Flying has become so safe that many travelers take it for granted. Over the course of several decades, government and industry worked together to significantly reduce the risk of accidents and to improve airplane design, maintenance, training, and procedures. But emergencies can still happen.
Travelers can give themselves an extra margin of safety by taking a few minutes to follow these guidelines:
- In the unlikely event that you need to evacuate, leave your bags and personal items behind. Your luggage is not worth your life. All passengers are expected to evacuate the airplane within 90 seconds. You do not have time to grab your luggage or personal items. Opening an overhead compartment will delay the evacuation and will put the lives of everyone around you at risk.
- Pack safe and leave hazardous materials at home. Many common items such as lithium batteries, lighters, and aerosols may be dangerous when transported by air. Vibrations, static electricity, and temperature and pressure variations can cause hazardous materials to leak, generate toxic fumes, start a fire, or even explode. Check the FAA’s Pack Safe website for the rules on carrying these items. When in doubt, leave it out.
- If you are travelling with e-cigarettes or vaping devices, keep these devices and spare batteries with you in the aircraft cabin—they are prohibited in checked baggage. These devices may not be used or charged onboard aircraft.
- If you have any other spare batteries, pack them only in your carry-on baggage and use a few measures to keep them from short circuiting: keep the batteries in their original packaging, tape over the electrical connections with any adhesive, non-metallic tape, or place each battery in its own individual plastic bag. You cannot fly with damaged or recalled batteries.
- Do not pack or carry any type of fireworks. This includes firecrackers, poppers, sparklers, bottle rockets, roman candles, etc. No matter where you are, fireworks are always illegal in airline baggage.
- Prevent in-flight injuries by following your airline’s carry-on bag restrictions.
- For your safety, follow crew instructions. It’s a Federal law.
- Use your electronic device only when the crew says it’s safe to do so.
- Flight attendants perform important safety duties and are trained on how to respond to emergencies. It just takes a few minutes to pay attention to the flight attendant during the safety briefing, read the safety briefing card, and follow the instructions. It could save your life in an emergency.
- Buckle up. Wear a seatbelt at all times. It could help you avoid serious injury in the event of unexpected inflight turbulence.
- Protect young children by providing them with a child safety seat or device. Your arms cannot hold onto a child during turbulence or an emergency. An FAA video shows how to install a child safety seat on an airplane.
Fly Smart this summer and learn more at FAA.gov/passengers. Watch this one-minute video of FAA Administrator Huerta discussing traveler safety.