Fasten your seatbelt up at 10,000 feet? Is it any better to buckle up at 35,000 feet?

If you are like me and the intimate masses who travel frequently, you will no doubt share a preconceived notion that wearing a seatbelt in an airplane is tantamount to putting a Band-Aid on a sawed off leg. I am a “put it on before you pull out” seat-belt fanatic when it comes to the car and, perhaps by extension or habit, I do the same in the airplane. That said, I was barely convinced on the reason why. George Bibel’s article, entitled “Flight Safety. Fasten your seatbelt. Yes, YOU” that appeared in the weekend’s IHT editorial pages [link defunct], was great as it laid out for me the reasons why it is absolutely pertinent to listen to the words of the flight attendant and to buckle up.

Two main reasons:
  • The vast majority of plane accidents need not be, and indeed are not, fatal.
  • Large and sudden drops in altitude caused by turbulence can break an unbuckled passenger’s neck by bouncing off the ceiling.

So, in the interest in spreading the good word, buckle up on the plane! What about finding a viral way to spread the word and introduce on board peer pressure?

Message to flight attendants and airline companies, just because it’s the law and because you have to say it every flight, find ways to entertain us as you repeat the safety refrains. Virgin (film with character) and Southwest (good humour allowed here) set the example.

* For good humour, try this photo out on Kevin’s blog: fasten your seat belt while seated (not while standing)

** Meanwhile, how many of you know the difference between ‘direct’ and ‘nonstop’? Apparently, there is much room for misinterpretation per this IHT Q&A article.

The answer: ‘nonstop’ is the way to go. ‘Direct’ means you might stay on or use the same plane, but that there may yet be a stop over. Nonstop means just that, no stopping. Did you know the difference?

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