Flying on an airplane can you give you a chance to get more quickly to places and to reach areas that you cannot by modes of transportation such as cars and trains. For many, this mode of transportation is a frightening one because airplane accidents do happen occasionally. Between 1978 and 1995, there were 164 airplane accidents. There are national guidelines, developed by the Federal Aviation Administration, on the construction and maintenance of planes, as well as pilot training. These regulations help protect passengers, but there are measures travelers can take to make their trips safer for themselves and others.
When you are packing, there are certain items that you need to remember not to take with you in your carry-on bag. Airlines have regulations, based on guidelines from the Transportation Security Administration, about what types of items passengers can take on the planes with them, as well as put in their checked luggage. These regulations are designed to ensure that all passengers remain safe. Items that you are not allowed to have in your carry-on bag include sharp items such as box cutters, pocketknives, razors and scissors; sporting good items such as baseball bats, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks and pool cues; firearms, flares and ammunition; tools such as hammers, crowbars, saws and screwdrivers; self-defense items such as billy clubs, brass knuckles, mace and pepper spray and nightsticks; explosives such as fireworks; and flammable items such as aerosol cans, fuels and lighter fluid. You should make sure that you keep spray items such as deodorant, bug spray and hairspray out of your carry-on bag because they will likely get confiscated by airline security officers when you are going through security. You are allowed to have 3.4-ounce or smaller bottles of some liquids in your carry-on bag, such as medicine and toiletry items, but you need to put them together in a plastic bag when going through security. Putting these items in a bag allows security officers to examine them more quickly. If you are bringing batteries with you, for electronic devices, you should have them with you on your carry-on bag. If an emergency does occur, such as a fire, this will allow the flight crew to access the batteries. Some items that are not allowed in luggage are flares, gun powder, gasoline, gas torches and lighter fluid. When you are traveling, you may want to put locks on your luggage, to ensure that your belongings are safe, but you may want to buy these locks at the airport because they make locks that security officers can open if they need to perform inspections of your luggage. You will generally want to make sure that your most valuable items are with you, in your carry-on or another bag, such as a purse. You are allowed to bring your laptop on the airplane with you, but it will need to be scanned at airport security. Security officers inspect your laptop to make sure that they have not been tampered with and to detect any irregularities with their electronic components. When you are putting your laptop through the X-ray screening device at the airport, you will want to make sure to put it in a bin by itself. You can put your bag on the belt by itself and put your other items, such as your shoes, keys and wallet, in another bin. If you have a digital camera in your laptop bag, you can leave it in there because the X-rays do not harm your camera. Some companies have designed laptop-only sleeves that you can keep your laptop in when it is getting scanned.
When you are on the airplane, it is important that you stay buckled up when you are in your seat, especially when the plane is taking off or landing. You will also want to stay in your seat when there is turbulence and/or the seat-belt light is on above your seat. You can buckle up by placing the two ends together, as the flight attendant will demonstrate. If you have a difficult time buckling your seat belt, you should talk to the flight attendant. He or she can give you an extender if the seat belt does not fit around your waist. If you are a parent, it is important that you make sure that your children’s seat belts are fastened at all times. Although children under 2 are allowed to stay in parents’ arms during flights, those who are 40 pounds or more should be in child safety seats. For greater safety, you may want to use a rear-facing infant seat for a baby or toddler. You will want to stay in your seat, with your seat belt fastened, when there is turbulence or the plane is taking off or landing because you could be moved around the airplane’s cabin if you are standing. If you need to go to the bathroom, try to do it when the seat-belt light is off. Along with buckling your seat belt, you will also want to listen to other safety tips that flight attendants tell you, so that you know where the emergency exits are located and what you need to do in case of emergency. If you are seated near an emergency exit, you need to be aware of it, because during an emergency, you may need to assist people in getting out of the airplane. If you are not able to do so, you should let a flight attendant know, so he or she can move you to another location. Usually flight attendants will tell that in case of a water landing, your seat can be used as a flotation device, and they will say that oxygen masks will drop down and provide oxygen if there is a loss of cabin pressure. When you are flying, it is important that you put your luggage in an overhead compartment or under your seat to ensure your and other passengers’ safety. Once you have placed your carry-on bag in the overhead compartment, you should shut it if the compartment is full. If it is not, it is likely that another passenger or the flight attendant will close it. When putting items in the overhead compartment, do not try to force them in if they are too big. If you encounter this problem, you will want to talk to a flight attendant about checking your baggage in with the plane-side luggage. If you do this, you can get your bags when you get off the plane, usually from a cart on the side of the plane. Usually carry-on bags will not fit if they weigh more than 40 pounds, but many smaller planes have overhead compartments that fit items that are about the size of a laptop bag. If you do put your bag in the overhead compartment, be careful when you are opening the compartment after you land because your items may have moved during the flight. There are a number of injuries caused every year by bags falling and hurting people when the overhead compartments are opened or are not closed properly. When you are on a plane, you should drink plenty of water or other fluids and should limit your consumption of alcohol. Beverages with alcohol can impair your ability to follow the directions of the flight attendant, should an emergency occur, and the elevation change may cause you to feel the effects of the alcohol sooner. You may also want to chew gum to keep your ears from popping when the plane ascends and descends. If you have chronic ear problems, an ear infection and/or sinus problems, you will want to see a doctor before flying to get advice on what methods you will want to take to relieve ear pain during flying. If you have a baby, you may want to give him or her a bottle to relieve his or her anxiety during the flight.