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Insider Airplane Safety Info You Won't Get During a Flight Demo


"...half the people (probably more) who I see sitting in those exit rows wouldn’t have the strength to manage the door."

Sure you pay attention to the brief safety demonstration being acted out at the front and in the center of the airplane by flight attendants. And perhaps you've taken a glance at the tri-fold laminated safety brochure in your seat back pocket. But there are some things that you are not told about airplane safety.

Thank you George Hobica -- the same man who brought us the secrets of flight attendants revealed -- with Airfare Watchdog for pulling together information about it.

A self-prescribed "airline nerd," Horbica writes that he took a British Airways safety class in London that provides more in-depth information, like that which flight attendants would receive in training.

He writes:

You get to jump down an emergency slide! And if you’ve ever wanted to pull the inflation cord on one of those airplane life vests, this is your chance. You also get to evacuate a cabin filled with smoke (it's the kind used in a theater or rock concert, but it does the trick). You'll practice the fine points of the "brace position." And best of all, you understand why some of those more obscure procedures and safety warnings are part of the flight experience.

We've pulled out a few of the fascinating safety information tidbits that Horbica shares:


  • Life vests: "One thing they don't tell you in the typical safety demo: people take those life jackets, located under or between your seat, as souvenirs. It’s a vile and punishable offense, and while airlines do check each seat at the start of every day, a plane could make several trips in a day, during any of which a passenger could steal a life vest."

(Image: withGod /

  • Why you should put on your mask first: "You might only have 15 or 20 seconds in the event of a cabin decompression, during which all oxygen would be sucked out of the plane (and your lungs), before you’d experience confusion and a euphoric stoned state, at which point you might forget everything you heard during the safety demo (if in fact you even listened, which you probably didn't)."


  • Why the exit lights are red: "Like taillights along the motorway in a fog, Andy explained, they’re red because they show up better in a smoke-filled cabin. And indeed it's true, as we learned when our 'cabin' became a soupy fog."


  • Weight of exit row doors: "Even for me, a fairly strapping 6-footer who goes to the gym regularly, they’re pretty heavy (40 pounds to be exact). It’s not just the weight, but maneuvering them while sitting down that's an awkward challenge. [...]  The bad news is that half the people (probably more) who I see sitting in those exit rows wouldn’t have the strength to manage the door. Airlines should not sell these seats to anyone merely because they can pay the fee for the extra legroom."

  • Why dim the lights: "to help adjust your eyes to the dark (either inside a smoke-filled cabin or on a darkened runway)."

Be sure to read all of Horbica's article for more safety information that you won't get during an in-flight demonstration here.

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(H/T: Yahoo! Travel)

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