Published on Friday, 21 July 2017 00:00
Written by Cheryl Teo Kai Lin
It is incredibly annoying to be woken up from a deep slumber that you had painstakingly forced yourself into during a plane ride only to be woken up by an air stewardess asking you to return your seat to its incredibly uncomfortable, back-breaking, neck-spaining upright position as the plane prepares for landing. What harm can a couple of reclined chairs cause anyway?
Apparently a lot.
Airplane seats are the primary source of protection for passengers during a crash, and the upright position is the secured as it is locked in place. In a crash, a reclined seat may snap back and forth which poses a threat to both the passenger sitting in it and the passenger behind.
Modern plane seats are made to withstand impacts 16 times the force of gravity in a crash, which leaves plane crashes with lesser fatalities than in past circumstances when this safety measure was yet to be implemented.
No air bags will be deployed during the crash, and the only padded thing that will soften the impact is the seat, so you would want it to be as sturdy as possible which is only achieved by returning it to its original, rigid state.
If the seat is not properly secured in its 90 degree angle, you also can’t get into a proper brace position. Bracing yourself for impact by placing your hands on the top of the seat in front of you and tucking your head downwards, or bending over and hugging your thighs with your head tucked downwards (for the rows that do not have seats infront of them) is supposedly three times safer than sitting upright during a crash.
Furthermore, if seats are erected in its upright position, it makes it significantly easier for passengers behind to exit their row in an emergency. New airplane models have to undergo an emergency evacuation trial proving that all passengers can escape within 90 seconds or less before they are given approval to fly.
When the plane is preparing for take off and landing, returning the seats upright and keeping the window shutters open go along hand in hand as in the unfortunate event of an emergency, flight attendants are able to aee out the window to assess whether there’s a fire or another hazard outside the plane and take the necessary protocol. Like for example, if one wing is on fire, the flight attendants will direct passengers to exit elsewhere.
So next time before you grumble about being forced in returning your seat upright, think about how it can potentially save your life.
Hi, I'm Cheryl. I possess a joie de vivre spirit unique to my character, my expressions of euphoria are wild in nature and I approach life like one colossal party. I love venturing into the unknown and exploring all that is possible; from exotic foods to cliff-diving. When I am not seeking out something extraordinary to check off my bucket list, I love curling up on a comfy couch with a glass of wine and a book in hand. Follow my personal adventures in my blog here where I let loose of all inhibitions, voice my inner-most emotions, exult in all that is wonderful, unleash the monsters within, lose myself in beautiful reveries, reminisce treasured memories and curate recherché experiences.