Honest Air Travel

Festival travel often needs air travel. Have you ever wondered about the pre-flight announcement? Have you ever questioned the approach to air safety? Have you ever imagined yourself versus the Atlantic ocean with the little life vest under your seat? Is it true that your mobile phone would interfere with the cockpit communications? And, what’s a cross-check?

The Economist has provided a script answering these questions:

“¦your safety is our first priority. Actually, that is not quite true: if it were, our seats would be rear-facing, like those in military aircraft, since they are safer in the event of an emergency landing. But then hardly anybody would buy our tickets and we would go bust.

“¦Your life-jacket can be found under your seat, but please do not remove it now. In fact, do not bother to look for it at all. In the event of a landing on water, an unprecedented miracle will have occurred, because in the history of aviation the number of wide-bodied aircraft that have made successful landings on water is zero. This aircraft is equipped with inflatable slides that detach to form life rafts, not that it makes any difference”¦

“¦switch off all mobile phones, since they can interfere with the aircraft’s navigation systems. At least, that’s what you’ve always been told. The real reason to switch them off is because they interfere with mobile networks on the ground”¦ On most flights a few mobile phones are left on by mistake, so if they were really dangerous we would not allow them on board at all”¦ We will have to come clean about this next year, when we introduce in-flight calling across the Veritas fleet. At that point the prospect of taking a cut of the sky-high calling charges will miraculously cause our safety concerns about mobile phones to evaporate.

“¦Please consume alcohol in moderate quantities so that you become mildly sedated but not rowdy. That said, we can always turn the cabin air-quality down a notch or two to help ensure that you are sufficiently drowsy”¦ After take-off, the most dangerous part of the flight, the captain will say a few words”¦ Cabin crew, please make sure we have remembered to close the doors. Sorry, I mean: ‘Doors to automatic and cross-check’”¦

Now you know.

- Bill Reichblum

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