10 Ways to Protect Yourself While Flying
1. The most important thing is -- Don’t panic!!! Obviously, in an emergency people get very excited, especially in fire or water landing situations. But you need to focus on the problem of getting out of the plane safely. If you lose your head, you may lose your fanny.
2. Don’t take that extra drink or pill, because you’re “nervous about flying:” You shouldn’t be “high” if something bad does happen. Remember, only one in eight million flights crash now-a-days. Try to get those odds from your surgeon next time.
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3. If you fly with an infant, use your child’s car seat: Some airlines are not friendly about this, so check when you’re making reservations. Yes, it may cost more, but remember flying is many times safer than traveling by car.
4. If things get “dicey,” just lean forward: By getting your head down, into a kind of semi-brace position, you’re better protected. For instance, if the plane starts to “gyrate” while landing, don’t scream. Instead, just bend over and rub your ankles. That way you won’t look stupid when nothing happens – which, of course, is usually the case.
5. Know if your seat cushion floats: Some don't. Yeah, read that little note on the seat back in front of you. Otherwise, you may just be holding a wet sponge, and Captain “Sully” can’t always swim back into the cabin to fetch your life vest.
6. Wear sensible shoes: Sandals, high heels, and bulky cowboy boots can interfere with the evacuation, and remember you may have to run through wreckage or rough terrain after getting outside. Also of note, stiletto heels can puncture the escape slide sending you tumbling, and anger those folks behind you as they watch the slide deflate.
7. Wear natural materials: Leathers, wools and cottons will protect you much better than synthetic fibers in a fire. Those man-made fibers can melt and stick to your skin -- ouch! Also keep your jacket on during takeoffs and landings, because more layers are good.
8. Where you sit does matter: The further back you are, the better your chances, because there’s usually more damage to the front of plane -- “duh!” Also, try to sit near, or preferably behind an exit row in the aisle seat, since many passengers panic and instinctively rush forward heading for the boarding door to escape. So this is one time you want to “go with the flow” -- until you come to the nearest exit row, then use it instead of going all the way forward.
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9. Stay away from “troubled” airlines: Like those in bankruptcy, merging with another carrier, or with a recent labor dispute. The reason is that worried or angry workers are more likely to make mistakes. Trust me on this one. I’ve seen it during many crash investigations.