Schiavo Safety Tips: Cabin Safety

Schiavo Sheets are single pages of information on aspects of aviation safety, security, and travel, and cover airlines, airports and airplanes. Designed to help busy people fly safer – in less than 60 seconds.

Number 1 – Cabin Safety – Do It Yourself

One of the topics on which I lecture covers simple things you can do to help yourself have a safer flight. Summarized, I recommend passengers develop a simple routine, which they repeat every time they fly. Besides reading the seat pocket safety information and listening to the flight attendant or video safety announcement, here are five simple steps – which just might save your life:

  1. Seat Assignment – Try to get a seat near the greatest concentration of exits. The configuration is different on different types of planes (the exits on a DC 9 are not where the exits on a 757 are located). Ask when you get your seat assignment to be located in the exit row if you are physically (and psychologically) able to get that exit open in an emergency, otherwise near them. The row behind is better than the row in front. One, your seat reclines, and two, in an emergency people will instinctively move forward).
  2. Carry-ons – Do not let anyone block your exit by over-stuffing the underseat area so it blocks the row. Watch what goes in the overhead bin over your head-not too heavy, not blocking good closure of the latch.
  3. Count the rows between you and two alternative exit plans. Mentally run over the routes in your head. Write it on a post-it note, sticker, or piece of paper and put it on the upright tray table, or write it on your hand if you like. I use my own stickers.
  4. Never permit an obviously intoxicated person anywhere near the exit rows or between you and your route to safety. Complain loudly to the flight attendants. They have broken the law by allowing drunk passengers on board.