Op-ed: Airlines Must Take the Seatbelt Sign More Seriously

Yep, typical AA, I’ve noticed this about the window shades too (there are others like this as well- LATAM quite often also doesn’t care about this). And seat belt sign on many AA flights just stays on during the entire flight, full stop.
I don't think the FAA (in reference to AA) mandates shades up for take off and landings for US carriers unless the airline has it in their standard procedures. Then they would get into trouble for not following their procedures.
 
I'll admit on occasion I don't always put my seatbelt back on when returning from the loo (but always when the sign comes on). I don't think I'm in the minority with that.

Richard Quest puts it best here:
 
How about the option of displaying the coughpit weather radar on the aircrafts IFE when the seat belt sign goes on because an anticipated bumpy ahead ?
 
I'll admit on occasion I don't always put my seatbelt back on when returning from the loo (but always when the sign comes on). I don't think I'm in the minority with that.

Richard Quest puts it best here:
The only time I'm in my seat and don't have the belt on is when I'm adjusting the belt to go over a blanket or reaching for a storage compartment in some types of premium seats that can't be reached when the belt is on.
ie, I have my belt on 99.9% of the time when I'm sitting in the seat.
Accounting for trips to the loo and putting things in/out of the overhead or when they tell you not to have the belt on (on the ground and refueling), I have the belt on 97% of the time when I'm on an aircraft.
 
How about the option of displaying the coughpit weather radar on the aircrafts IFE when the seat belt sign goes on because an anticipated bumpy ahead ?
From what I hear, that would be way too difficult/ unclear to decipher as a layman. A bit like reading an X-ray print out which never tells me anything but doctors seem to understand it. That’s what experts are there for!
 
This whole thing is a media beatup.

The particular route and location does at times suffer from a lot of turbulence. This is well known, and at this time of the year that particular location (intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) is at high risk of turbulence.

Its not going to get worse in the future, due to "climate change", and the aircraft didn't drop 6000 feet due to it.

Its a NORMAL part of the earths variable & seasonal weather.
 
Besides the seat belt 'requirement', which it should be unless necessary to move around the cabin, I raise two other points that I think should be promoted far more.
1. We leave our shoes on for take-off and put them on for landing (in case of emergency/evacuation).
2. We wear our passport/money wallet during these phases too, for the same reason.
 
Besides the seat belt 'requirement', which it should be unless necessary to move around the cabin, I raise two other points that I think should be promoted far more.
1. We leave our shoes on for take-off and put them on for landing (in case of emergency/evacuation).
I do this as well and some airlines actually enforce it at least “strongly recommend” this. Actually it is SQ who tell you on the wrapping of their slippers to wait putting them on until after takeoff “for safety reasons”)
2. We wear our passport/money wallet during these phases too, for the same reason.
I must admit I don’t do this but see your point. Problem is especially Aussie passports are particularly flabby compared to, say, EU ones and quite easily get out of shape.

And I’m not particularly keen to get one of those old German tourist over the shoulder man bag that my dad would use or even worse, one of those god awful Louis Vutton ghetto bum bags for my passport… :oops:
 
How about the option of displaying the coughpit weather radar on the aircrafts IFE when the seat belt sign goes on because an anticipated bumpy ahead ?
Why? So the instant experts can ignore the sign. Or so that we can really terrify those who don't like flying anyway.
From what I hear, that would be way too difficult/ unclear to decipher as a layman. A bit like reading an X-ray print out which never tells me anything but doctors seem to understand it. That’s what experts are there for!
I'm not even convinced that many pilots are all that good at it, so I really can't see a lay person, with no specific knowledge of the system, nor any indication of just what modes the radar is in, is going to glean anything worthwhile. And even it they do, what are they supposed to do with this knowledge. Run up and tell me which way to turn.

What are we looking at here?

IMG_0079.jpg
 
POI the showers on EK 380s even have a seatbelt for turbulence , although I would not want to be in the shower during an episode.
Always found that SUPER creepy with the seat belt and, worse, the oxygen mask in there. It’s also the main reason why each shower has to have a “Spa attendant” outside, just in case.
 
Besides the seat belt 'requirement', which it should be unless necessary to move around the cabin, I raise two other points that I think should be promoted far more.
1. We leave our shoes on for take-off and put them on for landing (in case of emergency/evacuation).
2. We wear our passport/money wallet during these phases too, for the same reason.
Welcome to posting on AFF, @Transair
 
Opinion: Airlines Must Take the Seatbelt Sign More Seriously is an article written by the AFF editorial team:


You can leave a comment or discuss this topic below.
I find it frustrating, and probably counter-productive, that announcements regarding keeping your seat belt fastened when seated come AFTER the seat belt sign goes off. It would be more effective if that announcement was made PRIOR to turning off the seat belt sign.
Frank Opray, Melbourne.
 
Thanks to all for your contributions to this thread. Let me say upfront that I always have my seatbelt fastened tightly unless I'm on my way to/returning from the toilet, or accessing the overhead bin.

At first I put 100% of the blame on those not wearing their seatbelts. But I now have a developed different opinion. As I understand it from comments by @Mattg and others, SQ have a policy that cabin crew are permitted (required?) to continue service while the seat belt sign is on (only restriction being that they stop serving hot drinks?) and they walk around the cabin, etc. If that is correct (and I have no reason to doubt Matt and the others on this thread), then SQ is, IMHO, responsible for the injuries to the cabin crew. Are they not responsible for providing a safe workplace?

Furthermore, if the pax see the cabin crew walking around, continuing service, then perhaps they can be forgiven for thinking that "it can't be too serious". If they then leave their seatbelts unfastened, is not SQ at least partly responsible for creating/promoting/allowing this potentially dangerous situation to develop and continue?

Again, I always keep my seatbelt fastened. But I am beginning to see why some don't take it as seriously as they should; and SQ (and others) have, as a minimum, contributed to this situation.

Perhaps a class action for negligence is what is needed to ensure that airlines take a more responsible attitude to crew and pax wearing seatbelts? Unfortunately, it would also probably result in some airlines just leaving the seatbelt sign on for the entirety of all flights so that they may have some legal protection.
 
Thanks to all for your contributions to this thread. Let me say upfront that I always have my seatbelt fastened tightly unless I'm on my way to/returning from the toilet, or accessing the overhead bin.

At first I put 100% of the blame on those not wearing their seatbelts. But I now have a developed different opinion. As I understand it from comments by @Mattg and others, SQ have a policy that cabin crew are permitted (required?) to continue service while the seat belt sign is on (only restriction being that they stop serving hot drinks?) and they walk around the cabin, etc. If that is correct (and I have no reason to doubt Matt and the others on this thread), then SQ is, IMHO, responsible for the injuries to the cabin crew. Are they not responsible for providing a safe workplace?

Furthermore, if the pax see the cabin crew walking around, continuing service, then perhaps they can be forgiven for thinking that "it can't be too serious". If they then leave their seatbelts unfastened, is not SQ at least partly responsible for creating/promoting/allowing this potentially dangerous situation to develop and continue?

Again, I always keep my seatbelt fastened. But I am beginning to see why some don't take it as seriously as they should; and SQ (and others) have, as a minimum, contributed to this situation.

Perhaps a class action for negligence is what is needed to ensure that airlines take a more responsible attitude to crew and pax wearing seatbelts? Unfortunately, it would also probably result in some airlines just leaving the seatbelt sign on for the entirety of all flights so that they may have some legal protection.
The ambulance chasers are already circling looking for a class action against SQ....
 
Thanks to all for your contributions to this thread. Let me say upfront that I always have my seatbelt fastened tightly unless I'm on my way to/returning from the toilet, or accessing the overhead bin.

At first I put 100% of the blame on those not wearing their seatbelts. But I now have a developed different opinion. As I understand it from comments by @Mattg and others, SQ have a policy that cabin crew are permitted (required?) to continue service while the seat belt sign is on (only restriction being that they stop serving hot drinks?) and they walk around the cabin, etc. If that is correct (and I have no reason to doubt Matt and the others on this thread), then SQ is, IMHO, responsible for the injuries to the cabin crew. Are they not responsible for providing a safe workplace?

Furthermore, if the pax see the cabin crew walking around, continuing service, then perhaps they can be forgiven for thinking that "it can't be too serious". If they then leave their seatbelts unfastened, is not SQ at least partly responsible for creating/promoting/allowing this potentially dangerous situation to develop and continue?

Again, I always keep my seatbelt fastened. But I am beginning to see why some don't take it as seriously as they should; and SQ (and others) have, as a minimum, contributed to this situation.

Perhaps a class action for negligence is what is needed to ensure that airlines take a more responsible attitude to crew and pax wearing seatbelts? Unfortunately, it would also probably result in some airlines just leaving the seatbelt sign on for the entirety of all flights so that they may have some legal protection.
I think it’s a bit more nuanced.

There are probably plenty of times when cabin crew could continue to move around the cabin, but an elderly, frail, or other persons should not.

There are times when QF does *not* illuminate the seatbelt sign when I, fit enough and pretty stable, think ‘oh, I mightn’t want to be walking around the cabin right now’.

So I can understand airlines that think ‘granny shouldn’t be walking’ so we’ll put the sign on, but crew are entirely capable to do so.

Unfortunately the seatbelt sign is binary, there’s no ‘exercise caution’ setting.

Contrast with US carriers that are just serving the raw prawn. Leaving the seatbelt sign on for the entire flight because of one… yes one.. slight bump 45 mins into the flight is ridiculous.

And then contrast that with BA LCY-AMS where the turbulence was bad enough they couldn’t use carts in the aisle, so they decided to do a full bar service in the main cabin 2 pax at a time… taking the orders, going to the galley, preparing the drinks and stumbling back.
 
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Furthermore, if the pax see the cabin crew walking around, continuing service, then perhaps they can be forgiven for thinking that "it can't be too serious". If they then leave their seatbelts unfastened, is not SQ at least partly responsible for creating/promoting/allowing this potentially dangerous situation to develop and continue?

Again, I always keep my seatbelt fastened. But I am beginning to see why some don't take it as seriously as they should; and SQ (and others) have, as a minimum, contributed to this situation.

Perhaps a class action for negligence is what is needed to ensure that airlines take a more responsible attitude to crew and pax wearing seatbelts? Unfortunately, it would also probably result in some airlines just leaving the seatbelt sign on for the entirety of all flights so that they may have some legal protection.

I guess the investigation (or someone on board) will reveal if the seatbelt sign was on at all before the turbulence, and whether/when crew were instructed to suspend service and take seats. From the anecdotal reports it seems the turbulence hit very shortly after the seatbelt sign was turned on, in which case people might not have had time to move back to seats or for crew to safely stow service trolleys.

Three scenarios, we don't know which of these applied to SQ321
1) Seatbelt sign comes on, passengers are required to be seated, and hot drink service suspended, but service continues and FA's still moving about cabin.
2) #1 Followed by "Cabin crew please take your seats" if turbulence intensifies
3) No seat belt sign on and it gets turned on with an announcement " Passenger and crew take your seats immediately" ... sometimes followed shortly by some pretty intense turbulence and sometimes not.

If it was 1 only then would be damning for SQ.
 
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1. Have there been any credible reports that the seat belt signs were on BEFORE the incident occurred ? Surely the CVR and FDR will be able to provide information on the status of the aircraft systems (incl cabin indicators ), pilot conversations and actions, once the investigation is underway
2. Not surprisingly, the media (and here)has in the main, concentrated on the speculative and negative aspects of the SQ flight. Wouldn't it be nice, for a change, to have some more positive reporting ? Howabout the structural integrity of modern day aircraft to survive such an event? The actions of the crew both up front and in the cabin ? The reception at BKK with medical triage waiting ? The on going first class medical support provided local hospitals?
Maybe it's true......good news doesn't sell !!!
 

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