Taking a Trip Over the Holidays? Check Out These Tips for Safe Air Travel

Federal Aviation Administration encourages passengers to take active role in aviation safety

Taking a Trip Over the Holidays? Check Out These Tips for Safe Air Travel
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November 16, 2016

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is offering tips for those consumers planning to fly over the upcoming holiday season.

"I'm asking air travelers to take an active role in aviation safety when they fly this holiday season," said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. "Fly Smart and be prepared. Your actions can save your life and those around you."

Travelers are extremely safe when flying. The FAA reports that this is actually the safest period in the history of aviation. Accident risk has been significantly lowered by the collaboration of the government and the aviation industry on airplane design, maintenance, training, and procedures. Even so, however, emergencies can still occur.

"While tens of millions of passengers will rely on air travel this holiday season to connect them to destinations around the world, pilots across the country stand ready. On each and every flight, pilots and crewmembers work together to ensure that the passengers and cargo we carry arrive safely and efficiently to their destinations," said Captain Tim Canoll, International President of the Air Line Pilots Association. "Over the next few weeks, airports and aircraft will be a little more crowded, and as always, we encourage passengers to be patient and listen carefully to crewmember instructions. Aviation is the safest mode of transportation in the world, and passengers have played an important role in maintaining that incredible record by working with crewmembers and complying with federal guidelines."

Sara Nelson, International President of the Association of Flight Attendants, also has advice for passengers taking an upcoming trip. "Bring a spirit of community, watch the safety briefing and listen to your Flight Attendants. As aviation's first responders we are proud to help usher you safely and securely on your travels."

Following the below guidelines can enable passengers to help make their flights even safer:

  • Although it is unlikely that you will need to evacuate the plane, leave all bags and personal items behind in the event that this becomes necessary. These things are not worth your life. Passengers are expected to evacuate within 90 seconds, and you will not have time to grab these things. If you take the time to open an overhead compartment, evacuation will be delayed and the lives of everyone around you will be put at risk.
  • Pack safe, leaving all hazardous materials at home. Many items from lithium batteries to aerosol whipped cream can be dangerous when being transported by air; vibrations, static electricity, and variations in temperature and pressure can cause such materials to leak, generate toxic fumes, ignite a fire, or even explode. When in doubt, leave it out.
  • Have a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone? Leave it at home; you are prohibited from transporting this device on flights to, from, or within the U.S. on your person, in carry-on baggage, or in checked baggage.
  • Pack any spare batteries in your carry-on and take these measures to prevent them from short-circuiting: keep them in their original packaging; tape over the electrical connections using any adhesive, non-metallic tape; or put each battery into its own individual plastic bag. You are not allowed to fly with damaged or recalled batteries.
  • Prevent the occurrence of in-flight injuries by following the carry-on restrictions set by your airline.
  • Do not use your electronic device unless the crew says it is safe to do so.
  • Make sure to pay attention to the flight attendants during the safety briefing and read the safety briefing card; these actions could save your life in the event of an emergency.
  • Wear a seatbelt at all times.
  • Use a child safety seat or device to protect young children. You will not be able to hold onto a child during turbulence or an emergency.