If you think flight attendants are simply customer service employees, think again. Flight attendants may serve you drinks and snacks and try to grant your requests as best as possible, but the reason they’re on an aircraft is, first and foremost, your safety. Christina Ling, the flight attendant instructor behind the TikTok account @flightattinstructor, shares five things she will never do on an airplane for safety reason — and you should probably avoid them, too.
@flightattinstructor 5 things I wouldn’t do as a Flight Att Instructor #5things #5thingsiwouldneverdo #thingsiwishiknew #thingsiwouldneverdo #5thingschallenge #5things #FreestyleFridays #OneDegreeMore #airplane #airplanetiktok #travel #traveltiktok ♬ original sound – flightattinstructor
Flight attendant advice #1: Don’t fasten your seatbelt on your belly
Seatbelts are an important part of flight safety and the fasten seatbelt light comes on during turbulence and takeoff and landing, but many of us probably don’t know how to wear that seatbelt properly. Ling explains that you should not wear it on you belly, but on the lower part of your torso to keep your organs safe. That means that fastening your seatbelt on or above the belly button is better than below it. Also, wear your seatbelt as tight as possible for maximum protection.
And while asking for a seatbelt extension is often seen as humiliating by those who need it, don’t let judgmental people get in the way of safety. Ask your cabin crew for an extension and follow the instructions above to wear it correctly.
Flight attendant advice #2: Don’t leave your belongings unattended
Don’t leave your passport in the seat pocket in front of you, don’t have your handbag or wallet in plain sight, and don’t leave your laptop and phone sitting around while you take a quick walk down the aisle or hit the bathroom. Like anywhere else, there are plenty of dishonest people who fly, and not securing your precious belongings when you step away from them is a mistake you may very well regret. Ling says to tidy everything up and take your stuff with you when you leave your seat.
Flight attendant advice #3: If you drop your phone between the seats, don’t try to get it back
While attempting to retrieve your fallen phone from in between airplane seats may seem innocuous, it’s actually a safety hazard. By moving your seats and jiggling your phone when trying to get it back, the lithium battery may get damaged and catch fire. And a fire aboard an airplane is not something anyone wants to witness. If this happens to you, call a crew member and ask them for help.
Flight attendant advice #4: Don’t smoke or vape during a flight
While it may be very tough for smokers and vapers to not indulge while flying, it’s important that they keep a willpower of steel. Of course, lit cigarettes are a fire hazard, but both smoking and vaping are dangerous as they generate aerosols that can trigger the onboard smoke alarm, creating panic and potentially leading pilots to think there’s a mechanical fire on the plane. And don’t try to hide in the bathroom to smoke or vape — you will get caught and you will get into serious trouble with the authorities.
Flight attendant advice #5: Don’t stand up if the airplane is still moving
While we’re all very eager to get out of our uncomfortable plane seats, especially after a long flight, Ling says you absolutely need to stay seated until the engines have been shut, the seatbelt sign has been turned off, and the airplane has stopped moving. Situations that may harm passengers can occur when taxiing, so follow the instructions given to you by the flight attendants and be patient. You’ll get out quickly enough.