Airline Safety Instructions

Recently (last month) I travelled from Melbourne to Sydney and sat next to an airline hostess who was in transit to work the return flight.  We had a good chat about travelling and, eventually, about the reasoning behind those safety instructions that are demonstrated at the start of each flight.
It amazed me that I hadn’t really thought about the reasoning behind the logic. 
There is logic to it, which is pretty obvious on second thought.  Here’s some info..
– Seat in upright position/Tray tables up/luggage in overhead bins or under the seat in front
If there is an emergency people need to be able to clear their aisles as quickly as possible.   Any of the above conditions can create obstacles for people in getting out of their seats.
-No electronic equipment to be used until after take off
This one is less about the electronic interference and more to do with people being distracted when the crew and pilot are giving out information/instructions.  In an emergency situation if people are tuned into an iPod or similar device might not hear important instructions.
– No use of mobile phones or transmitting devices
Despite the fact that such devices have a very low chance of actually interfering (different frequencies as an obvious point of difference) any risk of interference during take off and landing could be fatal, so the rule (and the fact there are no cell phone towers in the stratosphere) makes a fair bit of sense.  However, if they do install an 802.11b/g wireless router and don’t secure it, I might be tempted…. not.
The rest are pretty obvious, e.g. locate nearest exit, use of breathing apparatis (put your own mask on before helping others), life vests in case of a crash landing in the ocean etc.
Anyhow, just tought it was interesting to point out the obvious.
Oh, and one more thing…. If you’ve flown Virgin Blue before (last year or prior) you might have observed that their announcements (and safety demos) were often pretty humourous.  In recent months they have toned (or dialed) it back down to the stock standard script.  I asked about why that was changed. 
The answer: apparently Virgin Blue conducted a survey with their business clientele.  The overwhelming majority indicated that they didn’t like the funny business and that they preferred an uninterrupted smooth flight.  Humourless sods.  I’m a business traveller and I say: bring back the funny!

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