Maybe you were so enthralled with your entertainment system that you missed the warning or perhaps as a seasoned traveller you just ignored the risks. Either way, remaining unbuckled during turbulence is one of the most dangerous things you can do according to this experienced flight attendant.
In a piece for FlyerTalk, Amanda Pleva has explained why turbulence-related injuries are so ‘frustratingly avoidable’.
“Speak to any flight attendant, and they would be able to recount personal tales or tales of coworkers who’ve sustained serious injuries from clear air turbulence,” Pleva writes.
She also cites a number of recent cases in which passengers were injured after disregarding the warnings.
“Last week, there were reports of an Air Canada flight from Shanghai to Toronto in 2015 that experienced an emergency landing in Calgary due to severe turbulence. Pilots were warned of impending rough air by Air Traffic Control, and advised passengers to buckle up. But of the 21 passengers injured, most admitted to being aware of the seat belt sign and ignoring it.”
Pleva says the warnings can become repetitive but of all the rules enforced on flights it’s the one they take most seriously.
“We prepare for so many potential scenarios, but turbulence happens often and it doesn’t take much to cause injuries."
“But it’s not uncommon to be going through fairly strong turbulence just to have a passenger or two struggle to the galley just to ask for a drink.”
Pleva summarises it succinctly: "Leave your seat belt on while at your seat. Really. It’s a heck of a lot more comfortable than a dislocated shoulder."
This article originally appeared on 7Travel.