when a plane is plummeting toward the ground, there isn't enough time to say everything twice, so those who only heard half of the announcement while they pulled earphones out could be fairly clueless as to who's coming tops in the aircrafts battle with gravity.

People also tend to fight the seatbelt battle, wondering why the pilot recommends keeping it fastened while in the air? Well, my chinas, if you are in the air without wearing your seatbelt and the plane drops 200ft in an air-pocket, your head will klap the roof of the plane faster than SAA can lose a bag. While you spend time trying to remember your name, those of us with the wisdom to keep our seatbelts fastened will regale our friends and families with tales of what happened to the poor oke with the bleeding head sitting in front of us.

So next time you feel the need to torture the cabin crew with your own version of what IATA-ratified airline safety should entail, you should preferably sit down, shut up and watch the safety demonstration as you are whisked off to your destination.

If I was an air steward and you gave me this kind of trouble, you'd be rewarded with the funkiest tasting chicken sandwich, come food-trolley time.

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