I simply took a really lengthy EVA Air flight (extra on that shortly), which jogs my memory of how the Taiwanese Star Alliance service takes an odd strategy to utilizing the seatbelt signal. I figured this could be a enjoyable subject to debate extra broadly, as I’m curious to listen to what OMAAT readers suppose…
The seatbelt signal serves an essential objective
To state the plain, the seatbelt signal is meant to be there for everybody’s security. Along with passengers needing to be seated throughout important phases of flight (like takeoff and touchdown), turbulence will be harmful in the event you’re not buckled in, since you’ll be able to simply get injured.
As passengers, we don’t actually know what the experience circumstances can be like. Whereas pilots can’t predict with 100% accuracy what turbulence can be like, they know much more than we do. In any case, they will see within the path the airplane is flying, they will monitor radars, they will get turbulence reviews from different pilots, and so forth.
Admittedly pilots are in an unenviable place, and nearly have an incentive to maintain the seatbelt signal on. If there’s severe turbulence and passengers get injured, the pilots and airline could possibly be blamed for it (we’ve seen passengers sue airways as a result of accidents from turbulence when the seatbelt signal wasn’t on). On the similar time, in the event you simply continually hold the seatbelt signal on, folks will begin ignoring it, and received’t take it severely.
The alternative ways airways strategy the seatbelt signal
Airways prepare their pilots to make use of the seatbelt check in a sure approach. Positive, particular person pilots can have their very own interpretation on these guidelines, however you’ll often discover pilots at a given airline are fairly constant. On some stage I’d say that is even cultural, by area.
I’m very a lot generalizing right here, however listed below are my observations:
- In america, I discover that pilots often err on the facet of warning, in all probability reflecting how litigious our society is; they hold the signal on for a very long time after takeoff and switch it on a very long time earlier than touchdown, and likewise flip it on if there are even delicate bumps
- In Asia, I usually discover that pilots flip the seatbelt log off in a short time after takeoff (inside a matter of minutes), however then they’ll flip it on actually early earlier than touchdown, which just about appears to be extra about serving to the crew put together the cabin for touchdown than the rest; when there’s turbulence, they’re often not fairly as fast to activate the signal as crews in america
- In Europe, I discover that pilots usually take a middle-ground strategy, and the signal goes off fairly shortly after takeoff and solely goes again on shortly earlier than touchdown; then they’ll activate the signal in the course of the flight if there’s a major quantity of turbulence
Once more, I’m completely generalizing right here, as some airways are outliers, however I feel it’s extra true than not.
That brings me to EVA Air, which I discover to be one of many strangest airways relating to utilizing the seatbelt signal. On my earlier lengthy haul EVA Air flight a number of years, I particularly keep in mind how the pilots by no means turned off the seatbelt signal, regardless that the flight was clean.
Now I simply flew EVA Air on a protracted haul flight once more, and it was clean nearly all the approach. I’d say that collectively the seatbelt signal was off for an hour. Mainly it was simply randomly turned off at sure intervals, after which can be turned on once more if there was a single bump, and keep on for a lot of hours.
Does anybody know what EVA Air’s coverage is? Does the airline simply prepare pilots to not flip off the seatbelt signal? And if that’s the case, what’s the logic? That just about appears counterproductive by way of making certain passenger security, since passengers received’t ever take the signal severe when it’s turned on.
Utilizing the toilet when the seatbelt signal is on
Having the seatbelt signal on is one factor, however what about crews really implementing the seatbelt signal when illuminated? Clearly EVA Air doesn’t implement the seatbelt signal, because it’s on a overwhelming majority of time.
Whereas I do every thing I can to moderately obey the seatbelt signal when it’s illuminated, on the finish of the day, utilizing the toilet is usually a necessity. In america, in the event you disobey the seatbelt indicators, crews will usually remind you that the seatbelt signal is on.
That doesn’t imply “you’re going to be arrested in the event you don’t hearken to me,” however fairly it primarily appears to be a technique to inform those who they’re leaving their seat at their very own threat (the under Key & Peele skit involves thoughts).
Now, you’re not going to need to use the bathroom whereas taxiing, taking off, or touchdown, since that might trigger operational points, and you possibly can get in bother. However until the turbulence could be very dangerous, disobeying the signal inside purpose shouldn’t be a problem.
Airways across the globe taking very totally different approaches to how they use the seatbelt signal. I can admire the need to err on the facet of warning, although I additionally suppose it’s essential to restrict its use, in order that passengers take the signal severely when it’s on.
Whereas the strategy pilots take to seatbelt indicators range by area and airline, there are some oddballs. EVA Air is in my expertise one of many strangest airways with the seatbelt signal, as pilots often simply hold the signal on for all the flight. I’d positive be curious to grasp what the logic is for that.
What patterns have you ever seen with how airways use the seatbelt signal?