Poll: What Do You Do to Stay Safe While Flying as a Passenger?

FlyerTalk members participate in a water-ditching exercise at the world headquarters of Delta Air Lines. The participants are in a life raft — inflated prior to jumping out of the “aircraft” and into the water — in the process of creating a canopy which will serve the dual purpose of protecting them from the elements while collecting rain water for drinking purposes. Photograph ©2013 by Brian Cohen.

In light of recent tragic events — specifically, the crashes of both the Boeing 777-200ER aircraft which operated as Asiana Airlines flight 214 while landing at San Francisco International Airport which killed two people; and the de Havilland DHC3 Otter aircraft operated by Rediske Air in which all ten people were killed at the airport in Soldotna — there is now a poll conducted by Frequent Business Traveler which asks what you do to stay safe while flying.
Participating in the poll should only take a minute or two of your time, as there are six simple multiple-choice questions for you to answer — and you could possibly win a valuable piece of airline memorabilia as a result of your participation:
  1. Do you typically watch the safety briefing or video when flying?
  2. Did you watch the safety briefing or video on your last flight?
  3. Are you more likely to watch a safety video or watch the safety demonstration by the flight attendants?
  4. Do you usually read the Safety Information card found in the seatback pocket?
  5. Do you keep your seat belt on at all times during a flight “just in case”?
  6. Do you identify the closest exit to your seat once you are on the plane?

I will offer to impart to you something which I do once seated aboard the aircraft prior to every flight on which I am a passenger: I always reach under my seat during the safety demonstration to ensure that there is a life vest. I do realize that the seat cushion may be used as a flotation device, but I would prefer to also have a life vest as added insurance for survival in the extremely rare event of a water ditching.
Fortunately, I have had the opportunity to participate in an actual mock water ditching exercise, conducted by the knowledgeable personnel at Delta Air Lines. Although it was performed in a controlled environment, I feel more confident that I can survive a water ditching — as well as other emergency and evacuation processes — now that I am more experienced and familiar with the procedures involved.
There is one editorial comment that I would like to open for discussion which has been on my mind, while we are on this topic: as mentioned before, two people were killed in the Asiana Airlines crash — but ten people were killed in the crash in Soldotna, from which no one survived.
Despite its arguably more tragic outcome, the Soldotna crash received fairly minimal press coverage at best; while the Asiana Airlines crash is still receiving extensive coverage. In fact — as a rare breach of the typical editorial policy in my seven-year history of posting to The Gate, whose main purpose is to direct traffic to existing discussions on FlyerTalk — I committed the exception of posting the article about the Soldotna crash without a link to a discussion on FlyerTalk simply because none exists.
Was the Soldotna incident largely neglected because it had been overshadowed by the crash at a major international airport of an airplane which was operated by a major international airline? Would it have received significantly more coverage had it been the only airplane crash this past weekend? Is this fair? What are your thoughts? Please share them in the Comments section below — and perhaps be the first to launch a discussion on this topic on FlyerTalk.
This survey will close on July 24, 2013 — so please take a minute or two and participate in the poll today.

  1. 1 = Yes,
    2 = Yes,
    3 = Both,
    4 = No,
    5 = Yes,
    6 = Yes, but usually it’s right next to me as I tend to go for exit rows on 737’s.

  2. The poll is missing some possible answers…
    1. Depends. Some airlines have safety videos that are a complete turn off. eg, recent QF videos. Others are more likely to draw my attention, like recent AA videos.
    2. I don’t remember. My last flight was on QF when they were using random sport stars, so the video more then likely put me to sleep.
    3. Depends on the airline. The BA video is so boring, that the attendants demo is more likely to keep my attention.
    4. Sometimes. I do if it’s an aircraft type or airline I haven’t been on for a while or if I’m in an exit row.
    5. no, I do keep it on about 99% of the time I’m seated, but you’re not always seated are you ;P
    6. I notice it when I sit, but I tend to forget it by the end of the flight…

  3. 1) Yes
    2) Yes
    3) Both, although prefer safety videos
    4) Yes if it’s an airline or type I am not familiar with
    5) Yes, when seated
    6) Yes

  4. I always watch the safety demonstration and do look around for the exits. I don’t always count the seats.

  5. 1. No
    2. No
    3. Yes
    4. No
    5. Yes
    6. Yes (I count the rows), usually less than 5
    I make sure my seat is up right as well as the pax in front of me on take off and landing.. They give me an odd look when I remind them, but I’m the one that would be hurt in a “lean forward/brace” order by the FA..

  6. 1 – Yes
    2 – Yes
    3 – Safety video; feels weird watching the FA go through it mainly b/c everyone else pretty much ignores them
    4- Yes
    5- Yes
    6 – Yes, people look at me funny and my girlfriend thinks I’m nuts.
    I also check for a vest.

  7. 1 yes
    2 yes
    3 flight attendants, although some of the videos are more interesting, I don’t often fly on routes w video
    4-6 yes
    I also try to select seats within 8 rows of an exit, based on 10 year old stats(!) and always count the rows – I had one flight attendant get all worried about me looking back so concentrated, she came to ask what was the matter. She thanked me for paying that much attention and was really sweet on the flight.
    I never checked for a vest, but I will do that starting tomorrow. Simple and could be important one day.

  8. 1-Yes
    6-Yes, but usually seated in exit row
    Have always checked for life vest since People Express days…

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