Sunday, August 09, 2009

Why the Seatbelt Sign Matters

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people disregard the fasten seat belt sign while in flight. Often while in the air on a a business trip, passengers flirt with the authority of the sign. Even though the ominous light is illuminated, someone a few rows up from me will get up, enter the aisle, and proceed to conduct a stretching routine.

Two in-flight incidents this week show how the seat belt sign means you should have your seat belt sign on. In both cases, a Continental flight from South America to Houston, and a domestic Northwest Airlines flight, passengers got hurt when the planes that carried them hit violent turbulence.

The injured passengers were not wearing their seat belts, even though the fasten seat belt sign was on.

It's also worth noting that based on what I read, the planes involved in the flights were not damaged.

Lesson learned: The seat belt sign does not mean "put the seat belt on when convenient."

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