Published on: Apr 30, 2021
The flight crew and attendants have a significant role in ensuring your safety during air travel. The crew ensures that you get to your destination safely while the attendants keep the environment safe and sure that passengers are quickly evacuated from the airplane if necessary. Whether in a local Canadian flight or an international flight, it’s important to make sure that you understand all the safety features of an airplane like the location and how to use emergency kits, and the evacuation procedures whenever there is an emergency.
Listen to the information given before every flight, as it will inform you about your safety during flight. You may have listened to the briefing previously, but not all aircraft are the same.
For safety reasons, Transport Canada’s recommendation about the use of safety belts is that you should keep your safety belts fasted throughout the flight, even if the seatbelt sign is off. An inactive seatbelt sign only shows that you may leave your seat temporarily.
Although rare, the primary cause of injuries for passengers and crew during flight is air turbulence. Air turbulence is mainly a result of differences in atmospheric pressure, jet streams, cold or warm fronts, thunderstorms, or mountains. Such incidents occur without warning.
You will need to keep your seatbelts fastened during take-off, when landing, during turbulence, and at any other moment when the crew members find it necessary. The seatbelts in a plane are different from what you are used to in a car, so make sure that your belt can fasten easily, adjust tightly, and release quickly. A common mistake that passengers do is to fasten their safety belts around their waist instead of securing it around the hips. Passengers who require a seatbelt extension should inform the airline before the flight departure time.
Most airlines place a safety features card at the aircraft seat pocket to provide passengers with important information about the safety features of the aircraft they have boarded. The information is mostly about operating the exit and using the emergency equipment in case of an emergency. You should read the card and ensure that you understand everything about the safety features because different aircraft may have a varying operation for the exit, or the operations for the front exit door may be different from those of the back exit of the same aircraft. Understanding the safety features will help ensure a safe evacuation in case of an emergency.
Other instructions in the safety feature card include a guide about how to prepare for impact. The brace for impact position is known to help passengers and crew members increase their chances of survival and reduce the risk of injury during emergencies.
The best way to brace for impact is by positioning your body against the surface that you will most likely strike when there is an impact. Having your body close to the surface reduces the intensity of the impact, hence minimizing the injuries you may have. The best brace depends on factors such as your physical limitations, your size, and the interior design of the aircraft. You should also consider the course of the crash force, the emergency type and the scale of the emergency.
Most commercial flights have oxygen masks that deploy automatically whenever there is a decompression. The flow of the oxygen will only start if you pull down on the mask. Wear the mask around your entire mouth and nose and secure its position by fastening the elastic band behind your head. The oxygen flows to the mask, even if the bag does not inflate. If you are seated next to a person who may need assistance, such as someone who is disabled, elderly or a child, you should start with securing your mask on first before you assist them. Do not remove your mask unless when advised by a crew member.
Different aircraft have their emergency exits in varying locations. Check your seating position’s proximity to the exits to know the direction to follow and evacuate the plane as fast as possible in case of an emergency. You should at all times follow the crew member’s instructions during the evacuation.
Passengers sitting close to the emergency exit have the responsibility to open the exit whenever there is an emergency. So, if you are sitting in that position, you should be more attentive and ask for an explanation for the things you don’t understand. If you doubt your ability to assist during an emergency, request a seat change.
During an emergency evacuation, you should leave your luggage behind and do as instructed by crew members. Trying to carry the baggage from the overhead bin or under the seat will delay the evacuation, hence putting yourself and the others at risk. You can also reduce the risk of common injuries during emergency evacuations by wearing safer clothing and shoes.
Everyone needs a sense of safety during flight, meaning no one should display any behaviour that threatens the safety of the crew members and other passengers. Some of the unacceptable behaviours during flight include harassment, disregard of smoking regulations, verbal abuse, physical assault, failure to follow the instructions from the crew, sexual offenses and disorderly conduct. If such behaviour occurs, the crew may decide to divert the aircraft and transfer the matter to the police upon arrival. Such an offense is punishable by law.
Alcohol adversely changes how our body works and how we behave by decreasing the brain’s ability to utilise oxygen and impairing your reaction to time, your judgement, reasoning and memory. The effects are even worse while in flight than when at sea level. To promote moderation during flight, airlines may not allow you to board your flight if you appear intoxicated.
Everyone has a role to play for their safety during flight. Thus, at all times follow the instructions from the crew members as they are essential for your safety. You also have a duty to make sure that the crew members are aware of any situation that can affect the safety of the flight.
If you hold a passport from a country that is eligible for the Canada eTA such as the UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, or many other eTA eligible countries, you will need to obtain an approved eTA before your tourism, business or medical visit to Canada. Get started on your application, otherwise, visit the eTA requirements to learn more about the Canada eTA