TripAdvisor Says People Watch Safety Briefings; I Call Bullshit

TripAdvisor put out the results of a study yesterday regarding airplane safety. I’m sure it was spurred by the US Airways accident last week, and I have to say that the results seem absolutely, completely wrong. No BullshitIt may not be their fault – some people may want to say they’re safety-conscious after seeing an accident like we saw last week, but they must be lying.

Here are some of the findings:

30% say they always pay attention to the safety briefing and another 38% often do
Are you kidding me? There’s no way. Most people are reading magazines, squeezing in a last phone call, yelling at their children, or sleeping. I actually do pay attention every time (’cause I’m anal like that), and I rarely see anyone else watching unless the flight attendant happens to be hot.

Of those who don’t pay attention, 81% say it’s because they already know it
This is bull . . . oh wait, I believe this. I think most people who fly frequently do feel they know it by heart, so they don’t bother to pay attention. But even if you know it, this is a great opportunity to review. Different types of planes have different types of doors, so you should brush up on knowing which type you’ll need to use to run screaming from the plane. Also, it reminds you to check where your oxygen mask comes from, and it shows you how to put a seatbelt on. Tough one, I know.

50% have read the safety card
Um, ok. I’ll believe that 50% have read it at some point. But those cards are just so boring and hard to read that I think most people gloss over it. If only others took the approach that Sun Country takes. Something tells me that Ryanair has more luck since they post the card on the seatback in front of you so you can’t avoid it.

73% say they always check the location of exits and another 20% often check
Seriously? I believe that people may make a mental note of where they came in, but I bet most people forget to look if the nearest exit is behind them (as the safety briefing would remind you). Also, I bet very few people are as detailed as I am and actually count the number of rows forward and backward to the nearest exit. If you go down, there may not be any lights or even worse, there may be a bunch of smoke. That prevents you from seeing anything, so if you count, you can easily find your way.

75% say they would know what to do in a water landing
Ok, I believe that most people think they know what to do, but I bet most people wouldn’t do it right. I bet most people would pop the first exit they saw even if it’s submerged under water. Not such a good plan.

91% always keep their seatbelt fastened
Again, really? I can’t tell you how often I see people with their belts off. I’m a freak about this one too, because if you’ve got your belt on, turbulence won’t be able to smash your face into the ceiling. If it’s off, well, all bets are off.

So I guess I’m not blaming TripAdvisor here for trying, but people lie a lot. Just because they say something doesn’t mean it’s true, and on most of these results, I’d bet that’s exactly the case. I will bet that after the US Airways accident, there will be a temporary increase in the number of people who pay attention, but as usual, that will fade away.

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