Seatbelt checks

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Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

  • EasternPedlar
    Participant

    I’ve often wondered why seat manufacturers can’t put chips in airplane seat belt systems to show which ones are unfastened. It would save the cabin crew a lot of time. The technology has been around in cars for a long time, and I can’t imagine that the cost or additional weight is prohibitive.

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    capetonianm
    Participant

    On most cars they work with a sensor in the seat squab. If the sensor detects the weight of a person, and the belt is not inserted in the slot, the warning light comes on.
    There are two problems. You can ‘trick’ it by fastening the belt behind you, and they can generate false positives.
    The technology could be used on airlines but I think the ‘crutch patrol’ performed by the cabin crew is a better solution as it also ensures that people don’t have large heavy items on the floor, trays tables down, or any of the other daft things that passengers often do.

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    nibbler
    Participant

    Airlines have staff on the plane so its not adding an operational cost to check. Adding a system to do it would use electrical energy (which is limited) and add weight to the plane; add a fire risk from the wiring, sensors and seat and add another maintenance task… Finally there is a risk of having an aircraft system linked to something the passengers having access too being a network security risk


    openfly
    Participant

    Easy answer…make seat belts bright orange!

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    sparkyflier
    Participant

    I flew Ryanair years ago and the crew did not even check to see if passengers were belted up before take off. My impression of this was that if they are not checking on things that cost nothing to check, then what are they not checking which does have a cost element. I have not flown with them since.

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    openfly
    Participant

    I have flown several times on BA long-haul and short-haul recently. After take-off I’ve noticed….oops…I haven’t got my seat-belt fastened. Obviously BA don’t bother to check these days. Probably too busy chatting in the galley….

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    philsquares
    Participant

    Adding something such as that would be a can of worms. You have a full flight and one of the sensors doesn’t work. What do you do then? The most obvious thing is to fix the seat belt. But what happens if it isn’t the sensor but a broken connection somewhere in the wiring. Do you delay the flight, do you bump the passenger. From a maintenance perspective, you now have to consult the MEL (master equipment list) which each airline has and is approved by the regulatory body. It says how long the item can be inoperative, how to defer it, can it even be deferred?

    The system can easily be bypassed, simply buckle the seatbelt and sit on it would certainly work.

    While the added weight would not be much the complexity and additional demands would make it very counter productive.


    nevereconomy
    Participant

    Find most respectable airlines very good in this respect. Of course there are still some where people are standing in the aisles while you land !!
    The check is really only as good as the passengers as very easy to unbuckle after the check – you really only see that in the Premium cabins…

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    EU_Flyer
    Participant

    ‘crutch patrol’

    Love it.

    As a plus sized person, I am always impressed (and slightly embarrassed) when crew ask to see my belt. Better safe than sorry.

    Safe travels to all!


    rferguson
    Participant

    I think there is an element of personal responsibility here too. I can go through the cabin and check every seatbelt. There’s nothing to stop you unfastening it once we the crew have sat down for take off.

    Something else i’ve never quite understood about airlines like BA – the myth that cabin crew are immune to being thrown into the ceiling during turbulence. During turbulence the seat belt sign is switched on as it is apparently too dangerous for passengers to be unrestrained. Yet, the cabin crew are expected to then walk down the aisles during this turbulence to check people have fastened their seatbelt. Other airlines like Qantas are different – seatbelt sign goes on, passengers AND crew sit down and strap in.

    The biggest culprits are parents with infants. I’ve lost count of the amount of times i’ve been involved in quite tense discussions with parents who refuse to buckle up their kids ‘s/he doesn’t like being restrained’. These days I take a different tack. I explain to the parent that I need to see the seatbelt done up. What they then decide to do once I walk away is their business. I’m certainly not going to be one of these crew constantly monitoring them. I make sure I explain very clearly the reason – if we come to a sudden stop at the end of the runway during take off (while traveling at hundreds of km p/h) your child is going to go slamming in that seat 30cm in front of you. You’d be amazed how many parents are like ‘whatever’.

    Using phones/having them in flight mode too is another one. I flew Alitalia recently and was sat in 1D so had a birds eye view of the two crew on their jumpseat at doors one. Before we had even pushed back one of them quite tersely barked at another business class passenger to put his phone into flight mode. I then watched in amazement as for the entire taxi the two crew sat there at on their jumpseats texting away on their own phones right up until take off!

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    Nick
    Participant

    On BA, they have two kinds of turbulence. The kind where untrained passengers need to sit down, but trained crew can still move about carefully. And the more severe kind, where everyone needs to sit down. That one generally comes with some extra “bongs”, and sometimes also an announcement from the flight crew

    For the severe kind, everyone needs to sit down where they can. I’ve seen cabin crew in empty passenger seats, as that was closest! I’ve also been told to sit in a crew seat in the galley after turbulence hit whilst queuing for the loo, those seatbelts are quite different… Got to have a fun chat with the cabin crew while we waited to be allowed to move around again


    SimonS1
    Participant

    I think there is an element of personal responsibility here too. I can go through the cabin and check every seatbelt. There’s nothing to stop you unfastening it once we the crew have sat down for take off.

    Exactly. Regular travellers clearly know the drill, nothing is 100% foolproof here.

    The same as fastening your belt over the blanket…..the people that complain that crew didn’t check properly will be the same ones that whine when the crew wake them to check. And probably the same ones that were reading the newspaper through the safety video.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    Unfortunately many people have to put their finger in the flame to learn that it does actually burn you!

    I was southbound into JNB in the small hours of the morning, absolutely smooth flying, no seat belt lights on, when we hit a patch of CAT and probably dropped about 50-100 feet, but it was a hell of a jolt. I had just stood up to stretch my legs. Luckily I was able to grab the solid seat rest to stabilise myself, but some people who were standing or walking around were shocked and there were some minor injuries. It could have been a lot worse.

    That was my ‘lesson’ not that I needed it since up to that moment I’d been secured, as I always am when flying unless moving around.

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