Wednesday, September 24, 2014

If This Had Been A Real Emergency....

If you know me, or read this blog, or have seen/heard me talk about this, you know I am afraid of flying-or as I call it-afraid of suddenly not flying. I have even dedicated an entire blog to helping you understand (and laugh at) my anxiety with this.

So knowing that, you can imagine my horror in learning that for about $300, I could experience a fake flight disaster at British Airways Flight Safety Awareness Course
According to the Huffington Post, this course is designed so it "encourages passengers to be aware of their surroundings and familiarize themselves with what happens in an emergency." It also is supposed to make you feel more confident about the skills and experience of your captain and crew. The idea is if you are confident and prepared, you won't panic. But to be honest, just reading about what this course experience all entails, I was in a total panic.
You board a simulator plane, take a seat, and then there are sounds and motions to create a take off. Shortly after that, you enter my worst nightmare, as they fill the simulated craft with smoke and the crew yells "Brace! Brace!" At this point, I would probably pass out from hyperventilating. Even knowing this is fake.
Part of the curriculum is teaching you the proper brace position. You know the "put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye." They explain this procedure in detail and it should involve placing your head down, feet firmly planted and slid back towards you, with your dominant hand on top of your head and your other hand on top of that hand. The reasoning for this hand placement is that if something happens and your top hand is impacted and consequently shattered, your dominant hand can still unbuckle your seat belt so you can evacuate the plane. Great.
Next in this fun experience they yell at you to evacuate. This is described as a "scramble." And apparently opening those emergency exits over the wing is not as easy as you think. So think carefully about selecting that seat just for the tempting extra leg room. You don't want to get stampeded by angry passengers in a panic if you take too long working at opening it. But also, I'm not sure it matters, as they also explain that the doors of the plane allow 6-8 passengers to get out in the time it takes 1 to get out that smaller door over the wing exit and in the disaster every second matters. Ahhhh I'm stressed out just reading this.
Another little helpful tidbit in case of emergency is to not inflate your life jacket on the plane, because apparently "if water fills the cabin, passengers with inflated vests can be pressed up against the ceiling, unable to swim down to the door." Just let that image sink in of you floating around like Charlie breaking the rules in the Chocolate Factory chamber. Except instead of farting your way down to a stern talking to by Willy Wonka, you die.
Probably the only thing that makes this course worth the nightmares it will induce is the fact that you get to go down that slide that you always hear these planes are equipped with, but you don't ever get, or really want, to see.
So, yeah, if you want to experience a disaster, in a controlled setting, go ahead and sign up for this class. But really, for the cost of the class you could go on a trip, ideally on a plane where none of this occurs.

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